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Gardening | Take advantage of services, farmers markets

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Here are a few services to use and things to know:

Plant problem clinic at Inlet Square

The Inlet Square Mall Plant Problem Clinic is already under way for this year’s growing season. A Clemson Extension agent and Master Gardeners staff the clinic on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will diagnose/identify your plant problems and make appropriate control recommendations. The service runs through September.

When you go, take a freshly cut sample from your diseased plant, a piece of the sod in question, your declining plant (including roots), weeds, insects or damaged leaves. Pictures of your plant problem on site may be useful. Samples should be in a clear plastic bag. In the case of a large plant, cover the roots with a plastic bag.

Call 811 before you dig

Whether you are installing a mailbox, fence, deck, patio, tree, drainage, pond or pool, every digging job requires a call to 811 before you dig. It is the law in more than 30 states, including North and South Carolina. We are among more than 30 states that have installed an 811 one-call notification center. Make just one phone call, and your underground utility lines will be marked for free. That’s it.

If you or your contractor is about to embark on a digging project, call 811. The call center will alert utility operators. A locator from each member utility — communication, electric, gas, water, sewer, telephone, etc. — with local infrastructure will indicate its lines with colored marks coded to its facility. The process requires three working days, not including the day of notification.

If you have hired a contractor, make sure 811 has been contacted, and confirm that all lines are marked before you allow work to begin.

Each utility locator marks only the lines his company installs and maintains. Utility lines are not buried at a standard depth because of variations in installation practices, changes in grade, erosion, etc. Consequently, locators indicate horizontal location, not depth.

Private lines installed by your plumber, electrician or irrigation contractor are not covered by the 811 process. They are the responsibility of the property owner.

The owner of a single-family home on his own land is exempt from calling 811 when excavation is performed under the following circumstances: work does not encroach on any operator’s known right-of-way, easement or permitted use; excavation is not performed with mechanized equipment, and it is less than 10 inches deep; tilling or plowing less than 12 inches deep for agricultural purposes is also exempt.

Hitting underground utility lines can cause serious injury to workmen and inconvenience for the property owner, as well as the community. Damage is costly, and penalties are can be assessed up to $1,000 per violation.

Call 811 is a free service for both homeowners and contractors. For more information or to enter your digging notice online, go to www.sc811.com.

Local farmers markets

Local farmers markets will begin to open at the end of April. Check your local market’s start date and time of operation on the list below.

▪ Carolina Forest Farmer’s Market, at the Carolina Forest Recreation Center, 2254 Carolina Forest Blvd., will run on Thursdays from 1-6 p.m. May 7-Oct. 29.

▪ Coastal Carolina University Farmers Market, on Prince Lawn on the CCU campus, will operate Wednesday, April 29, only, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

▪ Conway Medical Center Farmers Market, on Singleton Ridge Road, will operate every other Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 8-Aug. 28.

▪ Conway Farmers Market, 217 Laurel St., will operate Saturdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. May 2-Oct. 31.

▪ DeVille Farmers Market, on DeVille Street in Myrtle Beach, will operate Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 6-Aug. 29.

▪ Georgetown Farmers Market, 122 Screven St., will operate Saturdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. May 2-Oct. 31.

▪ North Myrtle Beach Farmers Market, 925 First Ave. S. in North Myrtle Beach, will operate Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 1-Oct. 30.

▪ Pawleys Island Farmers Market will operate from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May-October. The site has not been announced yet. Call 365-6715 at the end of April or watch this column for complete information.

▪ Surfside Beach Farmers Market, on Surfside Drive, will be open Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 5-Oct. 27.

Reach DEBBIE MENCHEK, a Clemson Master Gardener, at dmgha3@aol.com.

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