connection - Muskingum Valley Garden Society

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connection - Muskingum Valley Garden Society
Muskingum County Master Gardeners
CONNECTION
Extension
Dear Muskingum County Master Gardener,
I hope that you have been able to handle
winter’s challenges so far. Spring is getting closer
every day. Have you taken time to make plans for
installing some new landscape beds or renovate
existing ones?
Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, February 10
at 7:00 p.m. at the Extension Office. In case of bad weather,
call the office (454-0144) to see if the meeting has been
postponed. I will be at the office at 6:00 p.m. that evening so
any committees are welcome to meet before the meeting.
Thanks to all of you who stepped up to assume leadership
on committees. It is also just as important to have lots of
willing committee members who will carry out their role.
Let me know if you have any names and addresses for
potential MG for this year’s class. Thanks for all that you do.
Sincerely,
Mark Mechling
Extension Educator, Agriculture, Natural Resources
& Community Development, Muskingum County
Newsletter Stuff
From Toni Leland...
February is sure a busy month! Groundhog Day,
Valentines Day, SuperBowl, Mardi Gras, President’s Day, and
of course all the activities that mark the promise of spring.
Look for a new “spotlight article” in the March issue. Each month we will feature one member of the Master
Gardeners. This will be a great way for all of us get to know
each other a bit better. The March 2010 issue will start with
one of our newest members: Demetra Gressley.
In keeping with our celebration of Presidents Washington
and Lincoln, I found a very interesting article about Mount
Rushmore. The history behind this monument is fascinating.
Be sure to visit the link on page 6 to learn more.
Many thanks to the Master Gardeners who have volunteered to help me keep this newsletter under control! I hope
everyone will submit news, events, recipes, gardening tips,
and photographs. You can give your information to the Newsletter Committee:
Tom Ruggles
Demetra Gressley
Beth Newland
Cathy Rogers
Teresa Hildebrand
Remember, the deadline is 25th of each month. You can
also send it directly to me by e-mail:
[email protected]
Get Ready for Spring!!
February 2010
Vol. 2, No. 2
Hello Master Gardeners,
2010 is upon us and our first meeting got
us off to a great start! Our main focus was
signing up for committees. If you were unable
to attend January‛s meeting, we will pass
around the sheets at our February meeting
and/or, you can send me an e-mail or call with
your request. I was very impressed with the
willingness of members to become so involved,
which is exactly what we are all about.
Our Membership Book Committee is working hard to have
the book completed for distribution at our next meeting.
Thank you for your efforts.
We are always interested in new ideas so please share
your thoughts. You never know what others may be
thinking and your ideas could very well lead our group to
even better community education and growth. All thoughts
are welcomed!!
Look forward to our next meeting. Until then, keep
dreaming of spring.
Respectfully,
Beth Brown
Calendar
Feb 9:
Increase Matthews Research Study and Planting
Planning meeting, 10 am, 930 Findley Avenue
Feb 10: Care Committee, 6 pm, Extension Office
Spring Fling Committee, 6:30 pm, Extension Office
MG meeting, Extension Office, 7 pm
Feb 27-Mar 7:*54th Annual Central Ohio Home & Garden Expo
Feb 13-14: *Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Conference,
Granville
Feb 20: Functional Trees & Shrubs, Dawes Arboretum, 10amnoon; reservation required
Mar 5: Container Planting: Vegetables; Sandy Hamilton &
Lolita Burt, Senior Center, Zanesville, 10 am
Mar 6: *Spring Fever, OUZ
Mar 27: *Four Seasons of Gardening, sponsored by Licking
County Master Gardeners
Ongoing
Feb 20-Mar 6: Maple Syrup Madness, Dawes Arboretum; FREE
Feb 1-28: The Orchid Forest, Franklin Park Conservatory,
Columbus; http://www.fpconservatory.org
*full details elsewhere in newsletter
Great Gardener Websites
OSU MG Volunteer Program
Muskingum Valley
Garden Society
Buckeye Yard & Garden
Newsletter
Dave’s Garden
1
(printed as submitted)
Minutes
The January 13, 2010 MCMG (Muskingum County
Master Gardeners) meeting was held at the Extension
office. President, Beth Brown, called the meeting to order
at 7:00 and warmly welcomed everyone to the first meeting
of the new year. Beth requested a moment of silence in
remembrance of former Master Gardener, Ray Polchow.
