LEWIS & CLARK EXPEDITION 200 YEARS AGO TODAY 12/09/1804

Captain Lewis goes with the hunting party. The hunting party kills nine bison. Lewis stays overnight with the hunting party, where he sleeps miserably on the snow with a light blanket. Meanwhile, several Mandan chiefs visit Fort Mandan and bring some meat for the corps.

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PLANTING AVOCADO TREES IN THE HOUSE

The avocado tree (Persea americana), is normally grown from seeds removed from ripened fruit. There are two acceptable methods of doing this, either by sprouting the seed in water or by actually planting the seed in soil.

Many people start avocado trees as novelty house plants by piercing the seed with its pointed end up, partially through with toothpicks on three or four sides to hold it on the top of a jar or vase partly with water and few pieces of charcoal (to keep the water sweet) just covering the base. In 2 to 6 weeks, when roots and leaves are well formed the plant is set in potting soil. Plant the germinated plant into soil within a few weeks or months after germination, or deterioration will occur.

They are also easily sprouted in a well-drained 4- or 5-inch pot of porous, fertile soil. The top of the seed should just barely peek above the surface of the soil. If the soil is kept fairly moist and the temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees, the seed will begin to sprout and a pretty, leafy plant will develop.
When the seedling reaches 12 inches, it should be pinched back to about 6-8 inches to produce a rounder, fuller plant. Avocados grown inside thrive in sun or in a good, lighted location. Once they've filled their pots up with healthy roots, they should be potted in larger ones. Repotting should be done in the spring.

Keep a sufficient amount of water in the soil but avoid overwatering. They should be fertilized with a balanced houseplant food every two or three weeks in the summer and about every six weeks during the winter. It's also a good idea to mist the leaves of your Avocado if the air in your home is very dry. Indoor trees need low night temperatures to induce bloom.

Transplanting should be done in early spring. Potted plants should be moved outdoors gradually, so they can acclimatize themselves, and adjust to the new elements.

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RECYCLE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE

Though it may give you the blues to take down your holiday tree, you can find solace in recycling your tree in the landscape.
Winter birds will appreciate using the tree for cover in your backyard, especially if you decorate it with bird food ornaments. Be sure to remove tinsel, plastic and other non-recyclable ornaments.

Suet, molded seeds or disposable birdseed hangers should be readily available from bird supply shops. Homemade treats, such as pine cones or stale bread smeared with peanut butter and rolled in birdseed, are also a hit.

You'll need to secure the trunk to the ground to prevent it from rolling away in winter winds. You can attach the tree to a stable support with wire or twine or use stakes to secure the tree to the ground.

Christmas trees can also be recycled to use as mulch around the landscape. You can chop or grind smaller branches for wood chips to use in flower, tree and shrub beds. Larger branches can be cut into smaller bundles for winter protective mulch around newly planted perennials and small shrubs. Be sure to remove the branches in spring, when the plants begin to grow again.
Many communities have special pick-up service for discarded holiday trees.

St. Louis County Parks recycles trees at several of the local parks including Quenny Park on Weidmann Rd.

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GREENSCAPE GARDENS JOKE OF THE DAY!

As an older man was driving down the highway, his cell phone
rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Harold, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 270. Please be careful!"

"Hell," said Harold, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them !!!"