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Gardeners Rejoice! Spring Is Right Around the Corner

Although the winter has been mild this year, there’s nothing like spring (which officially begins March 20), to kick off the planting season.

Keep Weeds in Check: Just about everything grows in spring-including weeds. You may already see weeds starting to invade your garden, especially after a rain. To avoid the drudgery of plucking weeds from your yard through spring and summer, take the time now to remove weeds while they are still small. Once removed, cover the weed-free area with a two-to-three-inch layer of mulch. Mulch is a natural weed suppressant. No chemicals needed.

Prepare Garden Soil: After winter, soil often needs to be revitalized with the proper nutritional mix. Add soil amendments based on the soil type. There are products available to loosen heavy clay soil so that water can easily reach a plant’s root system. Other products give sandy soil structure to reduce erosion.

Spruce Up Your Lawn: Your lawn may have been damaged by winter frost and have become naturally compacted. Revitalize your lawn by first lightly raking the lawn to remove fallen leaves, Then, aerate (aerators are available for purchase or rent at most garden centers) to loosen the soil and allow water and air to reach deep. Finally, add a lawn top dressing containing nutrients that will work their way into the grass root system.

Add Summer Flowers: Spring is when gardens come alive with color. Plants with vibrant flowers include alstoemeria, armeria, bearded iris, columbine, geraniums, nicotiana and veronica. Other varieties include agapanthus, coreopsis, daylily, penstemon, Shasta daisies, tulbaghia and yarrow. Do not forget California wildflowers-just sprinkle their seeds through your flower garden.

Plant Vegetables And Herbs: After the last chance of frost (around mid-month) and the soil worms, head to nursery to pick up vegetable plants or seeds. About every type of vegetable does well if planted during early spring. They include tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, onion, potatoes, spinach, turnips and corn. Plant herbs from seed such as basil, mint, oregano, parsley and rosemary.

Give Citrus Trees a Boost of Nitrogen: Consider having your soil around avocado and citrus trees analyzed at your local nursery to see if it is deficient in nutrients.Typically, these trees need a boost of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous in spring so the plants are healthy and ready to bear fruit. Now is also a good time of the year to plant avocado and citrus trees-giving them plenty of time to establish themselves before cooler winter weather.

Marijuana Questions

Is marijuana natural?

Yes. The plant is natural, it will grow by itself, unaided in many climates. Originating in central Asia, it can grow wild on every continent other that Antarctica.

Smoking marijuana is, however, a very unnatural act. Many dangerous chemicals are created in process of burning, so smoke from a marijuana cigarette contains dangerous and unnatural chemicals which are proven harmful.

Okay, smoking anything is unnatural, agreed. How about eating marijuana in a cookie or a brownie?

There is no nutritional value to the leaves and flowers of the marijuana plant. Putting it into food such as a brownie or cookie doesn’t magically make it food.

You could put gravel into a brownie and that won’t make it food.

At least it is safer than cigarette smoke, right?

No. Marijuana smoke is not safer than cigarette smoke. Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer causing chemicals that cigarette smoke does. In addition to that, marijuana smoke produces high levels of an enzyme that changes certain hydrocarbons into their carcinogenic form that can further increase the risk of cancerous formations.

Why don’t you hear about people dying from smoking marijuana when so many people die from tobacco use?

Although smoking marijuana can be addicting, the addiction is not the same as with tobacco. Nicotine is the main addictive drug in tobacco and is amazingly toxic. Nicotine is broken down very quickly by the liver.

The fact that it is destroyed by the liver so quickly and efficiently is good, as the body rids itself of the toxin ASAP. But it is also a problem, because the smoker begins to crave more nicotine very soon after smoking. The result? More smoking, more often! Most tobacco addicts smoke at least 15 to 20 cigarettes every day, from the time they awake and all day long. Because of this, the smoker is exposed to much larger amounts of dangerous chemicals and on a continuing basis.

But the primary active ingredient in marijuana is not nicotine, it is THC. Your liver does not break THC down like it does nicotine. Again, this is good and bad. Good because the smoker doesn’t look for another joint every 45 minutes as the drug is still in the blood stream.

It is bad because the drug persists in the blood much longer and continues to affect the smoker for days and weeks after smoking. It is also a big problem because THC can build up in the fatty tissues of the body of the addict and continue to cause problems for long after it has been cleansed from the bloodstream.

If you or your loved one have questions regarding illicit drugs or drug use, get the data. Find out what the truth is before making a decision of whether to use. And get good information, too. Don’t look for “lets-all-get-high.com” or something like that. Get REAL information and make you choices based on those.

When you are fully aware of the exact effects, dangers and side-effects of any drug you deal with, the chances of you ever having a drug problem are extremely reduced.

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