Thursday, July 10, 2014


April 26. 2013 4:24PM

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On the shelf

Wish you could find a disease-resistant rose in just the right shade of pink?

Make one.

Joseph Tychonievich leads readers through the process of breeding new plant varieties in “Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables & Flowers.”

Tychonievich, an avid plant breeder and a garden-center nursery manager, encourages his readers to try developing breeds that are suited to their climates and their needs, not the needs of a commercial breeder. He instructs them on cross pollination and selecting out the best offspring, teaches advanced breeding techniques and a little genetics, and offers instructions for specific plants.

“Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener” is published by Timber Press and sells for $19.95 in paperback.

What’s new

The makers of Safer lawn and garden products are making it easier for do-it-yourselfers to treat their lawns organically.

The company is marketing a four-step organic lawn-care program that’s shipped free to the user. The system involves three applications of a slow-release fertilizer and one application of a weed preventer.

The fertilizer, Ringer Lawn Restore, is made of ingredients including poultry feather meal, bone meal and soybean meal but no manure. It contains no phosphorus, which is often found in excess in soil and can run off into waterways.

The weed preventer, Concern Weed Prevention Plus, is based on corn gluten meal. A soil thermometer is included so users can apply the preventer at the correct soil temperature.

The system costs $250 at, but it’s on sale this spring and summer for $199.99.


Q: I have a DVD that jumps and stops at a certain point. It appears to have some scratches. How can I get rid of them?

A: Try cleaning the DVD first. Netflix says you can use Windex and a paper towel, although I’d probably use a soft cloth. Wipe in straight lines from the center to the outer edge, not in a circular motion.

If the DVD still gives you trouble, try working a little toothpaste or wax into the scratches, or use a liquid made for repairing CDs and DVDs, the technology website Digital Trends recommends. Use several thin layers, and let the disc dry a little while. Then buff it lightly, again working in straight lines from the center to the edge.

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