St. Petersburg Times
Home & Garden
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Letter to the editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message

Fun new products for gardeners

Published May 26, 2007


Wash the bugs right out of your plants

Attach the Bug Blaster to a hose, turn on the water and spray away insects, eggs, dirt, mildew and fungus with a 360-degree wall of water that cleans the tops and bottoms of leaves. A 30-inch anodized aluminum wand is $24.95; the 48-incher, for large shrubs or small trees, is $34.95. There's also a nozzle kit ($9.95) to convert an existing watering wand into a Bug Blaster. Details, a video and order forms are at

Instant blooming for the impatient

Forget about seeds and seedlings, planting and waiting. At, order full-grown, blossoming plants, which will be delivered to your door. The site includes a shopping list, "school of bloom" to help gardeners choose appropriate plants (sun? shade? frost?) and tips on watering and plant care.

Salad table gives the back a break

If you'd like to grow greens and herbs but your planting space is limited, or your creaky knees and back make bending and kneeling difficult, here's a solution: salad tables you build yourself. Each table is a 3-inch-deep box, waist height. The bottom is made of hardware cloth lined with window screening so water drains but soil mix stays put. You can put it on casters so it's easy to roll around to sun or shade. The University of Maryland Cooperative extension offers directions for the salad table (33 by 58 inches) or a smaller salad box (15 by 21) at

Kiss the calamine lotion goodbye

You know about "leaflets three, " but sometimes poison ivy comes a-creepin' around. Here's a new way to bash the rash: Cortaid Poison Ivy Care toxin-removal cloths. Wipe off poison ivy's oil, called urushiol, immediately after exposure, before the itching starts. Details at; the wipes are also good on poison oak and sumac. A box of six individually packaged wipes (good for tucking in backpacks, golf bags and pockets) is $9.99 at drugstores and mass merchants.

Unsold plants get a new lease on life

Every year millions of unsold plants and trees are composted, thrown out or burned. A Nebraska business started by a horticultural photographer, Free Trees and Plants, obtains the unsold plants from growers and nurseries, hires workers with disabilities to package them, and sends them free to anyone who asks ($7.95 for processing and shipping of each unit of plants). Find details at the Web site,, or call (402) 475-5631.

Conserve your energy

As summer comes on, save some energy outside, suggests New York renovator/efficiency expert Robin Wilson: Change your exterior lightbulbs to compact fluorescents. Add solar-powered garden or walkway lights (and brew sun tea!). For party lights, use low-wattage strings that provide illumination without attracting insects.

[Last modified May 25, 2007, 12:59:43]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters