Author Archives: Selse1946

Red Thread-Resistant Grasses

Red thread is a fungal disease which kills turf grass. This fungus covers a huge area without killing the grass since it spreads, but after 2- to 8-inch-wide regions of dead grass appear. Look for a reddish-pink jelly-like webbing, which glues the grass blades together. In areas prone to crimson thread illness, plant crimson thread-resistant grass varieties.

Susceptible Varieties

Some turf grasses are prone to red thread strikes. These grasses include cultivars of bentgrass, bluegrass, fescue, ryegrass and Bermuda grass. Infestations occur more often along coastal areas in which the temperatures are light, between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Long periods of dampness also raise red thread development.


Perennial ryegrass (Lolium spp.) Is a tough native North American grass commonly planted for agricultural functions like livestock grazing. This vigorous grass produces green stalks, narrow leaves and summer flowers in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 1 through 12. In zones with warm summer weather, this grass variety does not survive the heat and is employed as a winter annual. Even though ryegrass is vulnerable to red thread fungus, enhanced perennial varieties demonstrate strong immunity to the respiratory disorder. According to the University of Illinois Extension, the following varieties comprise “Birdie II,” “Citation II,” “Linn,” “Pennant,” “Pippin,” “Premier” and “Tara.”

Fine-Leaf Fescue

Fine-leaf fescue (Festuca spp.) Grows best as a cool-season continued grass. Suited for USDA zones 1 through 9, this grass seems like a clumping or creeping narrow-blade grass forming a dense lawn. Many fescue grasses perish from crimson thread infections, but a few new varieties are immune to this disease. Resistant or reasonably resistant fine-leaf fescue grasses comprise “Atlanta,” “Aurora,” “Bighorn,” “Biljart,” “Dawson,” “Epsom,” “Flyer,” “Golfrood,” “Reliant,” “Scaldis,” “Shadow,” “Spartan,” “Valda,” “Weekend” and “Wintergreen.”

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) is a cool season grass that grows best in fall, winter and spring in USDA zones 1 through 8. The green grass blades produce a dense turf. Recently developed Kentucky bluegrass cultivars show good levels of immunity to crimson thread. The University of Illinois Extension reports which “Adelphi,” “Admiral,” “Aspen,” “Banff,” “Barblue,” “Bonnieblue,” “Bono,” “Bristol,” “Classic,” “Dormie,” “Eclipse,” “Haga,” “Harmony,” “Holiday,” “Midnight,” “Nassau,” “Trenton” and “Welcome” are immune to red thread.

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What is the Fastest Growing Fruit Tree?

Few things are as annoying to a home gardener as the let down when you realize that the tree you just planted won’t bear fruit tomorrow, or even the next day, or even the day after that. Some patience is required when growing a home orchard. However, fast-growing fruit trees which add at least 2 feet of growth in 1 season can be found at your neighborhood nursery. They nevertheless won’t offer instant gratification, but they will produce fruit within a relatively brief time period.


A few apple trees grow two or more feet a season, like the “Golden Delicious,” (Malus x domestica “Golden Delicious”), “Red Delicious,” (Malus x domestica “Red Delicious”) and Ancient Harvest (Malus x domestica “Early Harvest”). The “Red Delicious” and “Golden Delicious” cultivars, which develop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8, bloom mid-season, producing white or pink blossoms, followed by sweet, crisp fruit in autumn. As its name suggests, the “Ancient Harvest,” which is suited for growing in USDA zone 3 through 8, ripens earlier than other kinds, but creates comparable flowers and fruit.


Fast-growing pear trees incorporate the Oriental pear (Pyrus communis), which thrives in USDA zones 5 to 8, along with also the Kieffer pear (Pyrus communis x P. pyrifolia), located in USDA zones 4 to 9. They grow up to 20 feet high and produce profuse white blossoms before fruiting. The large hot yellow fruit of the Oriental pear is ready for harvesting in the summer season. Kieffer pears, also yellowish but crisp, ripen in the early autumn.