Although Ray was a recent certified Master Gardener, his
enthusiasm and passion for gardening was evident through
his dedication and commitment to the MCMG. He will be
sadly missed.
Plant Doctor- Mark welcomed members with a story
about his brother, a veterinarian, that volunteers for the
Cleveland Weather Bureau.His brother lives in the snow belt
of Ashtabula County and records and reports the amount
of snowfall.An incredible seventy-one inches of snow was
recorded from January 1-11, 2010. Pesticide training will be
conducted soon for farmers. Since the Coshocton County
Extension agent retired and the agency received no funding
from the commissioners, Mark travels there once a week. We
are reminded that the Muskingum County Commissioners
continue to fund us and the budget looks good. Unfortunately,
Licking County budget is down 40%. Mark also reported
that 2,700 volunteer hours were documented for 2009. He
also mentioned that Mrs. Betty Cultice gave MCMG a
$100.00 donation. A thank you will be sent acknowledging
her generous gift. Ginny Cable introduced her daughter,
Pam, who was visiting from Indiana, and had just recently
completed the Master Gardening Program in Indiana.
Secretary- No report due to no meeting in December. A
summary of the November 11, 2009 annual meeting/banquet
was in the January newsletter. Mark said one hour would be
counted towards volunteer education.
Treasurer- Lisa reminded the members the
treasurer’s report was also in the January newsletter. Ending
balance was $6,132.36. January 20th is the last day to pay for
membership dues.
Old BusinessThe annual meeting/banquet was held on November
11, 2009 at Barker’s Banquet and Catering. Members and
guests seemed to have enjoyed the evening.
Nominating Committee- Due to the death of Vice
President, Ray Polchow, the committee nominated Kathy
Frakes. Tom Ruggles moved that we accept the nomination
and Gary Graham seconded the motion. Motion passed. Since
there was no discussion or floor nominations; nominations
were closed and members elected Kathy by a verbal vote.
School Grant Applications-Mark explained that the
applications will be distributed within a week throughout the
Muskingum County school systems. Although Jan. 30th is
the usual deadline, Mark stated he may extend the deadline to
early February due to getting them out late.
Other- It was reported that OSU Extension offers
online courses (Pathology) for volunteer education hours.
Mark stated that volunteer hours are basically self-regulated
and trusts that members are honest with their calculations.
Beth and Mark commented and members agreed that
Toni does a great job with the newsletter and we are so
appreciative for all her hard work. If there was a competition
for best newsletter, the MCMG Connection would win hands
down!! THANK YOU, TON!.
New Business- Beth Brown circulated
committee assignment sheets and
encouraged everyone to participate. A brief description of
each committee was presented.
Committees were:
1. Banquet-Bev Kornack, Chair
2. Care Team-This is a new committee designed to set
policies and procedures for remembering members and
others in a myriad of situations and circumstances.
3. Muskingum County Fair-Mildred Teisinger, Chair
4. Earth to Art-Fundraiser for school scholarship grant
money.
5. Farm City Day- Beth Newland, Chair. Theme for 2010 is
Vegetables.
6. GMEC-(Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Coop)
7. Health Fair-Debby Newton, Chair
8. Horticultural Hotline-A new committee established to
receive horticultural calls at the extension office. Two
volunteers per session, one day per week. Training to be
provided by Mark. More details to follow.
9. Increase Mathews House-Marilyn Swope,Chair. Flower
beds need redesigned due to shade.
10. Jr. Master Gardener- Kathy Mohler, Pat Mast Co-chairs
11. Membership Book
12. Newsletter- Provide gardening information to Toni.
13. New Concord Farmer’s Market
14. Phenology Garden-Tom Ruggles, Gayle Steil Co-chairs
15. School Grant Committee
16. Spring Bus
17. Spring Fever Symposium
18. Summer Bus
19. Website
20. The Wilds Gardens- Kathy Frakes, Terry King-Co-chairs
21. Zanesville Farmers Market-Teresa Hildebrand, Terry
King-Co-chairs
22. Workshops
Other New Business- Darlene Turner shared information
about Mission Oaks allowing MG to use one of their facilities
to start seeds/grow plants. Please see Darlene if interested.
