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IN THIS ISSUE February Garden Guide back to top >>
  1. Garden Guide
  2. Energy Wise
  3. Heart Month
  4. Enchilada Soup Recipe

  5. Norris Public Power District
    606 Irving Street
    Beatrice, NE 68310

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Order perennial plants and bulbs now for cut flowers this summer. Particularly good choices are phlox, daisies, coreopsis, asters and lilies.

Don't remove mulch from perennials too early. A warm day may make you think spring is almost here but there may be colder weather yet to come.

Late winter is the time to prune many deciduous trees. Look over your plants now and remove dead, dying, or unsightly parts of the tree, sprouts growing at or near the base of the tree trunk and crossed branches.

Don't start your vegetable plants indoors too early. Six weeks ahead of the expected planting date is early enough for the fast growth species such as cabbage. Eight weeks allows enough time for slower growing types such as peppers.

Prune fruit trees and grapes in February or early March after the worst of the winter cold is passed but before spring growth begins.

Fertilize fruit trees as soon as possible after the ground thaws but before blossom time. If bird feeding has been a favorite activity this winter, order trees and shrubs which provide cover and small fruits for your feathered friends. Consider species such as crabapple and hawthorn which can help lure hungry birds from cultivated fruits, if planted on the opposite side of the yard.

Source: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

EnergyWiseSM Tip: Home Office Equipment back to top >>

More people are working from home than ever before. A large portion of electricity that was traditionally consumed in commercial offices and businesses has shifted to homes and alternative work locations. While some may not notice the increase on their monthly energy bill, others are surprised to find out how much those office electronics, combined with increased use of other household appliances, can add. Whether at home or in a conventional office, the same principles of energy efficiency apply.


Computers are usually the most critical piece of office equipment. Consider switching out an old desktop personal computer (PC) to a laptop computer. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), laptop computers use about one-third the power (22 watts) of a typical PC (68 watts) when in active mode. Annually, a laptop computer could save approximately $19 compared to a PC.


While more efficient flat screen monitors have become the standard for the last 20 years, not all monitors have similar energy requirements. High-resolution, ultrawide and twisted-nematic screens tend to consume more energy than general use LED monitors. Applying "sleep" and "hibernate" settings and turning off machines when not in use can translate to significant energy savings. Unmanaged monitors left on at night and on the weekend can easily add an extra $30 onto your energy bills each year.


The ACEEE also notes that most home printers have less than 75 hours of active use a year. Similar to computers, activate the printer's energy management settings. As much as $50 in energy savings could be realized annually.

Cell phones and Rechargeable Devices

These days, everything is wireless. Cell phones, headsets, notebooks, keyboards and chargers are plugged in and devices connected to ensure a full charge when they are needed. Many devices continue drawing power even after charging is complete. Plugging office electronics into a power strip allows users to switch all chargers and other plug-in devices off with one switch.

  February - American Heart Month       back to top >>  

Strenuous activity in the winter, whether it's clearing your sidewalk or hitting the slopes with your family, is a risk particularly for people who have heart disease.

Five Ways to Treat Your Heart Right this Winter:

  • Before tackling an outdoor task or activity, warm up first by going for a short, easy walk. Ease into your activity.
  • Try not to overdo it and take frequent breaks during your activity.
  • Dress warmly in layers but avoid overdressing which can lead to overheating. Wear fabrics that wick the moisture away from your body.
  • Cover your face and mouth with a scarf or mask. This is important because breathing in cold air can cause the heart's coronary arteries to narrow, which raises the risk of angina (chest pain) and blood clotting.

Listen to your body. If you are concerned, talk with your doctor, or seek immediate medical attention.

When in doubt, call 9 1 1. Every second counts.
  Beef Enchilada Soup Recipe       back to top >>  

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