Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Garden Talk: September 10, 2009

From NGA Editors

First Zero Turn Electric Riding Mower


With the interest in reducing pollution and lowering our carbon foot prints, electric mowers have been gaining in popularity. Electric mowers emit less pollution, are quieter, and, with new technology, have become easier to use. While push electric mowers have been on the market for years, it was only a matter of time before an electric riding mower would show up.

The Zeon zero-turn electric riding mower has all the benefits of your tradition zero-turn mower, but without the noise and exhaust fumes, and with fewer moving parts. This mower uses DC batteries to run the mower blades on the 42-inch deck and AC batteries to drive the wheels. Gone are the belts, hydraulic hoses and controls, pulleys, and PTO clutch. Speed and direction are controlled by levers similar to other zero-turn mowers. A single 16-hour charge can run the mower long enough to mow a 1-acre lawn. It?s priced around $6500.

For more information on this new electric riding mower, go to: Grit E-News.

New Web Site for Gardeners with Physical Limitations


Gardeners with physical limitations often have to struggle to construct gardens they can easily tend. While there are many Web sites with information to help these gardeners, this new site brings all the information together under one roof. Gardens for Every Body is published by the University of Missouri Agrability Project. It has seven subpages featuring information on container gardening, raised bed gardening, trellises, tools, pathways, health and safety, and special considerations. Each section not only gives useful information on the topic, but lists links to other helpful sites.

One of the best sections is the Tool Shed. You can find adaptive tools, ergonomic tools, and tools for watering, transporting, and sitting down. It?s a great site to help you get your garden organized so that it?s less a pain in the back, and more a pleasure to be in.

Visit the website at Gardens for Every Body

World?s Favorite Rose Award


Roses are not just the most popular flower in the U.S., they are the most popular flower in the world. The World Federation of Rose Societies is a group of rose societies from 41 different countries. Founded in England in 1968, its purpose is to be a clearinghouse for rose information and to hold international rose conferences. They hold a World Rose Conference every 3 years. (In 2009 it was in Vancouver, Canada). Not only does the organization disseminate information, create international standards, and sponsor research, they also have awards. One award is the World?s Favorite Rose.

Every three years the World?s Favorite Rose is elected by the members from across the globe. To date there are 13 favorite roses including the ever popular ?Peace? and ?Queen Elizabeth? roses. In 2009 David Austin?s ?Graham Thomas? English heirloom rose was the only rose to win the award. This heirloom shrub rose has deep yellow flowers, old fashioned form, and a strong tea rose fragrance.

For more information on the World?s Favorite Roses; go to: World Federation of Rose Societies

Beet Juice Increases Stamina


Interested is having longer, less tiring workouts, being able to hike further, and generally have more stamina? Drink beet juice. Researchers at the University of Exeter in England studied 8 men aged 19 to 38 years old. They gave each 17 ounces of organic beet juice every day for 6 consecutive days and ran the men through a series of endurance tests. They used a placebo of black currant juice and repeated the same tests.

They found those patients drinking beet juice were able to exercise 16 percent longer than those taking the placebo. Researchers theorize that the nitrate in beet juice leads to a reduction in oxygen uptake ? making exercise less tiring.

So have some beets, then go out for a jog. For more information on this research, go to: The BBC News .



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