Home Insteading With Cooperative Extension (Week 28)

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Family and Consumer Sciences at Home
Mary Morris, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent 

Are You Drinking Too Much Sugar?

Unless you drink nothing but water, you may be getting too many unneeded calories through sweetened soft drinks, sodas, iced tea, coffee, juice, and energy and sports drinks. According to the American Heart Association in fact, sugary drinks are the number one source of added sugars in our diet.

Some research suggests that when you drink calories, you aren’t as satisfied as when you eat the same amount of calories in food. This could lead to eating more calories than you need.

The best liquid nourishment for your body is just plain water but we do however drink a lot of calories on a daily basis.

All calories are not created equal.

  • There is evidence that the body does not respond to calories in beverages the same way as it does to calories in food.
  • Your body may not register the calories you drink, so you could end up consuming more calories than you need.
  • Calories from liquid may not help you feel full.
  • Another way of looking at this is that your body just does not “see or feel” the calories from beverages like it does from food.
  • The calories in beverages are stealth calories and can cause you to consume more calories than you need.
  • The take away – Don’t drink sugar. Your body does not respond the same way to liquid and food calories. Food calories are much more satisfying and are generally more nutrient-rich than liquid calories. About 50% of the sugar we consume comes in liquid form (i.e., sugar-sweetened beverages).

Reduced sugar drink recipe to help kick that sugar habit:

Cranberry Lime Soda

  • 1/3 cup cranberry juice
  • 2/3 cup club soda
  • 1 lime slice

Combine cranberry juice and soda. Splash with lime and enjoy.


Horticulture at Home
Katy Shook, Area Horticulture Agent

What Gardeners Should Know About the First Frost

Vegetable gardeners, flower gardeners, and lawn gardeners all have one thing in common when it comes to fall – the average first frost. In our area, the average first frost date hovers around early November. But because that’s an average, we can expect frost to appear around the easy to remember date of October 31. Frost occurs when temperatures drop below 32°F and water freezes within the plant; this usually results in plant damage. Below is what gardeners should know about preparing for the first frost.

  • Warm-season vegetables like cucumbers, okra, squash, and tomatoes will be damaged or killed. If it’s not a heavy frost or freeze, the fruit may not be damaged and will continue to ripen for harvest. After frost, summer plants can be cleaned out and/or tilled into the soil. Fortunately, there are cool-season vegetables that will survive the frost. Crops like brussel sprouts, beets, collards, kale, and spinach can be continually planted and harvested through the season, and may even survive through the winter.
  • Flower gardeners can expect warm-season annuals like impatiens, marigolds, and petunias to dieback. Seed is usually set on these plants and will guarantee a return next year even if the parent plant dies. The foliage of perennials like hosta, ornamental grass, shasta daisy, and columbine will be damaged, but the roots won’t and the plant will return again next year, along with any offspring set from seed. It’s a good idea to wait until after frost to cut back the foliage on perennials.
  • Lawns will take a dramatic shift after frost. Because most warm-season lawns are perennial plants (meaning their root structure survives underground through the winter), the leaves will lose their color and the plants will enter dormancy. The exception is cool-season lawns like tall fescue, ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass, which will remain green and thrive through the cooler temperatures. Therefore, warm-season lawns like bermudagrass and centipedegrass should be allowed to go into dormancy; do not plant or fertilize any more this year. Cool-season lawns can begin a more aggressive management program with techniques like fertilization and renovation.
  • Other garden chores to keep in mind around this time include bringing houseplants in before the temperature drops below 55°F. Pause fertilization and irrigation on most woody trees and shrubs. Rake and destroy leaves if there was a problem in the plant this growing season, otherwise, leave the leaves as compost and mulch. Also remember that frost warnings from the weather department are not an indication of how serious the impact will be, but are a warning that freezing temperatures are expected during a time when they are not yet the norm.

For more information on managing gardens through frost, contact the Ask A Master Gardener℠ Volunteer Helpline at (252) 482-6585.

frost on garden plants