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Gardening Know How Sponsorship Recipient: Auburn University Community Garden

This year, Gardening Know How’s School and Community Garden Sponsorship Program was fortunate enough to help support 20 gardens with $1,000 each. These gardens represent a wide array of community and school programs, from Florida to Saskatchewan and many places in between. Each has its own unique and powerful story, and we’re excited to share them with you. Every other week we highlight one of our sponsorship recipients to help spread the word about how amazing they really are. This week we’re featuring the Auburn University Community Garden.

Founded in 1970, the AUCG has been working for almost 50
years to help fight food insecurity and malnutrition in Alabama. In its 2.5
acres of space, it supports over 80 individual plots, which it rents out on a
yearly basis to Auburn community members who want to try their hand at
gardening and farming. It also serves as a teaching space for entomology and
agriculture classes at Auburn University, and has several plots dedicated to
growing and donating produce to local charities.

While gardeners are free to work their own space, the AUCG
staff offers a lot in the way of making their experience better, like crop
recommendations, vacant plot maintenance, and soil preparation. It’s that soil
preparation that’s the most time consuming… or at least it has been. With
Gardening Know How’s sponsorship, the AUCG has been able to purchase a
rear-tine tiller. This is what they had to say about it:

Jeremiah DeVore, manager of the
Auburn University Community Garden, is excited about the new rear tine tiller
we were able to purchase thanks to a sponsorship from Gardening Know How! This
tiller was a huge help in terminating winter cover crops and preparing plots
for new members in time for the start of our garden season in March. The tiller
has also been used to prepare the ground in pollinator plots that were sown
with wildflower mixes to attract pollinators and beneficial insects. We will
use it again soon before planting summer cover crops in our vacant plots, then
again in early fall to terminate those before sowing winter cover crops. Thank
you to Gardening Know How for their support of our organization

With the grant from Gardening Know How, the Auburn University Community Garden has been able to get started engaging the community and growing food to donate in record time. We’re proud to be able to help them realize their dream.

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Extend the Lifespan of Your Hedge Trimmer

Summer is here, and most people will be
going into their gardens to tidy them up for barbecues and lazy summer

Once the trees are trimmed and the lawn is
mown, attention turns to shrubs, bushes and hedges; therefore, it is time to
take out the hedge trimmer. This handy tool may have been hurriedly stored
before the winter, so it is worth ensuring it is in good working order and safe
to use before plugging it in and starting it up. If you have any questions,
your local hedge trimmer spare parts supplier can help.

Following the manufacturer’s handbook, or
by inspection, remove any loose soil, twigs or debris that are lodged in the
moving blades. After washing the blades with a hose, use a brush to clean the
spaces and corners where mud and fine cuttings have settled and hardened. Be
careful not to flush water into the motor or gearbox while cleaning.

There may be lubrication points on the
casing, which should be used to apply light machine oil as directed in the
handbook. Once the blades are clean, a light coating of oil will help their
sliding action and indicate worn sections. A local hedge trimmer replacement
parts supplier will be able to advise you if in doubt.

Before using your hedge trimmer, check the
power cable for any bare spots or cuts. You should also check the integrity of
the plug and socket to ensure their safety.

Use a good hedge trimmer to cut back your
hedges and perhaps to practice a little topiary on the shrubs. Start by checking
that there are no nesting birds in the hedges or bushes, as it is illegal to
disturb them in many places.

Rake out and remove any debris and identify
thicker branches that your hedge trimmer could struggle to cut. Use a sharp
pair of secateurs to remove these branches before you start to use the hedge
trimmer. Failing to remove the thicker branches could mean that your hedge
trimmer will jam when attempting to cut through them and misalign the blades,
thus damaging the drive mechanism or overloading the motor. Your local hedge
trimmer spare parts supplier will be able to advise you on the capability of
your machine.

Secateurs can be found at your local
gardening center or hedge trimmer replacement parts supplier if it
has a range of gardening tools. While you are there, it is a good idea to equip
yourself with a pair of eye protection goggles or eyewear.

Be cautious with the hedge trimmer while
trimming close to the ground or near walls and patios. It is damaging for the
blades to strike these hard surfaces; also, pebbles and sand could be thrown up
and could harm a bystander. Similarly, take care not to cut into the power
cable as you traverse a shrub.

Try not to cut in too deeply, as this
leaves uneven gaps between the branches and leaves.

