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March 2015

News & Notes from the city of Coralville

Crews Are Flushing Fire Hydrants 
The City is flushing fire hydrants from now until late April. After nearby hydrants are flushed, residents may notice a temporary discoloration of the water which does not affect water safety; in the event of discolored water, run cold water from a faucet until the water clears. Learn more

5th Street Is Reimagined with Street Improvements & Flood Protection Projects

About Reimagine 5th 
Reimagine 5th: Rethink. Reconstruct. Renew. as 5th Street undergoes numerous enhancements between 1st and 10th Avenues. The projects will reconstruct and elevate 5th Street over Biscuit Creek; reconstruct sections of 5th Street; add streetscaping and stormwater planters; and relocate private overhead utilities to underground. Learn more 

5th Street Closures Begin on March 25 
Portions of 5th Street between 1st and 10th Avenues will close this spring through late summer. Starting Wednesday, March 25, 5th Street will close between 3rd and 4th Avenues, and between 6th and 9th Avenues. The 5th Street intersections at 4th, 5th, and 6th Avenues will remain open, but will have partial lane closures later during construction. Learn more 

Work on 5th Street Impacts Coralville Transit
Starting Wednesday, March 25, road closures will impact some stops on the Lantern Park, 10th Street, Night, and Saturday routes. Passengers will be directed to nearby stops, and BONGO predictions will not be accurate. Learn more

Work Continues on Coral Ridge Avenue: Holiday Road to Oakdale Boulevard
Pavement removal is underway on the east half of the project, with grading and paving of the two new northbound lanes to follow. At least one of the two new northbound lanes should be open to traffic by early June.

4thFest Basket Auction
At Brown Deer Golf Club • Saturday, March 28 at 4:30 pm
Raise funds for Coralville’s 4thFest celebration, bid on baskets filled with specialty items, and be among the first to hear the official band announcement for this summer’s free 4thFest concert! Learn more

Are You Planning a Garage Sale?
Coralville's City Wide Garage Sale is Saturday, May 2 from 8 am until noon. Participating sales should register by April 22. Learn more

Golf Season Arrives at Brown Deer
Brown Deer Golf Club, Coralville's public golf course, is open for play. Divots! Bar and Grill at Brown Deer is open with a limited menu from 11 am to 2 pm daily; the full menu and hours return on April 20. Learn more

On Stage at the Center for the Performing Arts
City Circle invites teens currently in grades 7-12 to audition March 28 and 29 for the June production of The Addams FamilyLearn more

Upcoming Library Events
Putt Fore the Library • Sunday, March 29, 11 am to 4 pm
The book stacks become “caddystacks” at this 18 hole mini-golf course inside the Library, with a toddler course and raffle! Admission is only $5; children 5 and under play free with a paying adult. Learn more

The Man Who Came to Dinner  • Thursday, March 26, 10 am
Stage on the Page discusses the classic comedy by Kaufman and Hart. A newspaper columnist slips on ice at the Stanley’s home, where he insists on recuperating—and soon dominates their lives. Learn more


The Joe Lunchpail Garden - A guide to the average backyard garden, Part I

By Mike Thayer

If you're the typical weekend gardener, then this guide is for you.

IMG_0027 - Copy (2) - CopyThis is a guide designed and catered for the not-so-serious but wants a decent garden kind of person.  This guide is not fancy, it lacks pages upon pages of beautiful garden pictures, but it does provide content, content, content and is also catered to the local area.

Got Dirt?

Plan your successful garden at the kitchen table.  Sketch out your thoughts on a piece of paper while sipping on your favorite beverage.

Even if you've had an established garden for years, mapping out your garden and deciding on plant varieties can save you time and perhaps money come spring.

I like to plan my garden out during the late winter months, when cabin fever takes hold and I'm suffering from football withdrawals.  Ii also like to check out the garden sites on the internet (I'll list links later in this series) and the mail order see catalogs around this time, getting ideas and buying a few things.  Buying in late winter helps ensure you'll receive your order in time for when that spring urge to start putting plants in the ground hits  you.

The first step i f you don't already have an established garden is to select an acceptable site.  No weekend gardener/typically average Joe Lunchpail backyard is absolutely perfect, but you'll have a harvest you can be proud of if you locate your garden where it will get six to eight hours of sunlight daily.  The site should drain well, be "reachable" by garden hose, but not to close to the dog house, unless extra fertilizer is desired.

If you don't have a flat backyard, don't worry about it.  Slight slopes can be good thing for drainage, but steep slopes will require terracing and that means the weekend gardening thing just became a "take-a- vacation-in-order-to-make-a-garden-spot" major project.....    Unless you decide that's what you want to do, you may want to consider container or patio gardening.

Don't have room for a big garden?

How about a couple small ones instead?  Have a little plot for your tomatoes, have another little spot somewhere for your onions, carrots and radishes.  Sow some lettuce seeds in a flower pot instead of those petunias and you've got yourself a nice salad garden, fresh from your backyard.  There are a number of tricks and things  you can do that will save you time and space which will be discussed later in this series.

Space limits may mean you can't have everything you want in your garden, you may have to pick and choose.  Too much in a garden or not having enough room to operate can lead to problems and a disappointing harvest.

TIP:  Flower pots aren't just for flowers anymore.  If you've got a window ledge that just collects dust, put a little flower pot on it sown with parsley.  Down the road, you've got fresh parsley to top a dinner entree.  And don't think you'll be sacrificing beauty by swapping out flowers for vegetables.   A flower pot filled with a variety of lettuces can actually be quite striking.  Eggplants with their broad leaves and purple flowers can make a nice display.  Peppers, one of my favorite potted plants, can actually live for years if brought inside during the cold winter months.

If you are space limited, it's especially good to keep a garden diary.  Knowing what you can or can't do will pay dividends later.  A diary doesn't have to be anything fancy, heck, you could make some quick notes on the calendar hanging in your kitchen.  I often do that for rainfall.  Making a simple note of what you planted and when, if it was a wet spring or a dry summer and the what/how many when you harvest will go a long way towards helping you speed up your planning and execution process for next year.

Next up in Part II, Zoning Your Garden


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