Meanwhile, the “Belle of Georgia” (Prunus persica “Belle of Georgia”), “Elberta” (Prunus persica “Elberta”), “Golden Jubilee” (Prunus persica “Golden Jubilee”) and also “Hale-Haven” (Prunus persica “Hale-Haven”) striped trees develop at least 2 feet a season. All these are freestone varieties that flourish in USDA zones 5 through 8, but the “Elberta” will also rise in zone 9. Meanwhile, the “Belle of Georgia,” which flowers in showy red flowers, creates white-fleshed fruit, while the other three produce fruit with yellow flesh in the summer months.


Two varieties of apricot trees grow rapidly, the “Moorpark” (Prunus armeniaca “Moorpark”), which thrives in USDA zones 4 to 8, along with also the “Ancient Golden (Prunus armeniaca “Ancient Golden”), adapt to growing in USDA zones 5 to 8. Both produce showy white or pink blossoms followed by big, flavorful fruit. The yellow-skinned fruit of the “Moorpark” turns a deep orange or red when ripe, while the fruit of the “Ancient Golden” is orange inside and orange or golden outside when ready to select in the summertime.

Other Fruit Trees

Other fast-growing fruit trees comprise the black cherry (Prunus serotina), which grows up to 3 feet a season in USDA zones 3 to 9, reaching 50 feet in height. It produces showy white blossoms in the spring along with cherries in early summer. The “Hass” (Persea americana “Hass”) along with also the “Fuerte” (Persea americana “Fuerte”), each of which develop best in USDA zones 9 and 10, are types of avocados that grow 3 feet a season. The “Hass” creates fruit all year except in the winter, while the “Fuerte” creates every season but the autumn. Citrus, like the “Meyer” lemon tree (Citrus limon “Meyer”), located in USDA zones 8 to 11, may grow up to 4 feet a season when young, depending on variables which include climate, rootstock and spacing.

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Ideas for Flower Containers for Shaded Entrances

Potted flowers brighten shaded entrances and welcome guests with refreshing colour or scent. Portable containers may be removed easily after a flowering show finishes, and permanent planters hold seasonal colour according to your preferences and whims. Shade-tolerant shrubs, perennials, vines or yearly flowers can fill pots, hanging baskets or urns with individual specimens or in stunning seasonal combinations. Arrange to get a steady water supply to keep your container garden perky since containers tend to dry out quickly.

Flowering Shrubs

Obviously modest, container-grown Japanese maple trees (Acer palmatum), for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, retain their diminutive height over several phases. Heavy pots that are 2 or 3 inches wider than the root ball and wider than they are heavy work best for slow growing, weeping varieties, like “Red Dragon.” Spring blooms and extravagantly colored leaf make for year-long interest. Rhododendrons and azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) , for USDA zones 4 through 9, come in every flowering shade except true blue. Plants vary from under two feet tall into towering, 20-foot-high giants, but the small and medium ranges bring reliable spring shade to shaded entryways. Move off-season “rhodies” out of sight or plant them in permanent garden places to make room for summertime entryway shade.

Perennial Flowers

Pots restrict the vigorous development of fragrant, tropical ginger lilies (Hedychium spp.) , which can be most attractive from the moist, coastal areas of USDA zones 8b through 11. In late summer through early fall, bring spectacular, 3- to 7-foot-high potted butterfly ginger (H. coronarium) seeds into the entryway because of their 12-inch-long clusters of fragrant white blossoms to welcome guests. Try grouping different-sized pots together with a variety of colorful flowering perennials. Trailing tuberous begonias (Begonia), for USDA zones 6 through 9, overflow pots with brilliant summertime shade. At USDA zones 5 through 9, hardy cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium) plants bloom in early fall with pink or white winged flowers one of silvery green, heart-shaped leaves. Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis), for USDA zones 4 through 9, blossom in winter with colour choices in pink, white and plum shades. Consider including colorful, spiky, 18-inch-high “Red Baron” blood grass (Imperata cylindrica) for textural contrast.

