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Prep your soil now for success in the spring

Question: I’m preparing for a new vegetable garden in my back yard. I’ve removed the sod and tilled the soil. What else can I do this fall to get ready for next spring? T.S.

Answer: A soil test is the next step. You can use home soil test kits, but I prefer the reliability of a commercial testing lab. Soil test kits and instructions for the University of Wisconsin Soil Testing Lab may be obtained at the Kenosha County UW-Extension office or http://uwlab.soils.wisc.edu. You don’t need an “official” soil test bag. A new zip top plastic bag works fine. Written results arrive in about two weeks and list soil type, pH, phosphorus, and potassium. Recommendations for fertilizer are included.

The plant nutrients phosphorus and potassium (middle and right number on fertilizer bag) are generally found in adequate to high levels in southeastern Wisconsin soils. Your soil test results will indicate how much, if any, phosphorus and potassium need to be added.


Prep your soil now for success in the spring

Question: I’m preparing for a new vegetable garden in my back yard. I’ve removed the sod and tilled the soil. What else can I do this fall to get ready for next spring? T.S.

Answer: A soil test is the next step. You can use home soil test kits, but I prefer the reliability of a commercial testing lab. Soil test kits and instructions for the University of Wisconsin Soil Testing Lab may be obtained at the Kenosha County UW-Extension office or http://uwlab.soils.wisc.edu. You don’t need an “official” soil test bag. A new zip top plastic bag works fine. Written results arrive in about two weeks and list soil type, pH, phosphorus, and potassium. Recommendations for fertilizer are included.

Bring herbs into the kitchen and save them from impending frost

Having freshly dried herbs from your own garden will make your late fall and winter meals so much better, not to mention the possibilities of giving herbs as holiday gifts. And, having fresh herbs on the windowsill lets us keep the growing spirit alive through the doldrums of winter.

Basil is pretty much gone from the garden, but you can certainly start some from seeds for the windowsill. Other herbs such as oregano, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, chives and sage are still in pretty good shape to clip and dry or divide and pot up. Also, now is the time to bring in your rosemary because it won’t survive the winter outdoors.

Outdoor decorating for fall

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Homes in the northern U.S. are treated to a measure of effortless outdoor decorating for fall: Nature does most of the work by turning the trees a vivid palette of reds, oranges and golds. Add a pumpkin or two on the doorstep and the look is complete.

Before the weather turns too harsh, consider using some creativity to add to the season’s colors and textures by decorating your home’s outdoor spaces. But be careful, as Halloween decorating has become increasingly popular, many homeowners aiming for a festive fall look go overboard with big decorations and harsh shades of orange.

Secrets for long-lived tulips

Question: I love tulips but they seem to die after a few years. Is there anything special I can do to help my tulips live longer? Is there a kind of tulip I can plant that will live and bloom more than three or four years? A.H.

Answer: It is possible for tulips to survive and bloom for years in the landscape. Growing the right types of tulips, correct siting, and proper care are the secrets to long-lived tulips.

Let fall go on forever

I’m recommending that we not let go of summer. We are having an absolutely magnificent fall, so let’s make it go on forever. It may sound odd, but this is a good time to actually take notes and plan for this time of year for next year’s garden.

Cold frames were planted with mustard greens, pak choi, spinach, lettuce and radishes about three weeks ago, and they are almost the perfect size to start harvesting. I should be able to keep things growing so I’ll have greens and maybe even roasted radishes for Thanksgiving dinner.

Give your garden an edge

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Leaves are falling, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to hang up the gardening gloves. There is still plenty of work to do in the garden.

Preparing gardens for winter isn’t just about saving time in the spring. It brings big benefits to a garden’s overall health and beauty. Give your garden an edge on the next growing season by following this winter-prep checklist:


Love My Ride

Parts & projects

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

About seven years ago, Kenosha resident Steve Schneider held a family vote to determine whether he should keep or sell his 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, which he had owned for more than 30 years.

Deere Hunter

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PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Ever since his childhood, John Serzynski has been a big fan of John Deere tractors and riding mowers.

“My stepfather (George Paulausky) owned a landscaping business, and I used to play out in the sandbox all the time, all day long, with my cousin,” said Serzynski, a Waukegan, Ill., native who moved to Kenosha County in the late 1990s.

‘Kenosha Cadillac’

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

A bit of nostalgia prompted Peter Wenglowsky to obtain his 1961 Rambler Classic about 20 years ago.

Wheeling through Wisconsin

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BY JEREMY REEVES

jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Mercedes-Benz makes driving painless

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If there’s anyone who appreciates having a luxurious car like a black 1999 Mercedes-Benz S420 more than David Gregorski, good luck finding him.

Gregorski, 56, was a local barber for 28 years who was forced to retire about a decade ago because of back problems. He’s since had eight back surgeries.

Masi the Matador

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Jim Masi, his older brother Jeff Masi, Dennis Curnes and Butch Funk were all Kenosha teenagers in the early 1960s. And their passion was cars.

Taking flight: ‘As soon as the wheels leave the ground, it’s exhilarating’

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Whenever John Munson gets behind the controls and lifts off in his 2006 AMD Zodiac CH601XL factory-built, special light-sport aircraft, he experiences emotions unlike any other.

“As soon as the wheels leave the ground, it’s exhilarating,” said Munson, 66, a Kenosha resident. “You’re airborne, and it’s a whole different feeling. It’s the most enjoyable recreational activity I’ve had. I like it a lot.

British imports become part of family

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

KENOSHA — What started as a gift for his wife, Mary, more than 30 years ago has evolved into a type of extended relative for Kenosha resident Jim Hawkins.

Skully’s ‘Last Ride’

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Kenosha resident Jason Beiser, 30, has been welding for about seven years and started his own business, “Skully’s Welding,” a couple years ago.

Firebird fulfills promise

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

SALEM — It took Mike Vandeville about 25 years but he finally made true on his pledge to himself.

A lifetime of Nashes

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — When it came to his first car, Eric Nelson Jr. didn’t have many options.

Proud Centurion

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Kenosha resident Florian Kreft, 84, has owned about 25 cars in his lifetime, covering most American manufacturers (Chevy, Ford, Buick, Chrysler and Dodge).

Jeff and Mary Albrecht’s 1991 Four Winns 325 Cabin Cruiser

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

Whether on Lake Michigan, inland lakes or even the Gulf of Mexico, Jeff and Mary Albrecht have been boating enthusiasts since they were kids.

‘Regular guy’ drives a Mercedes

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Wayne Walker isn’t the type of person you’d immediately expect to own a Mercedes Benz, especially one imported from Germany.

This ’72 Chevrolet Monte Carlo even better than first one

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jreeves@kenoshanews.com

SALEM — Judy Grasser said her husband of 26 years, Mike, isn’t much of a sentimental type.

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