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» February 13, 2009 «
Winter is a good season to transplant new vegetation in your garden. Gardening experts say in most parts of California the plants will adapt to their new surroundings quickly and prepare for the long, hot summer stress. January and February are prime months to seek out bare root trees and bushes. Nurseries can provide information about caring for the plants to ensure survival. In California the harshest season is summer when planting seeds and bushes is not recommended.
Fertilizer prices soared in 2008. Some farmers have turned to cover crops to produce the nitrogen their soil needs. Farm advisors say it is a cheaper way to obtain needed fertilizer. Clover is a popular cover crop. It helps reduce runoff in the winter and gophers love it so they tend to ignore tree and vine roots. With fertilizer prices remaining high, advisors expect more farmers will turn to cover crops.
Fans of apricots are benefiting from the award-winning efforts of a California geneticist. Craig Ledbetter of the San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center near Parlier has developed new apricot varieties including Apache and Helena, which are now being marketed. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack presented Ledbetter with a technology award this week for his innovative work.
Researchers have found that an amino acid called arginine reduces fat in rats and could help fight human obesity. The Texas A&M University research focused on dietary supplements to promote skeletal-muscle gain and noted fat reduction as well. Arginine-rich foods include nuts, seeds, watermelon juice and seafood, as well as rice and soy protein. The research was published in the Journal of Nutrition.Top