Flowering Vines

Permit perennial vines spill from hanging baskets, window boxes, wall containers or tall urns in nesting entrances. The evergreen bleeding glorybower (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) graces entryways in USDA zones 9 and 10 with showy red and white flower clusters from summer through fall. The intoxicating scent of Chilean jasmine’s (Mandevilla suaveolens) whitened to blushed-pink blossom clusters welcome guests from late spring through midsummer in USDA zones 9 and 10 or within an annual everywhere. Charming orange, white or yellow cedar trumpet flowers marked with dark-chocolate-colored center dots cover black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) vines in summer as an annual or in perennial pots in USDA zone 10. For striking entry shows, install classes of hanging baskets at different speeds with mixed or matched flowering vines.

Annual Flowers

Annual wax begonias (Begonia spp.) , with succulent foliage, flower in red, pink or white from summer through frost on shrubby plants beneath a feet tall and broad. Tropical coleus (Solenostemon) plants blossom with alluring blue flower spikes, but since their real glory is in their brilliant leaf, pinch flowers right back for dense, bushy growth. The crops grow 2 feet tall and broad and match mixed flowerpots or hanging baskets, leading velvety leaves splotched with vibrant reds, greens, pinks, oranges and yellows. Low-growing impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) cover themselves with masses of all 2-inch-wide spurred blooms in shades of pink, red, white or peach from spring through frost. Pansies (Viola cornuta) bring winter and spring cheer to nesting containers with their smiling “faces .” Edge a big perennial flowering tub with dark begonias, coleus, impatiens or pansies.

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English vs. French Lavender

The generic title “lavender” refers to many different aromatic perennial shrubs from the genus Lavendula. Lavender is grown primarily for its fragrant oil, which will be valued for perfumery and medicinal purposes. The most commonly cultivated species is English lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), while French lavender (Lavendula dentata) is one of numerous less-common species.


Probably the most basic difference between English lavender and French lavender is their ability to withstand cold temperatures. English lavender, which is thought to be the most cold-hardy species, which can successfully over-winter in many areas of the USA. French lavender, which is indigenous to Spain, is often grown as an annual because it’s susceptible to dying in colder climates.


English lavender produces a high-quality oil that’s most closely associated with the true “lavender” odor. A hybrid species called Lavandin is much more productive than English lavender, but often the oil from Lavandin varieties have to be combined using English lavender oil to attain a satisfactory aroma. The odor of French lavender is fine and includes a scent like that of rosemary.


English lavender grows from 1 to 3 feet tall. The leaves are narrow with smooth borders, and also the flowers take on several different hues of purple, white and blue. French lavender is similar to English cedar in dimension, but the leaves are differentiated by tooth whitening teeth along the borders — the species name dentata comes from the Latin word for “having teeth” The flowers of French lavender are usually purple or violet.

Length of Bloom

French lavender has the desired capability to bloom for a very long section of the growing season, with flowers appearing in early spring and persisting through the warmer months. English lavender, on the other hand, flowers from late spring to midsummer, and the blooming period may be as brief as mid-June to early July. As with a number of other flowering plants, the two types of lavender will bloom more always if flowers are eliminated as they begin to fade.

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How to Leak-Proof a Shower Base

A normal shower foundation is made up of one-piece fiberglass unit that’s installed on a subfloor or concrete bunker. If you notice moist or wet areas beyond the shower, it is time to leak-proof the foundation. Tile showers should be handled by a contractor that specializes in these installments. As long as the fiberglass foundation isn’t cracked or damaged you can leak-proof it at a relatively short time using substances sold at home centers and plumbing supply outlets.

Cut the wax of aged caulking around the upper edges of the base where it meets the walls, using a utility knife. Peel away and eliminate as much of the caulking as possible by hand. If necessary, use a plastic putty knife to remove irregular caulking from the base-to-wall seam.

Remove the bathtub drain grate by prying it out with a screwdriver. Alternatively, loosen and eliminate attachment screws with the appropriate screwdriver, and remove the grate.

