Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 29, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 14

Mountain Views News Saturday, March 15, 2014 
B2 HOMES & PROPERTY Mountain Views News Saturday, March 15, 2014 
If you’ve followed advice given here about sprucing up your home's exterior, well done! Now let’s 
focus attention on the next thing potential buyers will see - the front door and the interior. Now is 
the time for spring-cleaning and to show off your home's best features. 

Repaint that front door and touch up around the entry. Make it warm and welcoming with updated 
light fixtures at the entrance and foyer. Speaking of entries, check your windows and doors for 
energy efficiency. If they're not airtight, an investment in new windows and insulation will pay off 
handsomely and impress buyers. 

Freshly repainted walls won’t hurt either, and you can achieve a bright, clean look with light yellow 
or cream on the walls and contrasting white woodwork. Buff up your wood floors, clean your area 
rugs or carpets, and replace any worn carpeting before your first showing. 

Buyers look carefully at bathrooms, so be sure to remove any spots of mildew, replace caulking, and 
consider a small investment in a new sink and vanity to really make things sparkle. 

The icing on the cake is to offer buyers a "home warranty" on the appliances in your house, allowing 
them a full year of service on anything that happens to go wrong. Your pride of ownership and their 
peace of mind should combine to produce a sale! 

We’d like to hear from you! 
What’s on YOUR Mind? 

Contact us at: or 
mountainviewsnews AND Twitter: @mtnviewsnews 


by Melinda Myers 

Don’t let lawn weeds get the best of you. These 
opportunistic plants find a weak spot in the 
lawn, infiltrate and begin the take over your 
grass. Take back the lawn with proper care. Your 
lawn will not only be greener and healthier, but 
good for the environment. 

The grass and thatch layer act as a natural 
filter, helping to keep pollutants out of our 
groundwater and dust out of our atmosphere. 
They also reduce erosion, decrease noise and 
help keep our homes and landscapes cooler in 
summer. And a healthy lawn is the best defense 
against weeds.
Start by identifying the unwanted lawn invaders. 
Use them as a guide to improve your lawn’s health 
and beauty. Weeds appear and spread when the 
growing conditions are better for them than the 
grass. Correct the problem to reduce the weeds 
and improve the health of your lawn. Killing 
the weeds without fixing the underlying cause 
is only a temporary solution. Unless the cause is 
eliminated the weed problem will return. 

Here are a few of the more common weeds, the 
cause and possible solutions for managing them 
out of the lawn. 

High populations and a variety of weeds mean 
you need to adjust your overall lawn care 
practices. Mow high and often, removing no 
more than 1/3 the total height of the grass at one 
time. Leave the clippings on the lawn in order to 
return water, nutrients and organic matter to the 
soil. This along with proper fertilization using 
an organic nitrogen slow release fertilizer with 
non leaching phosphorous, like Milorganite 
(, can greatly reduce weeds.
Knotweed and plantains often found growing 
next to walks and drives or other high traffic 
areas can also be found in lawns growing on 
heavy poorly prepared soils. These weeds thrive 
in compacted soil where lawn grasses fail. 
Reduce soil compaction and improve your lawn’s 
health with core aeration. Aerate lawns when 
actively growing in spring or fall. Or replace 
grass in high traffic areas with permeable pavers 
or stepping stones to eliminate the cause.
Nut sedge is a common weed in wet or poorly 
drained soils. Improve the drainage to manage 
this weed. It may mean core aerating the lawn 
and topdressing with compost, regrading or the 
installation of a rain garden to capture, filter and 
drain excess water back into the ground. 

Clover and black 
medic mean 
it’s time to get 
the soil tested 
and adjust 
Both thrive 
when the lawn 
is starving. 
Clover was once 
included in lawn 
mixes because 
of its ability 
to capture 
nitrogen from 
the atmosphereand add it to 
the soil. If 
these weeds are 
present, boost 
the lawn’s diet starting this spring with a low 
nitrogen slow release fertilizer. It feeds slowly 
throughout the season, promoting slow steady 
growth that is more drought tolerant, disease 
resistant and better able to outcompete the 
Creeping Charley, also known as ground ivy, 
violets, and plantains usually get their foothold 
in the shade and then infiltrate the rest of the 
lawn. Take back those shady spots by growing 
a more shade tolerant grass like the cool season 
grass fescue or warm season St. Augustine grass. 
Mow high and fertilize less, only 1 to 2 pounds 
of nitrogen per growing season, than the sunny 
areas of your lawn. Or replace the lawn with 
shade tolerant groundcovers. Adjust your overall 
care to reclaim and maintain the rest of the lawn. 
Crabgrass and Goosegrass are common weeds 
that follow a hot dry summer. Mow high to shade 
the soil and prevent many of these annual grass 
weeds from sprouting. Corn gluten meal is an 
organic pre-emergent weed killer that can help 
reduce these and other weeds from sprouting. 
Apply in spring and fall applications to reduce 
weeds by as much as 80% in three years.
And, when mowing this year, consider an 
electric or push mower to manage your lawn in 
an even more eco-friendly manner. 

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & 
columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years 
of horticulture experience and has written over 
20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small 
Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s 
Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses “How to 
Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally 
syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments. 
Myers is also a columnist and contributing editor 
for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers’ web site,, offers gardening videos 
and tips. 

Observations at many sites in South 

America have made the surprise discovery 

that the remote asteroid Chariklo, only 100 

miles in diameter, is surrounded by two 

dense and narrow rings. This is the smallest 

object by far found to have rings and only 

the fifth body in the solar system—after the 

much larger planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus 

and Neptune—to have this feature.

 “We weren’t looking for a ring and didn’t 

think small bodies like Chariklo had them 

at all, so the discovery—and the amazing 

amount of detail we saw in the system—

came as a complete surprise!” says Felipe 

Braga-Ribas (Observatório Nacional/MCTI, 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) who planned the 

observation campaign.

 Chariklo is the largest member of a class 
known as the Centaurs and it orbits between 
Saturn and Uranus in the outer solar system. 
Predictions had shown that it would pass 
in front of the star UCAC4 248-108672 on 
3 June 2013, as seen from South America. 
Astronomers using telescopes at seven 
different locations were able to watch the 
star apparently vanish for a few seconds as 
its light was blocked by Chariklo.

 But they found much more than they were 
expecting. A few seconds before, and again 
a few seconds after the main occultation 
there were two further very short dips in 
the star’s apparent brightness. Something 
around Chariklo was blocking the light! By 
comparing what was seen from different 
sites the team could reconstruct not only 
the shape and size of the object itself but 
also the shape, width, orientation and other 
properties of the newly discovered rings.

 The team found that the ring system 
consists of two sharply confined rings only 

global adventure. (see

seven and three kilometers wide, separated by a clear gap of nine kilometers.


 “For me, it was quite amazing to realize that we were able not only to detect a ring system, but also 

 Telescope will be set up for the public’s enjoyment from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the 

pinpoint that it consists of two clearly distinct rings,” adds Uffe Gråe Jørgensen (Niels Bohr Institute, 

Christian Science Church, 7855 Alverstone Ave. (1 block west of Sepulveda at the corner of 79th St.) in 

University of Copenhagen, Denmark), one of the team. “I try to imagine how it would be to stand on 

Westchester. There is no charge, and refreshments will be served. If you have a telescope of your own, 

the surface of this icy object—small enough that a fast sports car could reach escape velocity and drive 

you’re welcome to bring it.

off into space—and stare up at a 20-kilometer wide ring system 1,000 times closer than the Moon.” 
All are welcome—bring the children, learn astronomy together, and enjoy the sky! And if it’s 

WESTCHESTER STAR PARTY. Meanwhile, much closer to home, on Saturday April 5th the local 

cloudy, come anyway—we’ll have an indoor learning session on basic astronomy designed especially 

community will be able to look up at our own Moon and planet Jupiter and see them greatly magnified 

for children (of all ages).

in high-quality amateur telescopes. The international public astronomy organization “Astronomers 

Without Borders” has named April 5 as Global Star Party Night, when people all over the world will be 

 Questions? Contact star party host Bob Eklund, (310) 216-5947, 

looking through telescopes—often for the first time in their lives. The local star party will be part of this 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: 

Artist’s impression of the rings around Chariklo