In the garden

Master Gardeners staffing the Horticulture Helpline at the Henrico Extension Office (501-5160) say they’re getting a lot of questions about fall lawn care. The most common question: “Is it too late to do anything about my lawn now?”

“No,” said Teddy Martin, Horticulture Technician with the Extension Service and coordinator of the SMARTLawns program. “Fall is the time of year to work on lawns.”

“The starting point really is in September,” said Martin. “But you can get a late start and still have a nice lawn.”

The optimum time for aerating your lawn and sowing grass seed is from mid-September to mid-October, but Martin says you can still put down seed until late October. “After November 1, you’re pushing it,” he said.

It all depends on the weather, according to Martin. “If we have a warm fall, you’ll be all right, but if the fall is too cool, the seed may not germinate or grow well,” he said.

October is a good month to fertilize your lawn. If you do the first application now, you can do a second application between November 15 and December 15. “Normally we recommend the SON approach,” said Martin which calls for fertilizer applications in September, October and November. “But, again,” said Martin. “You can start late.”

Before putting any fertilizer or lime on your lawn, Martin recommends doing a soil test. Soil should be tested at least once every three years to determine existing nutrient levels and pH and what supplements are needed.

Soil test kits are available at the Extension Service and in all of the county’s public libraries, and Henrico residents are eligible for two free soil samples each year by using vouchers from the Henricopolis Soil and Water Conservation District. Instructions for getting the vouchers and collecting the soil sample are attached to the kit.

And, it’s time now to do something about those weeds. October and November are good times to put down broadleaf weed killers for winter weeds such as chickweed and henbit. Crabgrass preventers should be used in March, and broadleaf weed killers for summer weeds such as dandelions, lespedeza and spurge should be applied in April or May.

“Many people don’t realize it,” said Martin. “But weeds grow in the winter!”

Would you like to become a Henrico Master Gardener? The deadline for applications to the 2012 class is Friday, Oct. 28. Master Gardener trainees attend 50 hours of classroom instruction from January through March. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Extension Office. Trainees are also required to complete a 50-hour volunteer internship between April and November. Cost is $135. To find out more, call the Extension Office at 501-5160
or visit http://www.co.henrico.va.us/extension.
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State Police urge motorists to #MoveOver during Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day signifies the official start of summer, and Virginia State Police officials are urging motorists to "do what’s right when they see lights" and move over.

The “Move Over” law is a lifesaving law intended to protect public safety professionals and highway workers who help to maintain the safety of the Commonwealth’s roads. State Police are using the #MoveOver hashtag on social media to promote the law. > Read more.

Henrico to hold June 8 open house on Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill study

The Henrico County Planning Department will hold an open house Thursday, June 8 for residents and other members of the public to provide input for a study of the Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill areas.

The open house will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Varina Area Library, 1875 New Market Road. The meeting’s informal structure will allow the public to attend at their convenience and to ask questions and discuss the study one on one with Planning staff. > Read more.

Henrico real estate staying strong despite low inventory

The Henrico real estate market has been relatively strong for the past month, despite a lower amount of inventory, according to data from Long and Foster Real Estate.

In the past month, 408 homes have been sold in Henrico, which is 2 percent less than were sold in the same timeframe in 2016.

Last year the median sale prices for Henrico homes was $219,975, whereas this month it's up to $232,500, a 6 percent increase. Which means half of the homes in Henrico are priced above $232,500 and half are priced below. > Read more.

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.
> Read more.

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.
> Read more.

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May 2017
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Henrico-based Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care will host a lecture by Marjorie Thompson at 5:30 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 6000 Grove Ave. Noted author of “Soul Feast,” Thompson will speak on “Grounded in Compassion: Fostering Spiritual Practice in an Age of Terror and Twitter.” A Q&A with Thompson and a reception will follow. This 50th Anniversary event is free and open to the public. For details, call 282-8332 or visit http://www.vipcare.org or Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care on Facebook. Full text

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