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February 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's means chocolates and dinner with that special someone. We show you how to protect your heart, for you and your loved ones.

Now that the holidays are over, we tell you how you can reel in the spending and get back on financial track. Plus, FREE Income Tax Preparation: Find out if you're eligible below.

The days are getting longer and our gardening motors are starting to rev. But what to do? It's too early to get out and dig. Starting your own transplants from seed lets you get the exact varieties of plants you want, when you want. This appeals to the connoisseurs out there. And it's fun! We tell you how to get started. Also, another way to scratch that itch is to begin your late winter pruning. But hold on! Not everything should be pruned right now. Check out the guidelines below before your pull out the loppers.

Have questions? Give us a call at 913.715.7000. Or email us at
Many of us got thrown a curve last November when the guidelines for high blood pressure got lowered. If your BP is 130/80 or higher, congratulations, you are now classified as having hypertension. Lifestyle changes can help lower your blood pressure, mainly with non-drug approaches including the DASH Diet. Find out why this was ranked by US News & World Report as the best diet to follow.
The Health Benefits of Chocolate
The holiday decorations are finally packed away and now the stores are awash in red, threatening your New Year's Resolutions. But all is not lost. As with everything, moderation is the key. Find out how you can incorporate chocolate into your healthy lifestyle.
Get Your Finances Back on Track
The holidays are over and the bills have come in. If you wracked up debt it's not too late to get back on track. We list tips to help you make a plan and get the whole family on board.
Feb. 1 - April 14
Free Income Tax Preparation
Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site opens Feb.1 here at the Sunset Drive Office Building. If your household income was $60,0000 or less in 2017, you are eligible for FREE state and federal tax preparation by IRS-certified volunteers.
Hardiness Zone Maps
Plant Hardiness Zones are very helpful when selecting plants at the local garden center. But which map is best? The USDA or the Arbor Day Foundation? We clear up the confusion and tell you what zone to follow when planting your landscape in Kansas City.
Time to Start Garden Transplants
Whether it's vegetables or flowers, starting your own seeds lets you get the exact varieties of plants you want, when you want. It's also a fun and fascinating way to pass the dreary days of winter. Here's the easy steps to follow to ensure your transplants are garden-ready for spring.
Growing Your Own Seeds: How to set up your lights
You don't need an expensive system for growing your own transplants. Follow these light requirements needed for your growing success.
Pruning Trees and Shrubs: It's all In the timing
The days are getting longer and many of us are itching to get outside to tidy up. But when is the best time to prune shrubs like forsythia, roses, azaleas or crepe myrtles? And when should we contract to have our trees and evergreens pruned? The correct time to prune depends on the plant. We outline the proper timing here.
JoCo Residents: Get your free soil test
Now's a good time to beat the rush and get your soil tested . A soil test measures soil pH and available nutrients in the soil. Testing the soil gives you accurate information about the type and amount of fertilizer or amendment to apply in order to maintain good plant health. This helps protect the environment, and can save you money and time. Download a form
February Gardening Calendar
Here's a quick and easy punch list for you to follow to stay on top of the season. February Garden Calendar
New Agent/New Position: Lindsay Jorgenson
Please join us in welcoming Lindsay to our office. Lindsay comes to us from North Carolina State Cooperative Extension. We are excited to be the first in the state to offer this new position. As the Community Food Systems agent, Lindsay will provide educational outreach in the areas of community gardens, local food policy, food safety, local food systems and sustainable agriculture. Welcome Lindsay!
4-H Clover
4-H Youth Development
Job Opening
The 4-H Youth Development Agent works to make a positive difference in the lives of young people. The position will strive to create engaging learning opportunities for adult volunteers and youth.

The two main focus areas for this position include:

  1. Leading a vibrant and dedicated adult volunteer group who facilitate the 4-H program to our 634 community club members, and
  2. Growing the 4-H programming.

This position will provide the overall leadership for a youth development program that serves school-aged youth in cooperation with volunteers, staff and multiple community partners. For a complete job description and application process click here.
Save the Date: May 18 and 19
EMG Public Garden Tour
Our popular public garden tour returns for its biennial appearance! This year, 7 privately owned gardens are open for you to explore. Owned, designed and created by Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners, discover tips and tricks to transform your own landscape. Can't wait? Enjoy this sneak peek.

Classes & Events
To register online click on the class link or call 913-715-7000.

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