She is at Mission Oaks from 9-3 most days. If anyone has
pictures of MG events, please submit to Darlene. Also, the
Park District Office would be excellent location for a MG
meeting and will soon be ready to accommodate speakers/
meetings of different venues.It was also suggested that each
committee begin taking pictures of their particular events.
Diane Ischy moved and Tom Ruggles seconded that
the meeting be adjourned. Motion carried and meeting was
adjourned at 8:25PM.
Respectfully submitted,
Pat Mast, secretary
2
What’s Happenin’
Increase Matthews House ~ Marilyn Swope
Increase Matthews meeting dates are:
Planting May 25, Season work times all Tuesdays 9 to 11 a.m.
and 6 to 8 p.m., and anytime on your own.
Research Study and Planting Planning will be Feb. 9, 10 a.m.
930 Findley Ave.
~An adult conversation class in China was shown a picture,
blown-up and laminated for this purpose, of Larry Arnold
happily buying flowers at Wilson’s Garden Center. The teacher
said she knew the photo was a good one for teaching because
such a garden center is not common in China. The class
considered it logical that the building was called a greenhouse.
The students judged Larry to be kind because of the smile on
his face and rich. They were thoughtful about his having a
building in which to repair bicycles. Bicycles in their area are
repaired in stalls along the street. Isn’t it impressive that Larry
can make an impression on the other side of the world? And
that I could receive permission back to share this information
within five minutes of asking.~
Master Gardener Educational Workshops
Sandy Hamilton reports that she and Lolita Burt will
do a workshop on planting vegetables in containers. The
event will take place at the Senior Center on Friday,
March 5 at 10 a.m.
Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Conference
~ Cathy Rogers
The Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Conference
will feature keynote speakers Joel Slaatin and Ann
Cooper. Slaatin is one of the best known farmers of the
sustainable food movement. Cooper is a chef and author
who transforms cafeterias into culinary classrooms for
students, one school lunch at a time.
The conference will be held in Granville on February
13 and 14 at the Granville School. Full information about
speakers, educational sessions, and weekend schedule are
available at http://www.oeffa.org/conference2010.php
New Storm Water Management Publication
“Sustainable Landscape Systems for Managing
Storm Water” is now available on-line from Hamilton
County OSU Extension. The publication is 72 pages
with instructional photos and graphics and provides
a comprehensive look at landscape systems you might
use to mitigate storm water runoff. To get the PDF, visit
http://hamilton.osu.edu/topics/horticulture/landscapestorm-water-management.
Newsletter Deadline:
25th of Each Month
Treasurer’s Report
January 2010
Beginning Balance
“6,132.36”
RECEIVABLES
Deposits
12/29/09 Deposit - 4 - 2010 Dues
20.00
1/11/10 “Deposit - 7 - 2010 Dues, Cultice Donation”
1/25/10 Deposit - 2 - 2010 Dues
10.00
Total Deposits
160.00
Email all reports, news, and calendar events to
Toni Leland: [email protected]
or call 740-828-2445
130.00
Newsletter mailed on First of each month.
160.00
PAYABLES
1/25/10 “#320 - Dianne Ischy - 10.00 soil sample, lime, fert.Phenology “
35.67
Total Payables
35.67
Ending Balance
“Respectfully submitted,
35.67
“6,256.69”
Lisa Browning Treasurer”
3
IF I COULD HAVE ONLY ONE.......
deciduous shrub, it would be a Calycanthus floridus (sweetshrub,
Carolina allspice). This attractive shrub has several cultivars including four
that I have in my yard: ‘Michael Lindsey’, ‘Athens’, ‘Venus’, and ‘Hartlage
Wine’. Michael Dirr, the godfather of woody plants, says that ‘Athens’ has
“brought great delight to our garden and home and virtually every garden
could make use of such a plant”.
Calycanthus is winter hardy in our area and my ‘Michael Lindsey’
and ‘Athens’ bloomed wonderfully last Spring when many blossom buds on
other plants did not survive the Zone 5 winter. I don’t know how to describe
the blooms except to say that they are beautiful and unusual and long-lasting.
Colors vary on different cultivars
from a deep maroon red to white and
yellow.
