Henrico County VA
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In the garden

Gardening and landscaping advice from the Henrico Master Gardeners
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, people are dealing with downed trees and the damage they caused. Some are considering not replacing or taking down additional trees in their yards, but Henrico Extension Agent Karen Carter is telling people, “Don’t hate your trees!”

“Most of the trees that came down had compromised root systems,” she said. “That’s why it’s so important to select the right tree for the space you have and plant it properly.”

Before choosing a large Willow oak, look at the space where you want to plant. Utility wires or security lights nearby mean you may need to select something like a White fringetree (Chionanthus retusus) that will stay smaller and grow slower.

Fall is a good time to plant a tree.

The most important factors in the success of a new tree are proper planting and care during the first year.

Carter says the biggest problems she sees are trees that have been planted in holes that are too small and too deep.

“There’s a lot of truth in the old saying that it’s better to plant a $50 tree in a $100 hole than a $100 tree in a $50 hole,” says Carter.

The hole should be wide, at least two to three times the width of the root ball, and shallow, no deeper than the root ball. “Studies show at least half of the trees being planted are set too deeply,” she said. Find the top-most root and measure from it to the base of the root ball before you dig so the tree isn’t set too deep and rests on undisturbed soil.

“If I could only say one thing about planting a tree,” said Carter, “I’d say plant it at the right depth.”

Another hot button issue is using too much mulch. “I see mulch volcanoes around tree trunks,” says Carter, “And that is very, very unhealthy for the tree.” Mulch should be only 2” to 3” deep, applied in as broad a ring around the tree as practical, ideally to the drip line of the tree.

Henrico Master Gardeners involved in the Tree Smarts program will host free seminars about "Caring for an Older Tree" next week (Sandston, Oct. 25; Twin Hickory – Oct. 26 and Glen Allen – Oct. 27).

Pre-registration is requested at 501-5160.


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

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