by gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers
Don’t let summer stressors ruin your landscape’s good looks. Instead give your plants’ natural defenses a boost and keep both vegetable gardens producing and flowers blooming.
Busy summer schedules can lead to plant neglect and less-than-picture-perfect gardens. When you team this with summer heat and drought that can lead to wilting, brown leaves, and poor growth, and add insects and diseases that can further weaken and damage plants, gardens can really suffer.
An exciting new organic tool for gardeners is now available to help. Plant strengtheners, like JAZ sprays, help boost plants’ natural defenses so they are better able to deal with environmental stress, neglect, as well as insects and disease attacks.
Scientists found that when plants experienced stress from drought, temperature extremes, insects or diseases they produced certain molecules that activated their natural defenses. They isolated these molecules, applied them to other plants, and found that the treated plants were better able to tolerate stress.
Plant strengtheners contain such molecules that increase natural defenses in plants. One such family of molecules is the jasmonates, originally identified in the jasmine plant, that increases hundreds of natural defense molecules in treated plants. Some of the natural defenses make the plants more resistant to pathogens and others help reduce damage from drought, heat and salt.
While proper care can help increase a plant’s natural defenses, plant strengtheners give them an extra boost to help plants thrive even during periods of environmental stress. These organic products act like vitamins or immunizations, helping plants deal with extreme and often unpredictable weather, pest, and disease challenges.
You can even keep healthy plants performing their best by proactively using a plant strengthener. By doing so, you’ll boost a plant’s immune system before environmental stresses hit and ultimately help it thrive as it faces serious challenges throughout the remainder of the season. It’s a great way to protect plants before they become threatened.
Make sure to give your plants proper care throughout their lifetime. Water thoroughly and as needed. Then mulch the soil surrounding your plants with shredded leaves, evergreen needles, or other organic materials. These conserve moisture, keep roots cool and moist, suppress weeds, and improve the soil as they break down.
And, if your plants experience the same problems each year, it is time to make a change. Move stressed plants to more suitable growing conditions. Match the plant to the light, soil, and moisture it prefers. Replace diseased plants with resistant varieties and provide proper care.
By taking these steps and investing a bit of time and energy you’ll be sure to create a beautiful, healthy and productive landscape.
Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 115 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada. She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and writes the twice monthly “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda also has a column in Gardening How-to magazine. Melinda hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. She has written articles for Better Homes and Gardens and Fine Gardening and was a columnist and contributing editor for Backyard Living magazine. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. Her web site is www.melindamyers.com
Warm temps have families creating “Senior Lost and Found Action Plan” to protect their elderly loved ones
(July 2012) – A recent wave of missing seniors has families across the nation on alert for elderly loved ones who are more mobile and active in warm weather and get separated, disoriented or in the worst case, lost and can’t find their way home. This is especially worrisome in the summer heat when seniors can become quickly dehydrated. The warm and bright summer days can be alluring and dangerous for the elderly and that’s why Senior Helpers, one of our nation’s largest in-home care companies for seniors, with caregivers in our area, has launched the “Senior Lost and Found Action Plan.” It’s a powerful checklist for families to follow if their elderly loved one gets separated or lost.
“Every day we care for thousands of elderly people and as the weather heats up we see a huge rise in the number of seniors getting separated, disoriented or even downright lost,” says Peter Ross, CEO and co-founder of Senior Helpers, an in-home senior care company with highly trained caregivers specializing in dementia and Alzheimer’s care. “That’s why we started the “Senior Lost and Found Action Plan” – to make sure seniors have a way to get out of a jam and to give families piece of mind. If families don’t live nearby, we suggest they hire a caregiver to implement this action plan to help watch over their elderly loved one.”
How Seniors Get Lost:
- Driving and forgetting directions or they can’t find their destination.
- They make it to their destination but then can’t find their car in the parking lot.
- Plan to meet at a familiar place and then can’t find it.
- Go with family members and friends to a place and then get separated and/or lost.
- Wander or drive away from home and get completely lost – this is especially a problem with the elderly with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. Of the 5 million people who suffer from Alzheimer’s, 60 percent of them will wander and become lost at some point during the disease. And sadly, of those who are lost for more than 72 hours, 80 percent never make it home.