I planted ‘Michael Lindsey’ about 6 years ago and it is now about 6 feet tall and
4 feet wide with a nice compact form, and it has bloomed reliably for at least the last
4 years. The other cultivars are newly planted, but ‘Athens’ bloomed last year. Dirr
coments on the wonderful fragrance of the blossoms, but I will have to trust him on that
as I am aromally challenged. He does refer to his wife raving about the fragrance, which
would probably be the case in this houshold. These shrubs have nice glossy green leaves
which makes them attractive even after blooming and good fall color (yellow) which
persists late into the season. So far these shrubs have been disease-free and without pests
as best as I can tell, and Dirr calls them a “very resistant shrub.” Another wonderful
feature is that Calycanthus will grow in most any soil, acid or alkaline, and sun or shade.
All in all, what’s not to like! Feel free to check them out here, but waiting until Spring
would probably be best.
submitted by Tom Ruggles
photos: Wikipedia Commons License
Club Contacts
President:
Beth Brown, 740-704-3166, [email protected]
Vice-President:Kathy Frakes, 740-826-7612/740-819-7900, [email protected]
Secretary:
Pat Mast, 740-452-3431, [email protected]
Treasurer:
Lisa Browning, 740-453-1364, [email protected]
Advisor:
Mark Mechling, 740-454-0144, [email protected]
Committee Contacts
Dr. Increase Matthews: .......................Marilyn Swope, 740-453-2374, [email protected]
Gale Garden: .......................................Darlene Turner, 740-452-8997, [email protected]
New Concord Farmers Market: ..........Kathy Frakes,740-826-7612, [email protected]
OSU Extension Website: .....................
Annual Banquet: .................................Beverly Kornack, 740-453-7909, [email protected]
Guernsey-Muskingum: .......................Schroeder Dodds, 740-674-4535, [email protected]
Earth to Art: .........................................
Phenology Garden.......Tom Ruggles, 740-740-607-5771, [email protected]; Gayle Steil, 740-453-0929, [email protected]
Membership Booklet: ..........................Candace Chapman, 740-754-9169, [email protected]
Spring Bus Trip: ..................................Lolita Burt, 704-787-2488; Glenna McClelland, 849-0208, [email protected]
Spring Fling: .................................Mary Hildebrand, 740-607-9815, [email protected]
Junior Master Gardeners:.....Kathy Mohler, 740-849-2429, [email protected]; Pat Mast, 740-452-3431, [email protected]
Wilds Butterfly Garden: .......Kathy Frakes, 740-819-7900, [email protected]
County Fair: .............................Mildred Teisinger, 740-452-8686, [email protected]
Farm City Day: .......Beth Newland, 740-454-7248, [email protected]
Farmers Market: .........Teresa Hildebrand, 740-452-1843; Terry King, [email protected]
Workshops:.........Sandy Hamilton, 740-453-6077
Care Committee........
............
Health Fairs.........Debby Newton, 740-454-7666/740-607-0082, [email protected]
Newsletter...........Toni Leland, 740-828-2703, [email protected]
4
Seasonal Bits
KOUSA DOGWOOD - (Cornus kousa)
Dogwoods are highly valued for their flowers in
the spring, but this dogwood also has excellent fruits
that are starting to turn red in central Ohio. The round,
knobby raspberry-like fruits are about 1” in diameter
and are held above the leaves, making them very
visible and quite attractive. In the fall, they turn a
scarlet-reddish color. The leaves also turn a beautiful
reddish to purple color in the fall.
The blooms are quite striking, appearing a bit later than the
flowering dogwood. These blooms are also larger than the flowering
dogwood.
A large Kousa dogwood in Longwood Gardens,
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
There are numerous cultivars on the market,
some with excellent flowering and others with pink
flowers, and yet others with variegated leaves.
The plant grows to around 15-20’ tall and is an
excellent small tree for the landscape.
For more details on Kousa dogwood, visit
http://www.hcs.ohio-state.edu/hcs/TMI/Plantlist/
co_kousa.html
submitted by Mark Mechling
photos: Wikipedia GNU Free LIcense
“Early settlers steeped dogwood bark in whiskey and drank
the infusion to relieve ague.”
Now there’s an interesting way to justify a shot now and then!
