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September brings brilliant sunsets

September paves way to pretty sunset

Autumn will be arriving in three more weeks. Days are still getting shorter by a minute each evening and soon there will be more nip in the September air as we progress farther into the month. The summer annuals are already making their slowdown and signaling us that they know autumn is not far away. The leaves of some silver maples already display a hint of gold. With the sun setting a minute earlier each evening we can already see a small amount of added color in the sunset. As we move past the halfway mark of the month, we will see a larger amount of colors such as pink, purple, yellow, orange, red and burgundy as the artist of autumn displays his handiwork in the horizon of autumn.

The comfort of early September in garden

The garden in September is a place of comfort and joy with temperatures laced with lower humidity and some rainy days mixed in to season out the cool weather vegetable varieties. The garden soil is workable and receptive to the vegetables of autumn. There are not many insects and weeds to hinder the newly sown vegetables recently planted. Some of the warm weather vegetables are still being harvested and there is still plenty of days to sow and set out fall plants and vegetables. September brings us the best of both worlds to enjoy in the garden world.

September is for cole family crops

The crops of the cole family such as the plants of collard, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprout can now be set out. These are very cold-hardy and will produce harvests until very early spring. Most cole family vegetables are available in six and nine packs. Always purchase the plants that have blue-green stems that have not legged out of their containers or have dried out damped off stems. A healthy plant will be dark green in color. Set cole family vegetables about 3 feet apart in a furrow about 6 or 7 inches deep. Apply a layer of peat moss in bottom of the furrow and then apply a layer of Plant-Tone organic vegetable and hill up soil on both sides of the furrow. Water with the water wand when no rain is in the forecast. Feed once a month with Plant-Tone and hill it on both sides to cover the Plant-Tone and support the vegetables as they continue to grow. As the time of frost arrives, apply a layer of crushed leaves between rows to to protect against freezes and weather extremes.

The four o’clocks making last grand display

The four o’clocks have been putting on a colorful show since mid-June and still have plenty of blooms as they are winding down their season. They were my grandma’s favorite flower and probably because it produced flowers over such a long season. Most varieties will bloom until the frost arrives.

Making easy-does-it apple dumplings

These dumplings are easy to prepare simply because they are made with canned biscuits for the dumplings. You will need two cans of Hungry Jack canned biscuits (20 biscuits), ten tart apples, one and a half cups sugar, one cup light brown sugar, two sticks melted light margarine, one can evaporated milk, and two teaspoons apple pie spices. Peel the apples, cut in half and remove core and seed. Soak in salt water to prevent browning. Roll out each biscuit until flat. Rinse apples in fresh water to remove the salt. Place half an apple in each rolled out biscuit, sprinkling the apple halves with sugar. Place the dumplings in a baking dish or pan sprayed with Pam baking spray. Make sure the apples are rolled into each biscuit. Mix one cup sugar, one cup light brown sugar, two sticks melted light margarine, one can evaporated milk, and two teaspoons apple pie spices. Pour the mixture over the dumplings. Bake at 350 degrees until biscuits are golden brown. Serve with Cool Whip or vanilla ice cream.

The leaves are displaying hints of fall

With a nip in the September air, the leaves are showing their first hints of color and the dogwoods are shedding many of their leaves. There is already some gold showing up in the maples. Soon the hickory, poplar, and the mighty oaks will be showing their colors and leaves will be in a blaze of color.

Apples of many colors are now in season

The season of the colorful and crispy apples is now upon us. They come in many colors including red, yellow, green, pink, and gold. You can enjoy their displays in front of produce markets, roadside markets, and fruit stands in bushel baskets. You can prepare apples for pies, cakes, cobblers, dumplings, and salads like Waldorf made with fresh apples. To avoid apples from turning brown after they are peeled, place them in salt water or sprinkle with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Rinse them when ready to use them.

