In the garden

Ever feel guilty about throwing all those plastic garden pots in the trash can? Well, here’s good news. Now you can recycle them.

A number of local garden centers are participating in a plastic pot recycling program that enables gardeners to get rid of those pots without adding to the local landfill.

“The project was intended to help people responsibly get rid of their pots by recycling,” said Dr. Joyce Latimer, an Extension Specialist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dr. Latimer coordinates the program that began in Henrico in 2010 and was taken state-wide last year.

“It’s still a small effort,” said Dr. Latimer, “but both years, we've filled an entire tractor trailer.”

Proceeds from the sale of the recycled pots help fund the state Master Gardener Coordinator position at Virginia Tech, and by serving as collection points garden centers and growers find that many of their customers make repeat visits to their businesses.

The program only accepts horticultural plastics, which include cell packs, trays, pots, and hanging baskets. Pots should be empty of soil, and metal hangers should be removed before the pot is recycled.

Look for the resin code on the bottom of the pot. The primary plastics used for garden and nursery containers are No. 2, No. 5 or No. 6. Biodegradable pots and pots made from organic materials are not eligible for the program, and no household plastics are accepted.

Nest pots as tightly as possible, and group them by resin codes before recycling.

A list of participating garden centers is available at http://www.hort.vt.edu/vagardenersrecycle. The local garden centers participating in the program include Strange’s Garden Centers on West Broad Street and Mechanicsville Pike, Cross Creek Nursery & Landscaping on Courthouse Road, and Shipp & Wilson on Turkey Hill Trail in Mechanicsville.

And while we’re on the subject of recycling, remember to add compost as you’re preparing and planting your garden this spring.

Compost improves soil structure, enabling sandy soils to hold more water and clay soils to drain faster. While it isn’t considered a fertilizer, compost does contain some micronutrients beneficial to plant health, and it helps the soil hold nutrients, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.

You can spread compost about two inches deep over your entire garden before tilling. More than two inches applied at one time can encourage grubs in your garden.

Or, if you have a limited supply of compost, use it with your transplants. Mix compost into the backfill before you replace it in the hole you dig for your plants. It will loosen the soil and promote better root growth.

You can purchase compost. If you do, make sure you get it from a reliable source so that it is not filled with weed seeds or organisms that can spread diseases in your garden.

You can also make your own compost from kitchen and yard wastes. Starting now will produce compost that can be used late this fall or next spring. To learn more, read Making Compost from Yard Wastes at http://www.ext.vt.edu or call the Henrico Master Gardener Helpline at 501-5160.
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Smither named director of Henrico’s Department of Finance

Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas has appointed Edward N. “Ned” Smither Jr. to serve as director of the Department of Finance, effective July 1.

Smither has served Henrico since 2013 as director of the Accounting Division in Finance. He will succeed Eugene H. Walter, who has delayed his retirement until June 30 to ensure an orderly transition within the department.
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State honors EMS officials this week

There were nearly 1.5 million emergency medical services calls and 4,063 incidents per day in Virginia just last year.

This week, May 21-27, declared as National EMS week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, recognizes the more than 34,000 EMS personnel and 631 agencies in the state and commends their efforts and commitment to Commonwealth citizens.
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Norfolk man arrested at RIC after TSA catches him with gun

A Norfolk man was arrested at Richmond International Airport May 18 after Transportation Security Administration officers detected a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the traveler’s carry-on bag.

A TSA officer detected the .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun inside the man’s carry-on bag as it passed through the security checkpoint X-ray machine. The handgun was loaded with 13 bullets.
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Police release photo of hoax bomb

Henrico Police have released a photo of the clock that resembled a bomb that led to the arrest of a Richmond woman in Shot Pump earlier this week.

The device, which the woman told police she purchased at a yard sale, was visible in her car at the Whole Foods at West Broad Village May 19, and a passerby called police, fearing it was a real bomb. Police responded as they would have had the device been real, they said, because they weren't sure if it was real or not.
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Henrico school buses with compliance issue to be fixed this summer


The 176 Henrico school buses that have been purchased since March 2011 will be fixed during the summer, Henrico Schools spokesman Andy Jenks told the Citizen. The bus manufacturers will retrofit the buses at no cost to the school division, he said.

The brake interlock device is required on all automatic transmission buses in Virginia that were purchased after March 2011, which is when the device was added to the state Board of Education's requirements for school buses. As many as 4,000 school buses in the state may be affected, according to the Virginia Department of Education.
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Henrico Business Bulletin Board

May 2017
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Lavender Fields Herb Farm’s annual Spring Herb Faire will take place over two weekends, May 5-6 and May 12-13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Shop from over 200 varieties of certified organic herb and veggie plants. There will be free tours, demonstrations and classes on topics such as raised bed gardening, cooking with herbs and vegetables, and container gardening. Both Saturdays will feature free face painting and a children’s planting activity. The Glen Allen Ruritan Club will also be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, chili and slaw on both Saturdays. There will be a special Mother’s Day giveaway May 12-13. Admission and parking are free. For a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.lavenderfieldsfarm.com. Full text

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