St. Petersburg Times
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By LYRA SOLOCHEK, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 11, 2003


TIPS

Naked bath for roses

Mail-order roses usually arrive in bare root form (no soil around them), which makes them less expensive than those potted in a nursery. Bare root roses need to be soaked in water for 24 hours before planting.

TOOLS

For kids who dig Miss Spider

Fans of David Kirk will be happy to hear that the characters from his Miss Spider children's books will be featured in a line of products at Target. The Sunny Patch line will include garden products for kids as well as home decor and apparel.

Kids who want to dig in the dirt will enjoy Green Bug and Ladybug Kneepads ($4.99), the Miss Spider watering can ($7.99) and the Red Bug Pail ($7.99).

They can also decorate their rooms with popup storage bins ($12.99) featuring Butterfly, Miss Spider, Bee and Caterpillar, and step stools and rockers ($19.99) featuring Lily Ladybug, Miss Spider and Grasshopper.

Sunny Patch products will be available early this year.

WEB SITE

virtual.clemson.edu/groups/bcd/brdhome.htm

This site is like a growing manual for Birds of Paradise. It offers links including facts about the four plants in the Strelitzia genus, growing and propagation tips, and photos. It also has links to fact sheets provided by the University of Hawaii and the University of Florida.

DID YOU KNOW?

Long live the gardeners

Research at the University of North Carolina suggests that gardeners may be healthier than nongardeners. During a yearlong study, gardeners spent 17.2 percent less on health care services than their nongardening counterparts.

Hungry little buggers?

Hopes for controlling the invasive climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum) choking Florida's Everglades are being pinned on the larvae of an Australian moth. Research is being conducted on the caterpillars in Gainesville before their release.

- Compiled by Lyra Solochek from Times staff and wire reports

If you have any unusual gardening tips you would like to share, please send them to Lyra Solochek, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731-1121 or send an e-mail to lyra@sptimes.com . Include your name and a daytime phone number.

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