5
photo by Dean Franklin, Wikipedia
President’s Day - February 15
Originally known to the Lakota Sioux as Six Grandfathers, the mountain was renamed after Charles E. Rushmore,
a prominent New York lawyer, during an expedition in 1885. At first, the project of carving Rushmore was undertaken
to increase tourism in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. After long negotiations involving a Congressional
delegation and President Calvin Coolidge, the project received Congressional approval. The carving started in 1927,
and ended in 1941 with some injuries and no fatalities.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rushmore
Licking County Master Gardener
Speaker Series
6
Central Ohio Home & Garden Show
34 South Third Street
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 461-5257
(614) 461-7551 Fax
www.DispatchEvents.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 15, 2009
CONTACT:
Amy Weirick
(614) 848-8380
[email protected]
ART IS IN BLOOM IN THE GARDENS AT 54TH ANNUAL
CENTRAL OHIO HOME & GARDEN SHOW
DATES SET: FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 7
Columbus, Ohio USA – The 2010 Central Ohio Home & Garden Show will be held February 27
through March 7 in Columbus at the Ohio Expo Center (Ohio State Fairgrounds). With the Art
in Bloom theme, the 2010 Garden Showcase will feature dazzling living landscapes inspired by
masterpiece works of art and will feature stunning sculpture, paintings and other art pieces
within the gardens.
Show guests will discover incredible garden and landscape ideas in these 14 full-sized
gardens, which are produced by talented professional designers of the Columbus Landscape
Association. Show guests will also enjoy the opportunity to talk one-on-one with experts about
their own lawn and garden challenges and possibilities.
Renowned for its breathtaking gardens, the Central Ohio Home & Garden Show is among
North America’s most exciting and interactive home and garden shows, featuring more than
400 exhibits and attractions. Consumers who visit the show have the opportunity to shop for
every imaginable tool, accessory and service for any home or landscape project – all in one
easy location at this one-of-a-kind marketplace.
Spanning two weekends, the Central Ohio Home & Garden Show offers eight days packed
with special events and attractions for all ages. Internationally known celebrities and daily
cooking, gardening, home décor and home improvement presentations on two stages are
crowd favorites each year. Also at the show is the popular Home Improvement Expo presented
by Rosati Windows, where guests can shop for everything from a new roof, bath or kitchen to
an extreme basement makeover. Within the Home Improvement Expo, the innovative and
inspiring Kitchen & Bath Design Center allows guests to meet and talk one on one with the
region’s top remodeling and home improvement experts while seeing the very latest designs
and most extraordinary ideas for kitchens and baths.
The Central Ohio Home & Garden Show opens Saturday, February 27, and runs through
Sunday, March 7 at the Ohio Expo Center. Show hours are Saturdays 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.;
Sundays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; CLOSED MONDAY, Tuesday and Thursday 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.; and
Wednesday and Friday Noon – 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults. Children ages 12 and under
are admitted free. Complete show information is found at www.DispatchEvents.com.
(30)
Plant carrots in January, and you’ll never
have to eat carrots.
~ Unknown
Outstanding color art, video and interviews available.
Contact Amy Weirick, (614) 848-8380 or [email protected]
7
8
GARDENING TOOLS
Guidelines for Their Selection, Use and Care
Courtesy of Master Gardener Schroeder Dodds
I. SHOVELS
A. There are many kinds of shovels and they come in several sizes, shapes and forms including
“digging” shovels, rounded and flat “scoop” shovels, and short handled shovels.
1. “Digging” shovels can look similar, but be quite different in size, shape, and handle
angle, and these characteristics can affect the ease of using them.
2. “Scoop” shovels are good for moving loose soil or gravel, but not for “digging.”
3. Short handled shovels of any kind. They are LOVED by back doctors. You have to bend over to use them, and your
reduced leverage makes each shovel full heavier than with a long handled shovel.
B. Desirable characteristics of a good shovel:
1. What are you going to use it for: digging down or scooping up dirt/gravel? If you are scooping up material, a higher
handle angle is helpful so that you don’t have to bend over so far. But if you are digging, a lower handle angle is
more convenient so that you don’t have to lean forward as much.
2. The lower end of the handle (next to the spade portion) should extend well into the metal top of the spade portion of
the shovel to make the joint stronger.
3. Wood vs. fiberglass handle. This is primarily a personal choice. Fiberglass won’t rot or decay, and will probably last
longer than a wood handle. However, fiberglass is smoother/more slippery than a wood handle, and may be a disadvantage
sometimes.
4. If you buy any tool with a wood handle, make sure that the grain of the wood is very straight the entire length of the
handle, without bends, and that the grain is parallel to the length of the handle, in contrast to running at an angle. In other words,
you should be able to trace one line of grain from the spade end to the other end of the handle without the line of grain veering
off the handle.
5. Foot pads. As a minimum the top of the spade where your foot pushes on the shovel should be curled over or doubled
for additional support to both your foot and the spade. The wider the footpad, the more comfortable it will be on your foot and
the stronger the shovel will be.
6. The portion of the shovel blade that digs into the ground should be ground/sharpened to a moderately sharp edge, similar
to a dull knife. The sharper this angle is, the easier it is to dig down into the soil.
C. Caring for a shovel:
1. After using a shovel, PUT IT AWAY CLEAN. Wash both the blade AND handle, and scrub off all dirt and rust. Then
use some steel wool to rub on a coat off WD-40, which will retard rusting. When you get ready to use the shovel, wipe off any
remnant WD-40 to preclude getting the solution on plant roots.
2. Store the shovel inside, not out in the dirt and weather.
3. Don’t use a shovel as a pry bar for rocks or a spud bar for breaking up hard clay.
4. Periodically sharpen the pointed part of the blade. When sharpening the shovel, retain the point at the tip of the blade.
Since the shovel wears more at the point than on the sides, you have to file the side portions of the blade, even though they don’t
look like they need it, or your shovel blade becomes rounder and rounder.
5. Use a moderately fine-toothed file to sharpen the shovel. BUT the most important accessory to sharpening is a heavy
pair of LEATHER GLOVES. As you file, the file can (and probably will) slip at some time, and you don’t want your bare hand
unexpectedly slamming in to the sharpened edge of the blade. Shovels don’t warrant the use of carborundum or diamond flake
stones for sharpening (this is a shovel, not an ax); just use a file.
II. HOES
A. Use hoes for weeding, or for trenching or furrowing.
B. Some important points to remember when using hoes.
1. Stand up straight when you are hoeing to protect your back and you won’t tire as quickly.
2. Hoe as shallowly as you can. Weed seeds are in the soil. If you turn up new dirt you bring up weed seeds that will
then be encouraged to germinate AND GROW.
C. Caring for Hoes.
Clean them, sharpen them and care for them just like you do for shovels.
III. TRIMMING TOOLS
A. To do a good job of pruning or trimming, good pruning tools are just as important as good pruning techniques. This article
will only address trimming TOOLS, not pruning or trimming techniques.
B. To make good and clean cuts the tool must be SHARP and correctly adjusted, AND the tool should be clean, in contrast
to
own.
C. Trimming tools can be broken into the categories of pruning shears, loppers, hedge trimmers and pruning saws.
1. Pruning shears are for small branches, usually less than 1/4” in diameter.
2. Loppers (those with long handles) are for branches 1/4” to about 1” in diameter.
3. Pruning saws are for limbs larger than 1”.
9
4. Hedge trimmers are the LONG BLADED trimmers used to make hedges look like flat sided/topped artificial plants
that just came out of a box. The only thing worse than hedge trimmers for trimming bushes are electric or gas powered
trimmers. You might as well use a string trimmer. (my sermon and pet peeve for the day)
5. Chain saws --- we aren’t going to discuss that subject, even though it is my favorite.
D. What to look for when buying shears or loppers.
1. The blades should be made from hardened steel. Not anything that resembles aluminum.
2. They should have “pass-by” blade designs, versus “anvil” type. The pass-by blades CUT through the stems, in
contrast to the anvil design that tends to smash the stem, and cause health problems in the end of the stem that is left. In
addition, the anvil design dulls the blade more quickly than the pass-by design.
3. The handles should have some kind of a cushioning cover to reduce the wear and tear on your hands and reduce the
tendency to slip in your hand. The handles should feel comfortable in your hand. Some shears are too large for small hands,
which wears out the hand and wrist quickly.
4. With loppers, compare various brands to see how wide the spread of the handles has to be to cut a 1” limb. The less
spr
improved” lopper that exerts a lot of force to cut through a limb, but the handles have to be spread VERY WIDE to get the
blades around a 1” branch, so they are very inconvenient to use.
E. What to look for when buying pruning saws:
1. The saw blade should fold into the handle when you are not using it so that the saw teeth are not exposed.
2. When opened, the blade should be securely locked in place so it won’t fold up while you are cutting.
3. The blade should have large, very mean looking teeth that alternate in the direction that they are sharpened.
4. I seldom recommend brand names, but Corona saws are the only saws I have found that are REALLY good and not
unjustly pricey.
