Weekly Home Help with items on how to grow mint, a new app to upload video to Facebook, a home-selling tip and more.
Mint varieties send out runners that spread above and just under the ground, quickly forming large, lush green patches. In the right place, mint makes a sensational, seasonal ground cover. They also add lovely fragrance to your yard and garden.
Here are some tips for growing mint:
Pot it - The most popular way to grow mint is in a pot where you can keep it contained and handy near the kitchen for a constant supply of sprigs. It’s a good idea to choose a potting mix that retains water to be sure soil stays moist.
Plant it - In the ground, select a damp area in your garden in either full sun or partial shade. Mint is plenty vigorous on its own, but it will appreciate a little fertilizer every few weeks, especially if you harvest a lot. You can also mulch around the plants to keep roots moist.
Pluck it - Keep plants in check by harvesting the tips regularly and pulling up wayward runners when planted in the garden. Mint’s small flowers bloom from June to September; trim these before buds open to keep the plant compact.
Gardening Tip: Ease your transplants into the garden
If you've started seedlings indoors, expose them gradually to the conditions they'll have in the garden. Start the pots off for only a few hours in a sunny place, then gradually increase the amount of sun exposure before installing the transplants in the garden.
-- Scripps Howard News Service/ HGTV
Home-Selling Tip: Leave your own open house
Most experienced real estate agents will agree that sellers should not be present when the house is being shown to potential buyers. Buyers need to feel free to critically examine and discuss the house, and they may feel uncomfortable asking questions in front of the owner. If you can't leave the house for any reason, try to stay out of sight as much as possible, or maybe take a walk around the block.
New Product: Color app for Facebook
Color for Facebook is a new smartphone app recently announced that is one of the fastest ways to shoot, caption, tag and upload a 30-second live video to Facebook, says the Consumer Reports Electronics Blog. You can also "batch-upload" photos and much more.
Did You Know …
Pending home sales from March are 12.8 percent above March 2011 numbers. – Realtor.org
Garden Guide: Trellises add support
The best place for trellises and other tall supports are the east and north side of the garden, where they will not block the rest of the garden from the sun. When choosing the trellis, make sure that it is strong enough to support whatever will be grown upon it. Plants loaded down with fruit can become quite heavy.
The ideal support might be two 4-inches-by-4-inches-by-8-feet-long timbers placed in the ground about four feet apart and then faced with 2-inch-by-2-inch wire mesh. This provides an excellent long-term support for most plants.
-- University of Illinois Extension
GateHouse News Service