From: Garden Therapy
By: Debbie Wolf

Hot weather can be hard on your plants. Just like us they need special care in extreme heat. Even with adequate watering and mulching, plants can suffer when the temperatures rise but there are a few things you can do to help protect your plants from heat stress during the hottest part of the summer.

Water Correctly
Watering is essential when it’s hot, but watering correctly is far more important. Watering in the morning or early evening is the best for your garden. Giving them water midday is inefficient and most of it will evaporate before it gets to the roots. Strive for a deep watering two or three times a week. Using a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose will ensure a deep watering, but if you do not have an irrigation system, an overhead sprinkler or hand watering will work, just do it in the cool hours of morning or early evening.

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Source: American Red Cross

It’s time for Fourth of July celebrations – fireworks, a backyard barbecue, maybe a trip to the beach. Whatever people have planned, the American Red Cross wants them to enjoy their holiday and has steps they can follow to be safe.

“We want everyone to have a great holiday, and a safe one,” said Alison Bono, Central and Northern Michigan Regional Director of Communication. “Whether the weekend will involve fireworks, grilling or going to the seashore, we have safety tips everyone can follow.”

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4th of July Party Ideas

Jun 30
Category | General Advice

Source: Big Bear's Wife

By: Angie Barrett

I’ve always loved to throw parties! It could be a birthday party, a baby shower or a 4th of July cookout, no matter what the occasion is I love the details and planning that goes into throwing the perfect party!
Since Big Bear was in the military, the 4th of July holds a special place in my heart and we always try to have a party or at least a cookout the weekend of July 4th!
While we all know what red, white and blue is going to be the main color scheme of any patriotic 4th of July cookout, here are some more ideas for your Independence Day Soirée!

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Source: Better Homes & Gardens

By: Marty Wingate

Discover how to grow grapes, and you'll enjoy the amazing pleasure of picking a grape fresh off the vine and popping it into your mouth. When you bite into a grape that's warm from the sun and bursting with juice, you'll be hooked on growing grapes on your own.

When we think of growing grapes, we dream of green or purple table grapes (the kind you eat fresh), jams and jellies, raisins, or perhaps a good wine grape, just in case you want to make your own Cabernet.

Knowing how to grow grapes successfully means selecting the right variety for your region. Grapes will grow in almost any part of the country (Zones 5-9), but you need to choose one that suits your local conditions of summer heat and winter cold. Your local extension office can suggest a specific variety, whether it be table or wine.

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Build a Bat House

Jun 16
Category | General Advice

Source: National Wildlife Federation
By: Carla Brown

I love bats because mosquitoes LOVE to bite me. Pesticides can be harmful to mosquitoes’ predators as well as mosquitoes. According to Bat Conservation International, one little brown bat can eat 60 medium-sized moths or over 1000 mosquito-sized insects in one night!Bats are also interesting because:

  • In many ecosystems, they play a key role in pollinating plants.
  • There are more than 1,300 species of bats in the world!
  • Some bats use echolocation, or high pitched chirps which bounce off objects in front of them, to find their way in the dark.

Before I share my bat house building experience, let me say that I am no carpenter. This was my first time using a circular saw. Hopefully this can help even the least handy person build a bat house.

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