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Lawn & Garden Time

Spring Planting and Music Festival Line Up



The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will be hosting the Spring Planting and Music Festival on Saturday, April 29, 2017, starting at 9 a.m. (ET).  A diverse range of the region’s most talented live music acts are currently scheduled to perform.  Musical genres represented are to include bluegrass, traditional Appalachian, singer-songwriter, Americana and a flute circle.

Music Time Location Performer

All Day Lora Blevins Farm Smoky Mountain Flute Circle

All Day Lora Blevins Farm Knoxville Area Dulcimer Club

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oscar Blevins Farm Gerald Hanwright

9:30 a.m. Bandy Creek Big Tent Spruce Creek Ramblers

10:30 a.m. Bandy Creek Big Tent Spirit Winds

11:30 a.m. Bandy Creek Big Tent Standing Stone Bluegrass

12:30 p.m. Bandy Creek Big Tent Spirit Winds

1:30 p.m. Bandy Creek Big Tent Rusty Rooster Band

2:30 p.m. Bandy Creek Big Tent Slaven Sisters

3:30 p.m. Bandy Creek Big Tent T.J. Fincher

In addition to the music performances, there will be plowing and planting demonstrations, children’s activities, interpretative talks, fun runs, bird watching and wildflower guided walks, vendors demonstrating and selling their wares, and food sales.  Event activities will occur in the Bandy Creek Visitor Center area, the Lora Blevins home site, and the Oscar Blevins farm, and shuttles will run between the three sites every 15 minutes to allow visitors to experience all the activities.

This event is free to attend.  Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy a great day of good food and music!  A designated bus parking area is available for large groups.  For further information, call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275 or visit the website at

How to keep animals out of your garden

Many gardeners understand the frustration that stems from seeing a garden destroyed by wildlife. While protecting wildlife is a cause that’s near and dear to many gardening enthusiasts, even the most ardent wildlife supporter does not want to see his or her garden trampled, eaten or adversely affected by animals.

Safeguarding gardens from local wildlife can require some trial and error. Animals may find ways to circumvent gardeners’ initial efforts to protect their gardens, but the following methods might just do the trick the first time around.

• Erect physical barriers around gardens. Barriers may not be gardeners’ first choices, as some people feel barriers such as wire cages or mesh coverings make it more difficult to tend to gardens and rob gardens of some of their aesthetic appeal. But coverings and wire cages can effectively prevent wildlife from trampling or eating plants while still allowing the gardens to get adequate sunlight. Make sure barriers extend to the ground so animals cannot access gardens by entering beneath the barricades.

• Fight intruders with odor. Stray cats may mistake gardens for litter boxes and enter them to relieve themselves. Preventing such intrusions can be as simple as placing items around the garden to reduce the likelihood that gardens will be mistaken for litter boxes. Peels from oranges and lemons or coffee grounds can be placed in the garden and can emit odors strong enough to deter cats.

• Install motion detecting lights around gardens. Motion detection technology might be enough to deter nocturnal wildlife from trampling or eating gardens. Animals might be spooked and run away when lights suddenly turn on. A similar approach can be taken using noise instead of lights. Gardeners who hope to avoid erecting barriers around their gardens can put up posts instead, attaching aluminum cans or wind chimes to the posts that will make noise when animals come near. Much like light, noise can be enough to deter animals.

• Consider raised garden beds. When small critters, such as moles, are the main problem, then raised garden beds with wood or plastic bottoms and sides can be enough to safeguard gardens. Raised garden beds might not be accessible to small critters, though such beds likely won’t deter larger animals from getting into gardens that are not barricaded.

• Erect fencing around the yard. Though fencing is expensive, fencing in a backyard or side yard where gardens are located can deter wildlife big and small from trampling or eating gardens.

Wildlife is worth protecting, but gardeners must also take steps to protect their gardens from animals looking for something to eat.

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