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Close to home with Mary Beth Breckenridge

Weekly report offers garden cleanup tips, other useful info

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 4, 2014

I did a little happy dance yesterday when the year’s first issue of Buckeye Yard & Garden Line landed in my email inbox.

BYGL, or “Beagle,” as the participants call it, is a weekly news report from experts with the Ohio State University Extension. They offer tips on lawn and garden maintenance and provide updates on issues such as pests, diseases and weather damage – often with a healthy dose of humor.

As a garden geek, I consider it one of my favorite reads. Besides, its arrival means gardening season is really here, no matter how lousy the weather is.

Among the gems in this week’s issue is some guidance on spring garden cleanup from Pam Bennett, a horticulture educator with the extension. Among her tips:

-- Cut back perennial and vegetable plants you left standing in the fall, including ornamental grasses. It’s best to do this before spring growth begins.

-- Cut back old asparagus fronds to the ground.

-- Divide or transplant perennials that bloom in the summer or fall, if needed. This is also a good time to divide ornamental grasses.

-- Prune roses to shape them, encourage new growth and allow air and sunlight to reach the mddle of the plant.

-- Get a soil test, and then fertilize plants only if the test shows nutrients are needed.

You can read BYGL online. If you’d like to receive it by email, send a request to Cheryl Fischnich at

And then you can do your own little dance each week.



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