Wear latex gloves. Wash the upper borders of the base where it meets the wall, using a bathroom cleaner or fiberglass shower base cleaner. Remove residual cleaner with clean rags and clean water. Allow the cleaned areas to dry completely before proceeding.

Install a tube of silicone-based tub and tile caulking from the caulking gun. Use the utility knife to cut the tip of the tubing and produce a 1/8-inch opening.

Start in one corner of the bathtub where the foundation meets the wall. Utilizing a consistent motion, apply the caulking from the seam where the old caulking was eliminated and move to the opposite end of the wall. Repeat this for the remaining walls.

Apply a modest amount of caulking in the outer borders of the opening where the drain grate was eliminated. Reinstall the grate.

Permit the sealant at the base of the walls to cure for one hour and then apply another layer in the seams.

Open the shower door, if there’s one, and remove the rubber seal in the underside of the doorway. To try it, grip one end of the seal with pliers and pull it out of the groove. Instead, use the appropriate screwdriver to remove a drip rail.

Install a rubber seal. Begin by applying a thin amount of spray lubricant on the outer borders. Insert 1 end into the channel in the inner edge of the shower door. Then grip the finish with the pliers and pull the seal till that finish aligns with the outer border of the doorway. Cut off any surplus in the inner border with a utility knife. Otherwise, put in a brand new drip rail in the base of the doorway, using the provided screws.

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The way to Make My Shower Doors Look New Again

It is a rare shower door which doesn’t turn blurred, and the grounds are twofold — hard water and soap scum. A number of commercial cleansers can eliminate cloudiness, but that needs to spend money on cleaners when you’ve got baking soda and vinegar in your own kitchen? These cleansers can also handle scummy metallic frames and grips, however if rust is a problem, dig into your kitchen drawer to get some aluminum foil.

Handling Tough Water

Most hard water deposits have been iron salts, and acids can dissolve them. Commercial limescale removers contain phosphoric or sulfamic acid, however plain household vinegar and lemon juice can also be acidic; the former contains acetic acid as well as the latter citric acid. Although commercial cleansers work more quickly, both vinegar and lemon juice may dissolve lime scale, however they will need to stay in touch longer. Put either condiment in a spray bottle and spray your shower doors repeatedly for about 10 minutes. When you squeegee off the solution, the cloudiness will go with it.

Regarding that Soap Scum

Residue from your shampoo and conditioner which has collected on the shower door and about the trim isn’t the same as mineral deposits — you will need an abrasive cleaner to handle them. Scouring powder functions, and therefore does lemon soda. Make a paste of baking soda and water; cover the glass and then trim with it and then rinse using a non-abrasive sponge — if you are feeling daring — your hand. You can rinse it with water, but if you spray it with vinegar before rinsing, it will produce a satisfyingly cleaning foam which deodorizes, descale and explains all at the same moment.

Rusty Trim

Even the most durable chrome may turn hardened from the moist conditions inside a shower stall, and you might be surprised how simple it is to remove rust. Simply crumple up a piece of tin foil and use it to rub off the rust. This apparently magical approach to rust removal is all science — aluminum has a greater affinity for oxygen atoms than steel; it also steals them in the chrome to form aluminum oxide, and leaves the metal rust-free. This procedure works well for rust-pitted trim and chrome fixtures, but it wo not restore serious corrosion. It might take a blend of rust and seams inhibitor — or new trim — to get that.

Maintaining Clarity

Avoid your shower doors from turning hazy and creating your toilet appear dingier than it really is by periodically spraying a 1-to-1 way of water and vinegar on the glass, allowing it to sit for 5 minutes and squeegeeing it away. Should you squeegee the glass after each shower, you will not need the vinegar therapy frequently. Maintain a sponge in the shower and rub the trim down with shampoo about once a week. Break out the baking soda when you notice that shampoo isn’t doing the job.