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HGTV® Dream Home 2019: Bringing the Outdoors Inside

If you’re a
gardener, then it goes without saying that you have a deep appreciation for the
outdoors. You’ve probably already tried to bring the “outdoors in” by
populating the interior of your home with an assortment of houseplants but, for
me, I’ve never found this truly satisfying, as there is still a disconnect
between indoor and outdoor life. My home lacks a lot of big windows, so I do
not get a lot of natural light filtering in, nor do I get to really fully enjoy
the vistas of my backyard or garden from any vantage point without having to get
up and peer out of a window.

I am
actually in the market for a new home that provides a seamless indoor to
outdoor living space. And, I did actually find one – in Montana! Granted,
Montana is a bit too far away for me to relocate when my home base is, and
always will be, New York, but sometimes it’s nice to dream and think of the
“what ifs.” And this home was definitely a dream.

HGTV® Dream Home 2019

So, how did
I come across this thing of beauty in Montana of all places? Well, Gardening
Know How, along with other esteemed influencers in the home and garden arena,
scored an invite to preview the HGTV® Dream Home 2019 back in early December. I
was chosen to make the mecca to Whitefish, Montana to partake in this experience.
It was kind of surreal for me in a way because I’ve been a devout follower of
the HGTV Dream Home every year and have entered the sweepstakes for this annual
giveaway for as long as I can remember.

I’ll admit,
this unseasoned traveler found the travel to Montana a bit brutal (three plane
changes), but once I arrived in Montana, the pains and aggravations of travel faded
away as a mesmerizing landscape of snow-capped mountains dotted with perfect
looking pine trees came into focus. I checked in at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake,
which was all sparkly and cozy with gorgeous Christmas décor, and later joined
the other invitees for an evening of good conversation, dinner and a few
Huckleberry cocktails (Huckleberry seems to be a food staple in Montana) as we
eagerly awaited and anticipated the next day’s viewing of the HGTV Dream Home

We embarked from the lodge to the HGTV® Dream Home 2019 the following day, which was a short sojourn of only about 15 minutes – so not too far from civilization. The viewing of this modern mountain retreat in glacier country did not disappoint the likes of me, as I appreciate a home that is in tune with nature. The property was surrounded by a teal-looking lake, mountains and evergreens. The front entryway of the home just exuded this natural feel with its stonework on the walls and columns in addition to Belgard porcelain pavers, featuring a wood finish look, beneath your feet. There was also ample space in the entryway to situate a few planters for a pop of color – talk about a gardening bonus! So, the first steps were impressive, as was every step after that. While I could walk you step by step throughout the entire house, I really just want to revisit this whole concept of blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors, as this is where this amazing mountain home really hits the mark and has wide appeal to gardeners.

entering the home, your eyes are drawn to the great room before you. And what a
great room it is! Tall windows and large bi-fold glass doors encourage lots of
natural light as well as capture the sweeping panoramic views of Whitefish Lake
and the Flathead Valley. The bi-fold glass doors also make the segue way from
indoor to outdoors seamless. The indoor/outdoor experience is further
accentuated in the adjoining master bedroom with its large windows and glass
French doors. With all this natural light flooding
into the home, you would have many options for indoor plant placement and your
plants would just thrive better. The smooth transition from indoors to outdoors
is also seen in the kitchen due to the bi-fold accordion-style window on the
sink wall. Natural light, fresh air and…fresh herbs! You could easily grow an
herb garden on the counter space.

Patio with Belgard Fireplace

The great room, dining area and master bedroom open onto a large deck and lower outdoor patio space, which not only double the livable space but offer a place to kick back and relax, and enjoy the stunning views of Whitefish and the Flathead Valley. While others were in awe at the hot tub on the deck, the impressive Belgard custom stone fireplace and grill island on the patio, and the ample seating arrangements that these layered outdoor living spaces had to offer, the gardener in me was unabashedly focused on the numerous potted and hanging plants that the deck and patio could accommodate, not to mention the plants that could be planted in the open backyard space beyond the borders of the deck and patio.

Patio with Belgard Grill Island

But don’t
take my word for it – go check out the home for yourself. You don’t need to hop
a plane to Montana like me. You just need to visit and
check out their videos and numerous photo galleries. And while there, be sure
to enter for your chance to win. You never know – this dreamy home could be
your reality.

No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends at 5 p.m. ET on 2/18/19. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received.  For full official rules, prize disclosures, and to enter, visit Main Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC d/b/a Home & Garden Television 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932. HGTV, HGTV Dream Home, HGTV Dream Home Giveaway and their associated logos are trademarks of Scripps Networks, LLC.  Used with permission; all rights reserved.

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