Cranberry, apple, grape, crunch salad

Apples are the highlight of this autumn crunchy fruit salad that is as colorful as autumn in all of its glory. You will need one can whole cranberry sauce, the ounce box raspberry Jello, half cup sugar, three or four cubed apples, two cups red seedless grapes, one cup golden seedless raisins, one eight ounce pack finely grated or shredded colby jack cheese or mild cheddar, and half cup mayonnaise.Mix Jello and one and a half cups boiling water, add the sugar and cool. Peel and cube apples and add a teaspoon of lemon juice. Add other ingredients and refrigerate overnight.

Preparing the ferns for late fall and winter

These ferns have been lush green and beautiful from late spring until early autumn. Now it’s time to start preparing them to winter over in the sunny living room until late spring. They did a bit of preparation for the next few weeks. Keep them watered every week and add enough potting medium to fill the containers. Feed them with Flower-Tone organic flower food and stir it into the soil. Cut back all long runners and dead foliage. Move them out of direct sun.

Siberian kale: sweetness in the autumn garden

Siberian kale is winter’s sweetest and most tender green. It is great cooked as a green. It can be chopped and made into a salad and canned for a year-round vegetable. It can be harvested even when snow covers it up. It is winter-hardy and can be harvested until early spring.

Preparing American bee balm for winter

The American bee balm plant is ready to spend its winter protected from cold weather on the back of the front porch. To keep it protected from freezing temperatures, cut the plant back to 10 or 12 inches. Fill the container with potting medium and feed with Flower-Tone organic flower food. Water lightly once a week. Cover on freezing nights with ten plastic grocery bags stacked together and cover the bags with two cardboard covers glued together and placed over the plastic bags for snow and winter protection. On sunny days uncover the balm when temperatures rise above freezing. Cover every night when the temperature goes down.

Time to purchase the bulbs for spring planting

The bulbs for spring planting are now in hardware’s, Walmart, nurseries, and garden centers as well as Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Ace Hardware, and Tractor Supply. You can choose from tulips, crocus, daffodils, jonquils, narcissus, snowdrops, and hyacinths. Hyacinths come in colors of red, yellow, pink, blue, lavender, white, and purple. The best way to purchase them is in mesh bags so that you can see, feel, and touch the bulbs to examine what you are buying. You can also purchase hyacinths individually from bins. Make sure you mark the colors if you buy hyacinths from bins. Crocus comes in assorted colors in mesh bags as well as tulips and jonquils and King Alfred daffodils. Purchase bulbs now and set them out in early October.

Purchasing bulb booster and bone meal

While you are purchasing bulbs, buy some bags of bulb booster and bone meal to start spring bulbs on a journey to colorful, fragrant harbingers of spring. Place the booster in bottom of the area where you are setting out bulbs and place a layer of bone meal on bulbs before covering with peat moss and soil. Before the soil freezes, cover the area where bulbs are planted with a layer of crushed leaves and top the leaves with more bone meal.

Hoe hoe hoedown

“Dominating woman.” Customer: “I’ve come back to purchase the television I was looking at yesterday.” Salesperson: “That’s great. May I ask you what dominating factor determined your purchase of this television set?” Customer: “My wife.”

“Surprise, Surprise!” Customer: “I want to buy a bottle of Chanel Number Five for my wife’s birthday.” Saleslady: “Your wife will certainly be surprised.” Customer: “She sure will, she’s expecting a Cadillac!”

“Asleep at the movie.” Actress: “Do come and see my new movie.” Friend: “Yes, I will, I always feel much better after a good sleep at the movies.”

The almanac for September

Labor Day will be on Monday, Sept. 4. The moon reaches its last quarter on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Grandparents Day will be on Sunday, Sept. 10. Patriot Day will be on Monday, Sept. 11. There will be a new moon on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 14. The moon reaches its first quarter on Friday, Sept. 22. Autumn begins on Saturday, Sept. 23. Yom Kipper begins at sundown on Sunday, Sept. 24. The full moon of September will be on Friday, Sept. 29. The name of this moon will be Full Harvest Moon. It is also known as Full Corn Moon and Full Yellow Leaf Moon.

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