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The Best Ground Cover for Full Sun & Clay Soil

Clay soil presents a problem for gardeners since it is heavy, poorly draining rather than easily amended. When wet, it is sticky and pliable; sturdy clay soil develops breaks and becomes hard. On the plus side, clay holds moisture and nutrients. Many plants won’t grow in clay soil, but quite a few species, like U.S. indigenous plants, thrive in clay that’s in a full-sun site. The best ground covers for such an area are those that provide visual interest for multiple seasons and don’t need frequent maintenance.


Clay soil exposed to winter flood presents particular challenges, and several ground-cover plants have the ability to withstand these problems. 1 candidate is brown-headed creeping rush (Juncus phaeocephalus phaeocephalus), a low-growing indigenous plant suitable for coastal or low-lying areas. The plant is all about 1/2 to 1 inch tall and is perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. Yet another offender is California goldenrod (Solidago californica), which grows best in areas that are wet in winter but dry in summer. It reaches 15 to 36 inches tall, bears bright-yellow blossoms in summer and is hardy in USDA zones 6 through 10.


Some ground-cover plants that tolerate clay soil also take dry conditions and are suitable for low-water areas. Among these plants that offers evergreen shade is the shrubby “Pigeon Point” cultivar of dwarf coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis pilularis “Pigeon Point”), that grows 12 inches tall and up to 10 feet wide. Once established, it is very drought-tolerant. It is hardy in USDA zones 7 through 10. Yet another low-growing, evergreen shrub that tolerates clay dirt and dry conditions is “Carmel Sur” manzanita (Arctostaphylos edmundsii “Carmel Sur”), that bears urn-shaped, pink blossoms in spring. Hugging the ground at 4 inches tall, this plant may spread 18 feet broad. Suitable for coastal regions, “Carmel Sur” is perennial in USDA zones 8 through 10.

Showy Flowers

Enjoy bright flowers in addition to ground coverage from full-sun, clay-tolerant plants such as threadleaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata) and daylily (Hemerocallis spp.) . Threadleaf coreopsis is actually the best coreopsis for clay soil, according to the August 2010 “Garden Beet” newsletter by the Jackson County, Oregon, Master Gardener Association. Profuse, yellow, daisylike flowers cover the 18- to 30-inch-tall plant from early to late summer. It is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9. Mass plantings of daylilies make effective ground covers in flowerbeds and on slopes, with the plants’ slender leaves forming clumps that protect the dirt. Daylily flowers look on stalks held over the leaves and therefore are in a wide range of colors, from yellow, red and orange to cream and purple, and some blooms have multiple colours. Daylily grows 1 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet broad; it is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 10.

Gray Foliage

Sometimes you might want ground covers with leaf colors other than green to contrast with background plantings or as foils for intense colors in clay, full-sun gardens. 1 option is the soft-textured, silvery gray leaf of “Canyon Gray” sagebrush (Artemisia californica “Canyon Gray”), that spills over planter edges and rock garden terraces. That aromatic ground cover is hardy in USDA zones 7 through 9. A ground cover with gray-green leaf is California fuchsia (Epilobium canum subspecies latifolia), which also has brilliant orange-red, tubular blooms in summer and autumn. It grows 4 to 20 inches tall, is perennial in USDA zones 8 through 10 and tolerates full sun to partial shade and clay to sandy soil.

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The Best Time to Dig a Trumpet Vine

If you’re growing a trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), you might already know that it’s a fast-growing plant that thrives easily to an assistance using aerial roots on its own stems. Its vines may be 40 feet tall, with showy clusters of yellow or red flowers in summer. The ideal time to transplant an present vine depends a bit on the climate in which you live, but you can dig up the plant at any time to control its growth or remove it completely.

Transplanting in Spring

The trumpet vine grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10. It drops its leaves and becomes dormant in late autumn in cold-winter places, but might continue growing year where winters are frost-free. If you’d like to transplant your trumpet vine along with your area has cold winters, early spring is the ideal time for this, just prior to the plant sets its fresh flush of growth. The trumpet vine attaches tightly to constructions, so cut the vines back by up to 50 percent just before you transplant, gently pulling them free from their support as you work. Clean your blades by wiping them with rubbing alcohol between cuts, to prevent spread of plant infection, and dig the plant when soil is moist, keeping as much dirt on the root ball as you can.

