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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
February 17, 2016     Hays Free Press
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February 17, 2016

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[ Towing regulations cause a stir in Kyle - Page 1D • i~ February 17, 2016 • Page 1C Ask Amanda by Amanda Moon It is fruit tree planting time again. When properly planned, planted and cared for, many of the basic fruiting trees can do quite well here in central Texas. Apples, peaches, plums, pears and of course the state nut- the pecan - are all possibilities for edible specimens and/or shade trees in your yard. Most fruit trees require a few basic conditions to do well. Deep soil (I know, I know, good luck on that!) is a necessity. But that doesn't have to mean just ground soil. Planting the tree in a raised bed is an effective way to increase soil depth in areas with hard caliche. They also need an adequate source of moisture. Soaker hoses are a good way to control the direction and amount of water to where the trees need it most - on the drip- line at the edge of their canopies. If you put some mulch over the hoses and around the tree's root zone, this will also help to control moisture levels, especially in the heat of the summer. A fruit tree also needs to be properly watered the season before to fruit well the next year, as the buds begin to form that prior season. 'Chilling hours' is an important term for fruit growers. This is the number of hours in the winter when the temperatures drop below 45 but above 32 degrees. Many fruit trees, including apples and peaches, need a certain number of these hours to bud out. On average central Texas sees between 650 and 850 chilling hours each winter. The number of hours varies with each variety and type of fruit. For pest and disease management you can apply an all-season horticultural oil before the trees buds out in the winter, and again sparingly as needed during the growing and fruiting season. Be aware that cotton root rot is a problem here, so if you've had trouble growing peaches or other susceptible fruit trees, don't replant in the same place. However you can plant a pomegranate or pecan tree, which are resistant to this disease. FRUIT TREE BASICS: Apple trees are an American classic, from the tales of JohnnyAppleseed to the groves still thriving after 100 years in Utah's Capitol Reef National Park. Here in Texas we need to make sure that we choose varieties that do well with fewer chilling hours. You will also need two different varieties with similar chilling hours to ensure production, as most apple trees are cross- pollinated. Gala and Fuji are good partners, and Granny Smith can actually self- pollinate ffyou only have space for one, as apple trees can grow quite large. Other good varieties for this area include Anna and Dorsett Golden (200- 300 chilling hours), Ein Shemer (350 hours and ASK AMANDA, 3C Adriana Garza instructs a of her own studio in Kyle small class about commercials and beginning March 6. acting in front of a green screen. She will COURTESY PHOTO begin teaching out BY PAIGE LAMBERT Adriana Garza stared at the thousands of billboards blanketing Los Angeles, each announcing the next on-screen thriller. While Garza looked for any acting gig she could find, she never dreamed she would have her own acting studio. But Garza's dreams will come true March 6 when she opens her own acting studio in Plum Creek. The six-week courses are open to all ages and teach everything from techniques to dealing with agents. Garza's journey began when she moved to Los Angeles right after high school to begin her acting career. She grew up with an artistic family in E1 Paso. "She (her mum) had seven kids and she fed us all the arts to see if we were interested in it," Garza said. "I was scared to go, but I went anyway." Garza walked into her first commercial contract after living in L.A. for three months. The young actress was thrilled to put "1 feel like I can show these kids that not only are your dreams tangible, but it's right down the street." -Adriana Garza, actress and acting coach her passion to use. Now she smiles at a Psychic Solutions commercial she acted in, remembering how she would ACTING OUT, 5C native overcomes BY MOSES LEOS III chorus of cheers and ran- ous applause greeted 8-year-old Kyle native Robert Reyes as he reached the home stretch of Saturday's "Run for the Love of It" 5K. It was a moment that was unexpected for Reyes, who completed Satur- day's race roughly ten months after a stroke nearly robbed him of his mobility. "I feel touched and lucky to even be here right now and have people outside of my fam- ily rooting me on in some- thing [so] big in my life," Reyes said. Now on the road to recovery, Reyes hopes his story can bring inspiration to those who may be in a similar situation. "I'm into gratitude right now," Reyes said after completing the 5K course. "I don't know how I can give back, but hopefully I can do or say something that can be a positive thing in people's lives." Reyes, who grew up in Kyle and is a Hays High graduate, was living a normal life many other Austin residents his age were living. Late nights, little sleep was normal for Reyes. So also were "vices." He cited cof- fee, smok- mg and drinking. In January 2015, Reyes was diag- nosed with high blood pressure. Three months later, on Apr. 10, 2015, Reyes suffered his stroke, which took away his ability to walk and talk normally. "I was into late nights, little sleep, and now my life has taken a complete 180," Reyes said. "I was basically reduced to zero." So began his arduous journey toward recovery. Reyes said he had to relearn how to walk and talk again. Other tasks, such as swallowing food or drinking wa- ter, also had to be relearned. Joining him on his journey was his family, including his mother and brother, who stayed with him at his Austin home. Friends also aided not only in his recovery, but assimilation back to home life. Reyes said they were able to build a wheelchair accessible ramp for him to enter his home. "It was touching to see my whole group of friends come together for something that was just a good-hearted thing," Reyes said. "I was lucky to be surround- ed by positive people. No one let OVERCOMING THE ODDS, 4C Mt. City Montage by Pauline Tom For those of you who have followed ' Montage" for many years. Yes, RonTom did it. On Sunday morning, he presented me with that same old Valentine that started out quite stupid and patina'd into pre- cious. The dilapidated, tattered, taped brown envelope that holds the same old card was slightly transformed with "2015" x'd and a fresh "2016" underneath. That envelope is quite full with X'd out years. I love you, Run. For those of you who have followed "Montage" for many years, early in these chit-chats, I sug- gested recycling dryer lint outside, as nesting material for the birds. Erase that from your memory banks, please. Dryer lint is never suitable for birds, and can be dangerous. Dryer lint has no structure, so it crumbles under the weight of nestlings. It may contain chemicals, fragrances, and dust. If it gets wet it may mold, and it may stick to the nestlings' legs, feet, and feathers. Unbleached cotton batting, cut into small strips (about 1-inch by 3-inch) is safe and help- ful. A yet-unidentified bird is building in the nestbox out from our backyard oaks - with bits of moss and unbleached cotton. The Humane Society provides a list of addi- tional materials humans can provide to help nest- ing birds: • Dead trees and branches for cavity nesters (if they pose no hazard) • Twigs (rigid for plat- form nests and flexible for cup-shaped nests) • Mud (robins, in particular, love a mud puddle!) • Dry grass and straw (not treated with chemi- cals) • Horse hair (cut in 4-6" lengths) • Pet fur (from animals not treated with flea or tick chemicals) • Moss, bark strips, pine needles, dead leaves, and fluff or down of plants • Snake skins (if you find one laying around, leave it for a bird to dis- cover) • Spider webs and caterpillar silk (stretchy binding material for nests) (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) of- fers a list of bird-friendly improvements: • Reducing the amount of space covered by mowed lawn in favor of native shrubs and trees • Planting mul- tiple layers of structure throughout your prop- erty (e.g., tall trees, me- dium shrubs, and short grasses/wildflowers) • Incorporating appro- priate plants to attract nesting birds in your area • Using fewer helper chemicals, such as pesti- cides and fertilizers • Providing a constant source of fresh clean MONTAGE, 3C + + I