5. ALWAYS wear heavy leather gloves when using a pruning saw.
F. Caring for trimming tools.
1. Keep them clean. Cleaning suggestions are provided below.
2. Keep them sharp. Sharpening instructions for pruners and loppers is not included in this article as mentioned
previously. Saw blades should be sharpened by a professional saw sharpener.
3. Keep pruners and loppers tightly screwed together so that there is no leeway between the blade and the cutting
surface. Tighten the nut tight enough that the blades won’t open or close, and then loosen the nut just barely enough to permit
the blade to open.
4. The same guidance applies to pruning saws. Keep the blade nut as tight as you can, but just barely loose enough to be
able to open the blade.
IV. CLEANING SUGGESTIONS
A. “SUPER CLEAN” is a cleaner/degreaser that comes in a purple plastic jug sold at Wal-Mart in the auto supplies
department. I pour some in a spray bottle to use it. Spray it full strength on a clipper, pruning saw, power saw chain, etc., let
it sit a few minutes, and then wash it off with the hose nozzle. Occasionally two applications will be needed. The tool will
sparkle.
B. STEEL WOOL is helpful sometimes in removing gunk on the tools, particularly on the teeth of handsaws. I use medium
or No. 1 textured steel wool. Wear leather gloves when using steel wool.
C. WD-40 is an excellent product to protect tools from rust. Spray on enough for it to spread/flow into all locations where
metal rubs on metal. However, wipe off any remnant oil prior to trimming branches.
D. After you are through using AND CLEANING your clippers or saws, spray a little WD-40 on your clippers BEFORE you
put them away.
E. Most literature recommends that if you are cutting diseased wood, you should clean the cutting blades after each cut by
immersing the blades in rubbing alcohol or household bleach. That’s a great recommendation. No, I’ve never done it.
V. SHARPENING SUGGESTIONS
A. Clippers and saws are MUCH easier to use if they are sharp, AND they cut much cleaner and more accurately.
B. When using a file or sharpening stone to sharpen clipper blades, use LEATHER GLOVES. The file or sharpening stone is
secondary AFTER the importance of leather gloves.
C. As reflected above, techniques for sharpening clipper blades (and pocket knives) is a lesson in itself, so we won’t try to
address that subject. Sharpening saws is a job to be done by professionals. However, here are some general suggestions.
1. Sharpening tools:
a. Heavy leather gloves.
b. A secure mount to hold the tool steady.
c. Moderately fine files for shovels and hoes, and a carborundum or diamond stone for clippers.
2. When sharpening shovels, hoes, clippers and loppers, the sharpening angle should be on ONLY ONE SIDE of the
blade so that it looks like the top left hand of an “N”. NOT like a knife, which you sharpen with an angle on both faces of the
blade (like the even sided bottom of a “V”).
3. The file or sharpening stone is moved INTO the blade (toward the handle), not outward (away from the handle). This
method is obviously more dangerous, since if your hand slips it moves toward the sharpened blade, but this is the correct way
to create a sharp cutting blade. That is why you should ALWAYS wear heavy leather gloves.
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This sounds like a great time!
Call for tickets & info: 740-344-6652 or 740-745-2333
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Muskingum County Master Gardeners
225 Underwood Street
Zanesville, OH 43701
Winter Fare
Fresh carrots are one of the vegetables we can buy year around and get good quality. Of course they don’t taste
quite as good as fresh-pulled from our gardens, but during the winter, try this yummy casserole. Even the pickiest
eater will like it!
Scalloped Carrots
Serves 6
2
1/4
1/4
1/4
1/4
2
1
2
1
lbs
c
c
c
tsp
c
tsp
c
c
fresh carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
margarine
minced onion
flour
dry mustard
milk
salt
shredded Cheddar cheese
bread crumbs
Cook carrots until tender, drain and set aside.
©Toni Leland
Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole. Preheat the oven to 350˚F
Melt the margarine in a heavy saucepan, lower heat and add onion; cook until tender.
Add flour and mustard and stir until smooth, then cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Gradually add milk, then cook over medium heat until thick; add salt and cheese, stir until cheese melts.
Add carrots and mix, then place in casserole.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly. Add bread crumbs and bake another 5 minutes.
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