Senior Helpers “Senior Lost and Found Action Plan”:
Give your senior a Smart phone and create an “If I’m Lost” folder on the home screen – in the folder, include the senior’s family and caregiver numbers, 911, a cab company phone number, and the senior’s home address.
Install a GPS tracking system on the senior’s cell phone – make sure they have one for their car and they know how to use it.
Make a plastic laminate card with all pertinent information – place this in your senior’s wallet and attach it to their car visor.
Have your senior wear an ID bracelet – they come in very fashionable designs.
For Seniors With Dementia and Alzheimer’s:
Consider disguising the doors in your home – painting or hanging posters on the inside of doors to disguise them as bookshelves or other furniture can often deter a senior from attempting to walk out.
Install door chimes on all entry doors – this alerts those at home whenever a door is opened. This comes in handy especially in a two level home. Security systems also offer this type of alarm.
Alert your local authorities of the RISK of wandering – many local police stations maintain an Alzheimer’s and dementia patient “registry.” Caregivers provide personal information that would be critical in a search and rescue effort, such as name, height, weight, etc…
Caregivers should keep a list of previous homes, occupations – this is helpful if authorities need to search for a senior. Elderly with Alzheimer’s tend to recall former homes, occupations and other milestones as though they are present day. Some seniors with dementia are wandering in attempt to “return to their roots.”
Utilize personal tracking devices – consider buying GPS devices that seniors can wear around their ankles, wrists or even in their shoes.
“A “Senior Lost and Found Action Plan” is especially critical for families with elderly loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s. That’s why caregivers trained in Alzheimer’s care can help families keep seniors active and engaged so they don’t wander in the first place,” says Ross. “This action plan is one part of our dementia and Alzheimer’s program called Senior Gems. Families shouldn’t have to worry about their senior every time they leave them. Our Gems caregivers help families cope with every stage of dementia and are a trained partner in the war against this deadly disease. This information is especially valuable this summer when hydration can also play a serious factor when seniors wander away in hot weather.”
Consider the problem with a recent wave of missing seniors…
- San Francisco Bay area, CA (June) – A 69-year-old San Jose man, who suffered from dementia, wandered off and was later found dead just miles from his home in Alviso Marina National Refuge.
- Fenton, MO (June) – Jefferson County deputies have located a 71-year-old woman, suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s, who wandered from her home. She was found in a creek bed by a police helicopter.
- Niles, OH (April) – An 84-year-old woman wandered away from her room at an assisted living facility and was found dead of apparent hypothermia.
- Kingman, KS (February) – An 89-year-old Kansas man was found dead a day after he and his truck were reported missing. Family members say he usually stops by two of their homes each day, but he never showed up.
To learn more about how to care for your senior loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s through the Senior Helpers’ Senior Gems Program, please visit our website at www.seniorhelpers.com. There, you can also request a complimentary Senior Gems DVD.
“Grapes like stress. Stress makes for a better wine,” said Paul Hahn, co-owner of the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard in Mackinaw.
“The year 2001 was a terrible drought year in Europe, where thousands died, but they produced good wine,” he said.
“The grape is smaller in hot, dry weather and the flavor more intense. Instead of four to five tons per acre, we’ll get one or two tons per acre,” said Hahn.
Cris Willett of Willett’s Winery in Manito said the hot weather raises the sugar level in the grape. “I think 2012 will be an excellent year for wine, but last year was a great year, too,” she said.
The early spring – where some grape vines blossomed before an April frost – cost her about 25 percent of some of her grape varieties, said Willett.
“I’ve had to irrigate new grape vines we planted this year. It will be several years before these vines bear enough fruit to use for wine,” she said.
Wauwatosa, WI – The Salvation Army is accepting applications for its Older Adult Camp at Army Lake Camp. Older Adult Camp begins on Monday, August 6 through Friday, August 10. This year’s theme is: “Disney Days.” The camp offers Bible studies, fun programs, crafts, great food and fellowship. Activities will also include a “Kings & Queens” banquet and ball. Camp registration fee is $65.00 and includes housing, meals, crafts and activities. Adults 50 years of age and older can register until July 31 for camp by calling 414-302-4300 extension 2219 or 1-800-264-6412 and ask for Judy. To download a camp registration form visit www.SAmilwaukee.org