The Grapevine (April 6)

04/06/2013 7:42 AM

04/06/2013 7:43 AM

Check the gutters

Spring is a good time to ensure that gutters are free of fall leaves and debris. Gutters that fill with debris can quickly overflow with water, which can lead to expensive external and internal water damage.

Greg Hardy of Greg’s Gutter Service, in the Triad of North Carolina, recommends that homeowners — primarily those with a lot of trees on their property — talk to a gutter professional about installing a leaf protection system. Otherwise, “you about have to clean them out once a week to really let the gutters flow the way they should,” Hardy said.

“You want to go with something that’s cost-effective, though. You can get some leaf guards that cost $3,000 to put on. Between $15 and $25 a foot is not cost effective. I charge around $5 a foot for it, depending on the size of the gutter.”

Source: Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie’s List

– McClatchy News Service

New vintage seed stamps

The U.S. Postal Service on Friday issued new Forever stamps featuring illustrations from vintage seed packets.

The stamps feature 10 images from seed packets originally printed between 1910 and 1920. The blossoms depicted: a trio of cosmos, stalks of digitalis, primrose, a calendula, asters, two shades of pinks (dianthus), linum, alyssum, clusters of phlox, and zinnias.

Sow tomato seeds

Sow tomato seeds for transplanting outside in early to mid-May. When seedlings reach 3 to 4 inches, transfer them to larger pots for proper root development — a 6-inch pot can take four seedlings. The larger pots can be placed in a cold frame that vents on warm days. Don’t plant tomatoes too early: Cool nights and cold, wet soil will slow their development.

Washington Post

In bloom at Botanica

Myrtle spurge (botanical name: Euphorbia myrsinites), in the Cissy Wise Wildflower Meadow.

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