Dear Sun Spots: When baking for diabetics and not wanting to use Splenda or similar products, is it better to use granulated fructose over cane sugar? It is my understanding that fructose is sweeter, and you use a third less in the recipe.
Is there any ground cover plant that blossoms all or part of the summer? Thank you. — No Name, No Town.

Answer: Ellen Dionne, a registered dietitian at Central Maine Endocrinology, a physician practice through CMMC, notes that fructose is a sweeter sugar so using a lesser amount would be fine; however, she said that both will bring up the blood sugar depending on the quantity used in the recipe.
In response to your second question, many thanks to Sun Journal gardening columnist Jody Goodwin who offered the following suggestions for you, depending on your soil and sun conditions.
For full sun and lean soil, any of the ground cover Sedums are perfect for these conditions. Depending on the type, they will usually bloom at least three weeks and sometimes longer. These make a thick covering at about two inches high. They come in yellow, pink and red.
For partial sun and good or average soil, Lamium, which comes in white or many shades of pink, is a good choice. There are newer varieties that bloom almost continually all summer. Goodwin believes one such cultivar is called “Pink Peuter.” In addition to the bloom, the plant is known for its leaf colors which include silver, white, various greens and pink edges, again depending on the cultivar.
It is a bit slow to come back in the spring, but performs well in almost any Maine winter. She gets these for containers during the summer and then plants them in the ground in early September. They also seed themselves out and thereby replenish their ground covering qualities. They are about six inches high normally.
For all sun conditions (except deep shade) and average soil, Ajuga or, in Maine, Gill-Run-Over-the-Ground, is a very aggressive ground cover replicating with runners. You can keep it in check by uprooting new plants. If you are not one to spend time keeping plants under control, however, do not plant this one. It blooms for about three weeks in spring — usually late May into early June — and comes in purple and white. If you can find someone who has this, ask for plants, most everyone usually has plenty.
Goodwin also warns in the strongest possible way against using Crown Vetch. This is recommended by some as a ground cover. However, it is unbelievably invasive and will kill everything else eventually. That is why they plant it to hold bankings on road construction projects.
Dear Sun Spots: Deadly ricin poison is manufactured from castor beans. I would not use them to control moles under any circumstances. If it can kill a warm-blooded mole, it can also harm other warm-blooded animals. It is reported that Mussolini used castor oil as a torture.
The skunks and moles are after food as they dig and tunnel. This food is grubs in the soil. If you get rid of the grubs, you eliminate your lawn’s attractiveness to them. You also get rid of rose chafers and Japanese beetles.
You can use a BT preparation or nematodes, both of which are harmless to humans. The BT preparation can be obtained locally, but I am not convinced of its effectiveness. This year I am trying the nematodes, which were recommended by Jody Goodwin, the Sun Journal’s garden guru, and can be purchased from Gardens Alive. They are mixed with water, and the easiest way to apply them is to spray the lawn with a hose sprayer. Follow the directions carefully.
You may be too late for this year, but applications for a couple of years running should go a long way toward removing your wildlife problem and sending them elsewhere. Order nematodes early, and they will be shipped to you at the appropriate time.
P.S. Transporting and removing a skunk from a Havahart trap without getting sprayed is a ticklish job. — Marilyn Burgess, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: This is in response to Dan from Union who is looking for family members in cemeteries in Lewiston. Please check out the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society on High Street in Auburn, 786-3327. They are open Wednesdays and Saturdays.
It is a great place to find out any information on ancestors of Franco-American descent. I know for sure they have records of all who are buried at St. Peter’s cemetery, and I’m sure they can help with other cemeteries.
Make sure to bring as much information as you can get as far as names (first and last), women’s maiden names and dates if any, and I am sure you will be able to find information there. I am a member of the society and have been doing my family’s genealogy there for three years. It is great fun, and they are very helpful. It costs $3 for each visit or $20 for a year. Good luck! — No Name, Wales.

Dear Sun Spots: The Leeds Community Church is organizing a summer fundraiser to be held Saturday, July 18. A yard sale will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church. Tables will be inside in case of rain. Tables are available for rent at $10 each.
Come and sell your unused items, crafts or collectibles. Contact Sue at 524-7151 for more information. We are also hosting a baked bean and casserole supper that evening from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Homemade pies for dessert. Cost is $6 for adults, $3 for children under 12. Great food! Everyone is welcome. — Sue, Leeds.

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