Home & Garden

On the Grapevine (March 24)

Touch lamps touchy about new bulbs

Q: Will the new light bulbs work with touch lamps?

A: Lighting consultant Terry McGowan said that if a touch lamp has a mechanical switch, it will work with any CFL or LED bulb. However, if the lamp has an electronic switch, you’ll need to use a CFL or LED bulb that’s specially marked as dimmable. Even then you may have some problems, he said.

McGowan said you can tell what kind of switch the lamp has by putting a standard incandescent bulb of 40 to 60 watts in the socket and then trying the switch while listening carefully. If you hear a click when the lamp is turned on and off, then the switch is mechanical. If you don’t hear a click, it’s electronic.

– Akron Beacon Journal

From blender to garden

Here is a simple way to provide organic matter to your soil. Gather your kitchen vegetable and fruit waste for a week in a large bowl in the refrigerator.

Every Saturday, say, pop it into the blender with a bit of water. Puree. Dig a hole in the backyard; pour your kitchen waste into the hole. Cover the hole with soil. Move on to another spot next week.

In a few months you will notice a few things happening there. Earthworms will be everywhere. Bacteria will be turning your kitchen scraps into brown gold. Eventually, after weeks of this practice, parts of your garden will be very easy to dig. Plant will send their roots over to these nutrient-rich and easy-to-tunnel areas. Your dirt will start to turn into soil and the plants you purchase will actually want to live there.

– Orange County Register

In bloom at Botanica

Lots of spring-flowering bulbs, including this anemone de Caen, in the Downing Children’s Garden.