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Planting your garden for spring

By Melissa Gaona, mgaona@wdbj7.com
Published On: Feb 07 2014 09:03:23 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 07 2014 02:27:25 PM EST

Horticulture / Arboretum Clark BeCraft

ROANOKE, Va. -

Hundreds of people are testing their talent at Greene Memorial United Methodist Church and they're all hoping for a part in a new movie.

Starting March 7th, shooting for a local film will start in Roanoke.

Corey Tatarka has taken a few acting workshops in New York but she’s never been in a movie. Tatarka says she's hoping her portrayal of a pregnant woman on meth will land her a role in "Crossing Streets". "I was extremely nervous but I think it came out more like excitement of hyperactivity," said Tatarka.

The movie is a buddy-cop drama, which means a serious story but with comedy edge.

The story starts when a Methodist minister and a Roanoke city detective try to solve a gang related shooting.

DeShawn Riley was planning to play the character “Shank” but the producer had different plans. "He gave me a different script to audition for suspect number three and I was definitely not expecting that," laughed Riley.

The panel consisted of the writer, the casting director, and the producer with Alexander Films. Hutchins explains what he’s looking for. "I just want them to be very colorful and dynamic. I like unique rather than plain."

Resumes, head shots, and talent of all ages came through the door one after one. Parts are available for both teens and adults. Extras are needed but most are hoping their acting skills will score them a speaking role.

Casting calls are on Friday, February 07, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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March 20th is the first official day of spring 2014 and many people will want to get their garden up and running again.

So WDBJ7 headed to Virginia Western Community College to talk with the Arboretum Director Clark BeCraft.

One of the first things you’ll need to do is evaluate your garden. Look at projects that need to be done like cleaning out debris that accumulated over the winter months.

Make sure you sharpen all of your tools and have a good pruning saw on hand.

A common mistake many folks make is getting "Spring Fever" too early. Before you purchase a plant at the nursery, make sure the site matches the requirements that a plant needs to grow like enough space and sunlight.

Have a soil test performed. The Virginia Cooperative Extension in Roanoke has a soil test kit that you can pick up at no cost. Follow the directions and send to Virginia Tech. The soil test results will cost around $12 - $15. Virginia Tech will send you a ph reading, what kind of soil to use, and ways to prep your soil for spring planting.

The best way to handle deer is to plant herbs like lavender that are deer resistant. Deer netting can also protect your garden. Deer repellants also work but you have to reapply frequently.

This time of year is great to start germinating seeds in your home to be planted out into the garden.

Right now you can germinate leafy vegetables for early planting. Later into March, you can start germinating tomato seeds, peppers and plant them outside after the danger of frost.

Typically for this area your frost free date is going to be the first or second week of March. But watch carefully because late frosts can occur and this will kill your plants.

Virginia Western Community College students will offer plant sales throughout the season. The first sale is March 22nd, at the greenhouse. Spring bedding plant and vegetable sale will happen the weekend of April 24th.

For more information on the sale, click here.