Even though we’re past the average date for last frost in parts of the Southeast, it is still possible for a cold blast to move through the area. Early signs for this weekend, Saturday March 28 and Sunday March 29, show that another surge of cold air is expected to move into the area, following a pair of cold fronts on Thursday and Friday. Temperatures in northern Georgia and Alabama as far south as Birmingham and Atlanta could be reach 32 degrees Farenheit on Saturday morning, and even colder temperatures could be seen on Sunday morning, with freezing temperatures as far south as Albany or possibly even farther south. If you have plants at a stage sensitive to frost, you are going to want to watch the forecast carefully. A hard frost at this time of year, especially after a warm spell, could cause significant damage to agriculture crops and garden and ornamental plants. While farmers may have frost protection plans laid out well in advance, many home gardeners may be caught off guard by a late cold snap, said Paul Thomas, a UGA Extension horticulturist. Since it’s difficult to predict when a frosty night might hit, gardeners should have a frost tool kit and game plan ready.“Buying or collecting frost reduction materials prior to the frost and pre-positioning them close to the plants you want to protect is very important,” Thomas said. One of the most effective ways to shield plants from frost is to cover them with any of a wide variety of materials, from high quality frost–reduction fabric, to blankets and sheets, newspapers, baskets or straw. For small shrubs such as Gardenia, a supply of old comforters or heavy blankets — maybe purchased from a local thrift store — will allow you to protect your plants from that first frost without spending much money. Covering plants with a heavier blanket will protect them more than if they’re covered with a simple sheet, Thomas said. In addition to blankets, simple mulches — like dead leaves or grain straw — are some of the best materials for protecting small plants and flowers. For smaller plants such as young vegetable starts, lighter weight material like pine straw works great if enough is placed over the plants. Gardeners can completely bury their newly flowering shrubs or tender garden seedlings in either leaves or straw, and then uncover them after the weather warms back up. The flowers and seedlings will be fine, Thomas said. Never use plastic sheeting to cover plants because plastic can trap too much heat. When the day starts to warm up, the plants can actually cook or scorch under the covering. “By 10:00 a.m. you can have significant damage to grass and young plants due to how quickly it can heat up under that plastic,” Thomas said. It’s best to cover plants before sunset to retain some of the heat that is trapped in the soil. Remove the coverings in the morning just after sunrise to prevent the plants from being scorched. An exception would be if it’s cloudy, snowing or icy.Thomas also recommends having a collection of wooden garden stakes on hand. Place the stakes throughout your vegetable patch in order to suspend blankets over tender seedlings or delicate flowers. The stakes will prevent snow or rain soaked blankets from crushing your plants, Thomas said.
Devoted pet owners Victoria Lightfoot and John Hawkins with their dog Annie at their Herston rental home. Pic Peter WallisFURBABIES are being squeezed out of the Queensland capital, with latest data showing over 80 per cent of Brisbane rental properties banned families with pets.The restrictions have put pet owners under pressure, facing higher bond costs and red tape like the need to produce “pet resumes” to compete for a shrinking pool of properties. Others unable to find the right property have had to make the ultimate decision to either urgently rehome or put down the family pet.Analysis of data on realestate.com.au showed that despite the wild popularity of furbabies, they were only permitted in 19.1 per cent of rental listings ins Greater Brisbane.The situation gets worse closer to the CBD, with pet friendly properties making up less than 15 per cent of rentals in inner Brisbane.More than 8100 properties were currently listed as available for tenancy in Greater Brisbane, with pets allowed in just 1563 of them. Over 800 listings made particular mention of a strict no pets policy.Desperate owners have resorted to giving animals away via shelters, Facebook and sites like Gumtree where a free English Staffy has remained available for two weeks. The anguished owner was moving to a place where pets were not allowed and said “I don’t give away my animals easily this has been a very hard decision”.Carolyn Parrella, Terri Scheer Insurance executive manager, agreed the situation was becoming more commonplace.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour ago“A number of animals have to be relinquished and sadly destroyed,” she said. “People say all the time, I have to move, we can’t take the pet, we don’t want to have him or her put down. It’s terrible to see but seems to be more and more common.”She said there was an opportunity for landlords given the lack of pet-friendly properties, but there was also a lot of fear over damage that could be done by pets with irresponsible owners.Brisbane couple Victoria Lightfoot and John Hawkins resorted to building their rescue dog Annie a “pet resume” detailing her training and behaviour.“It definitely has been hard,” Ms Lightfoot said. “We’re very lucky in our current property because my friend owns the house and she offered it to us because we had Annie. Previous to that we had a property that allowed pets but it was very hard to get anyone to say yes.”Ms Lightfoot’s tips to get a foot in the door including getting a detailed pet character reference.“It’s legit, they asked for it. I kind of get it because you could have a hideous beast that wreaks the property. But we’re happy to pay more bond if that makes us more desirable applicants.”Another strategy, she said, was to go for a higher costing property.“Even though it would be a push to pay rent, we thought perhaps that would be easier, more space in a nicer area and people are less likely to think the worst of you. We didn’t want to choose something so far away just because we had a dog.”
A huge crowd has descended on The Mount Errigal Hotel for the Donegal Daily ‘Up for the Match’ in anticipation of Sunday’s All-Ireland Final with Kerry.Charlie Collins is the MC for the night, and the special guests are GAA legends Kevin Cassidy, Oisin McConville, Mickey Harte and Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh.Pictures courtesy of Brian McDaid. PICTURE SPECIAL – FROM THE DONEGAL DAILY ‘UP FOR THE MATCH’ was last modified: September 17th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FeaturesnewsSport