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HOW TO DO IT ALL OUTSIDE

Published Mar. 10, 2007

DIY in the garden: In Grounds for Improvement: 40 Great Landscaping & Gardening Projects (Sterling/Lark, $17.95), hosts Dean Hill and Jackie Taylor of the DIY program of the same name offer hands-in-the-dirt advice on building decks, fences and walls, patios and gazebos. They even tell you how to create a personal putting green.

It's all about your yard

Today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., it's the free Florida Yard Fandango at the Museum of Science and Industry, 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. The offerings include a plant and garden expo and sale with nurseries, garden centers and tool suppliers. Fifteen classes ($10 charge if there's still room) on everything from herbs to butterflies to pruning for hurricanes. Free pH testing (bring a soil sample); sharpening of garden tools, nominal fee. Mayor Pam Iorio declared today "Florida Friendly Landscaping Day." Details: www.floridayard fandango.com.

Letting the sun shine in

Channeling the same sun that makes plants grow, Nanak's, a commercial landscaper in Orlando with a branch in Tampa, has been entirely solar-powered since Jan. 19. They say they are the first Orlando business to do so. Solar panels eliminate 1,734 pounds of greenhouse gases, enough energy to power 28 homes for a day. Excess power is sold back to the utility company. The company has switched to a fleet of hybrid cars to save 15,000 gallons of fuel a year. Winners of a state Alternative Energies Technologies grant, Nanak's hopes to expand its green efforts to its Tampa operation.

Try your hand at heirlooms

Ten easy heirloom vegetables to grow, according to halcyon.com/tmend/heirloom, where you can read more about each of them: Kentucky wonder beans; early Jersey Wakefield cabbage; early horn or early scarlet horn carrots; golden bantam corn; improved long green cucumbers; Paris white cos lettuce; Jenny Lind melon; French breakfast radish; hubbard, blue hubbard and warted hubbard squash; and brandywine tomatoes.

In with the air, out with the water

Best foot forward: The familar Sloggys garden clogs are now vented for cooler feet and water drainage. They come in women's whole sizes 6 through 10 in red, green, blue and pink. At sloggers.com they're $19.99; you can also find them at garden centers.

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