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The Frugal Gardener! These bargain plants will last for years

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog caldium and hostaThis caladium pairs well with a hosta in a shady corner of the garden. Photos by Doug Oster

For me, there's nothing better than a garden bargain, it's almost as fun as planting. This might be my favorite time of the year as nurseries try to sell off what's left before all the new plants come in for fall planting. I can't resist finding things cheap or plants that need a little TLC.

There are three plants in particular I'm looking for, caladiums, dahlias and begonias. All three have a bulb or tuber which can be saved over the winter and then planted again next spring.

Caladiums are grown for their beautiful foliage. They enjoy shade and will light up the corner of any garden. I found some big plants for $14 that will continue to put on a show for another couple months. I also found caladium hanging baskets for about the same price. The colors are spectacular and the plants love growing in containers.

Tuberous begonias are another great choice, since their tuber can also be saved. 'Bonfire' is my all time favorite and I got two hanging baskets for $4 each. They were a little tired so I potted them up into big basket I had left over from last season. They got a good drink of liquid, organic fertilizer and I'll keep feeding them every week. They perked up in only a few days and now look great. Be sure when you find a begonia at the nursery, it's the type with a tuber, so it can be saved at the end of the season.

The third plant is a dahlia. I bought huge pots filled with lots of flowers for $12, the pot alone is worth that. It's growing where I have the most sun, in the vegetable garden. I love having flowers growing in consort with the veggies.

When things cool off at the end of fall, I'll detail how to save the bulbs and tubers. It's easy and a great way to add more plants to your collection.

Lots of gardeners don't grow these three plants because they don't want to save them, that's OK too. If you can get them at a deal and enjoy them until frost, why not?

blog bonfire hanging basketThis 'Bonfire' begonia growing in a hanging basket is already starting to look great. By the end of the season the stems will nearly reach the ground.

blog dahlia containerYou can't beat dahlias for instant summer color in the garden.

 

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Hit It Toomey takes Keystone series lead

Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey during Monday's Keystone Cup softball game. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Toomey's office)

Pat Toomey has a more important contest coming up in 2016 -- and no, we're not talking about an appearance on Family Feud -- but that doesn't mean the Republican U.S. senator doesn't take the annual Keystone Cup game seriously.

Mighty...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6587-hit-it-toomey-takes-softball-series-lead-over-casey-s-team

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Empty Netter Assists - Holtby wants paid - 07-22-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Sergei Zubov (above). A star with the Rangers, Zubov came to the Penguins in the 1995 offseason along with Petr Nedved in a deal which sent Luc Robitaille and Ulf Samuelsson to New York. Zubov only lasted one season with the Penguins, but he managed to churn out one of the most productive campaigns by a defenseman in franchise history. In 64 games, he was able to produce 66 points. To this day, Zubov is the last Penguins defenseman to produce more than a point per game during a single season. In the postseason, Zubov was once again stellar as he contributed 14 points in 15 playoff games. In the 1996 offseason, he was traded to the Stars in exchange for Kevin Hatcher.

Neapolitan Ice Cream Metropolitan Division

-With an arbitration hearing pending, Capitals restricted free agent goaltender Braden Holtby (right) has requested a contract with a salary of $8 million per season. The Capitals have countered with $5.1 million.

Atlantic Division

-The Red Wings re-signed restricted free-agent forward Teemu Pulkkinen to a one-year contract worth a total of $735,000. Full terms have yet to be reported.

-“Every time I played against Boston, they’re always a hard team to play against — no matter what the scenario is, what the score is, what period it is, they’re always a hard team to play against. That’s why I’m here — to make it even harder for teams to play against us.” - Forward Zac Rinaldo on joining the Bruins.

-The Lightning signed former Coyotes forward Tye McGinn to a one-year, two-way contract.

Pacific Division

-Former Sabres/Lightning/Stars/Canadiens/Red Wings defenseman Doug Janik has retired and become an assistant coach with the Springfield Falcons, AHL affiliate of the Coyotes.

(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images and Glenn Cratty/Getty Images)

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Brewed On Grant: Kaufmann's Clock

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Kaufmann's, Horne's, Gimbels and Saks are all gone. Now Macy's Department Store is leaving downtown Pittsburgh. It is definitely the end of an era. I doubt we will see another downtown department store. 

072215 Kaufmanns Clock

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PIAA to vote tomorrow on shortening football season

Written by Mike White on .

High school football season in Pennsylvania might not run so far into December, starting next year.

The PIAA strategic planning committee met today to discuss and vote on a few items that will move forward to the PIAA Board of Directors meeting tomorrow. One of the committee's recommendations is to shorten football season by a week.

The PIAA will vote on the policy tomorrow. If it doesn't pass, shame on the PIAA.

Pennsylvania high school football runs longer into December than just about any state in the country. This year's championships will be played a week before Christmas. To me, and many others, that is ludicrous. But the PIAA has never been able to agree on how to shorten the season, without some district in the state disagreeing.

But shortening the season is way overdue. Under the strategic planning committee's proposal, start dates for practice will remain the same. But beginning next year, the season will shorten by one week at the end. It would be up to individual schools or districts to use one of a few options for shortening the season.

They can either get rid of one scrimmage and keep the same number of regular-season games and playoff games. Or they can keep the two scrimmages, and get rid of a week of district playoffs.

It's amazing the PIAA has taken so long to come up with something to shorthen the season. Actually, the WPIAL has proposed a similar policy in the past to shorten the season, but too many other districts disagreed.

If the new plan passes, the WPIAL would most likely keep a nine-week regular season and four weeks of WPIAL playoffs. But the league will probably get rid of one scrimmage.

You can bet basketball and wrestling coaches are overjoyed with this new proposal.

In other matters, there was a chance the PIAA would vote tomorrow on making football six classifications. The PIAA strategic planning committee examined a number of proposals for six classifications, but did not come up with a recommendation for the PIAA. So, the six classes could be a dead issue. We'll know more tomorrow.

 

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