Other Times

If you live where winters are mild and frost-free, you could also transplant a trumpet vine in autumn or early winter, because the origins continue growing even if top growth slows during the cool months. Wherever you live, avoid moving the plant during the warm summer months, because heat may raise the transplant shock that the plant encounters after it’s transplanted. If digging a trumpet vine in summer is the sole option, keep it well-watered for many weeks after the move, aiming for 1 or 2 inches of water every week, including rain. Supply the plant using some shade in its new spot for a few weeks, to prevent leaf scorch, and add a 3-inch layer of mulch to help conserve soil moisture and keep down weeds.

Digging for Control

A trumpet vine can be a rampant grower, especially in areas where it rises year-round. It also spreads by suckers that develop out of the origins or by spontaneous layering, rooting wherever vines touch the ground. If you would like to dig a trumpet vine to eliminate it completely from the lawn, check all of the vines for rooted places and eliminate those origins together with the most important root ball. Trumpet vines also spread by putting out underground runnersthat can sprout by creating shoots some distance from the main plant. Assess for them in all directions around your plant, then removing them with the neighboring roots. After you dig the plant up, continue monitoring the area for a few seasons, searching for shoots or suckers that grow from remaining roots; eliminate these as they appear.

Managing the Vines

Although the trumpet vine is a plant that is attractive, it may be an aggressive grower that may need regular trimming or pruning to keep it under control. You can trim it at any given time of year, cutting vines back by up to 95 percent to control their growth. However, this sort of drastic reconstruction can interfere with flowering, as the vine flowers on new side shoots that appear each spring from old, principal stems. To maintain next summer’s blossoms, leave several well-spaced vines unpruned, cutting others back; repeat this every couple of years to control the vine’s dimension.

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A Liquid Castile Dish Soap Recipe With White Vinegar

Implementing vinegar may sound to degrease the dishes while you wash them, but the two substances cancel out one. Rather, use vinegar for a rinse for the dishes to eliminate any soapy or greasy residue.

Put an inch or so of liquid Castile soap to a jar or dish soap bottle, using a funnel. Add four or five times as much water exact proportions aren’t required; the higher the concentration, the less you need to add to the dish water. Add water if the solution appears too thick after mixing, such as during cool weather.

Pour of lavender, lavender or lemon essential oil into the bottle to add a scent. These oils Each add the soap, such as cutting or disinfecting grease and germs and valuable properties. If you want an unscented soap, skip this step.

Replace the lid onto the jar or bottle and swirl it around to mix the ingredients. If the liquids do not mix permitting the suds to settle until you use the soap, shake the jar.

Fill the sink with warm water and add a squirt or two of the homemade soap. Add the dishes into the water as you want with any dish soap.

Wipe each dish, then dip into a plastic pan comprising equal parts vinegar and water. Wipe the dishes that are dipped using a dish cloth or sponge soaked in the vinegar ; then set them into the drying rack to dry.

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Could I Plant an Aptos Blue Tree Next to My House?

The “Aptos Blue” coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens “Aptos Blue”) is hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10 or zones 7 through 9, depending on the source. This cultivar grows 70 to 100 feet tall in urban areas, and its own canopy spreads 15 to 30 feet wide. Because of the evergreen tree’s mature size and shallow, spreading root system, don’t plant it nearer than 100 feet in a building’s base.


“Aptos Blue” requires moist, well-drained, acidic soil with a pH range of 4.5 to 6.5. Adding a 3- to 4-inch-thick layer of mulch on top of the ground helps keep a constant degree of moisture, reducing drought stress on the tree. The cultivar also needs exposure to full sun or partial shade. Its seaside tolerance is ranked as good in a medium zone by California Polytechnic State University’s Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute. The tree grows 36 or more inches per year.

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