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Reminder on Plant & Pest Clinics: Master Gardeners can help

Have a horticulture question? Ask one of the Becker County Master Gardeners during their plant and pest clinics from 9 a.m. to noon on July 27, 31, Aug. 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28, 31. Clinics are in the Becker County Extension Office, BC Human Services Building, Detroit Lakes. For more information, call 846-7328.

The Becker County Master Gardeners have also issued a few tips for keeping your lawn, gardens, produce -- and even cut flowers -- fresh during the long hot days of summer:

• Continue watering the lawn regularly to keep it looking its best and growing densely so weeds don't take over. You'll know it's time to water when footprints don't pop right back up after you walk on it. Water early in the day to limit evaporation. Water at night only when you have no alternative.

• Dislodge aphids from plants, shrubs and trees with a hard spray of water.

• Mulch plants, shrubs and trees to retain moisture during hot summer days.

• Stop by a Farmer's Market for fresh local grown produce every week, if you don't grow your own.

• Whether picking your own flowers or buying from a farmer's market, you can make them last longer. Pick them early in the morning, before you begin to lose much moisture. Strip lower leaves, then cut the base of the stems before plunging them into a vase of slightly warm water. Change the water every day or two.