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Features (Green Living)

Ten ways to help our planet and your purse

On the village Earth, we have many neighbors. As Earth Day turns 44 on April 22 — Bay Weekly’s 21st birthday— we propose 10 bright ideas to make our time in Chesapeake Country more Earth-friendly and our future more sustainable.
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A St. Patrick’s Day visit from Southern Maryland to Southern Ireland

America goes green on St. Patrick’s Day. From beer to dress to hair (and once upon a time, the Chicago River), green is the color of choice.
     In putting on the green, we’re not alone. St. Patrick’s stomping grounds is doing its own greening, returning to its roots to recapture a way of life and an economy rising from the Old Sod.

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We’re paying for it, and it’s not a bad deal

It takes a village of vessels to build an oyster reef.
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Propagate a jungle of African violets using my foolproof method

Beyond their good looks and winter bloom, African violets have another charm. They’re so easy to propagate in the home that they raise your self-esteem. Here’s my foolproof method:
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The Bay — and your garden — will thank you

Never leave your garden barren. As soon as you have finished harvesting the vegetables or flowers, plant another crop to prevent the soil from eroding or losing nutrients through leaching.
    Soil devoid of vegetation is easily washed away and may find its way into the Bay. Plant roots save the soil by binding particles so they will not be washed away. The tops of plants minimize the impact of water droplets that can destroy soil structure and encourage erosion.

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Five signs you need to insulate

A cool grand. Nearly half a home’s total energy bill — $1,000 annually — is what the average family spends each year on home heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. government’s Energy Star program.
    Improving your insulation could save you hundreds of dollars.
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Here’s how to get started

Dear EarthTalk: I’m planning a major home renovation and want to include as many green-friendly features as possible. Where do I begin to look?
    –Matthew Glaser, Queens, NY

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Now’s the time to get to work, says the Bay Gardener

Feeling less than pride and joy in your lawn?
    September is a great month for establishing and repairing lawns. Here’s how to get started now on growing rich, green, weed-free grass in 2014.

1. Test Your Soil
    How’s your lawn doing?
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Plus you can share your hostas and lilies with friends

Late summer and early fall is a great time to divide and share your hosta and day lily plants with friends and neighbors while reducing over-crowding in the garden.
    One of the big advantages of growing hosta and day lilies is that once they are established, they require little attention. Hostas perform at their best in light shade, but they will tolerate full sun, resulting in more flowers, while day lilies are at their best in full sun.
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At 10 million oysters, SMOCS calls it quits

"Oysters are a lost cause. You’re going to fail."

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