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Storms a mid-summer blessing

Thunder, lightning, showers: a mid-summer blessing

Thunder, lightning, heavy showers all during the summer show the sources from which God sends us his blessings to flow down on our thirsty gardens. The electricity and majesty in a summer sudden thunderstorm are a blessing to a sweaty body, and a thirsty lawn, and a thirsty garden, and cornfields with their folded stalks and leaves with petticoats flipped and just waiting for the heavens to open. All of them breathe a sigh of thanksgiving after a refreshing thundershower.

Giving the panda and asparagus ferns midsummer attention

These two ferns are several years old and they thrive all summer on the deck. In late autumn, winter and into mid-April, they spend their winter in the sunny living room. In summer, they need a drink of water every other day and a handful of Flower-Tone organic flower food every three weeks. To keep them growing, trim their long runners back once a month.

Saint Bartholomew’s Day: Cooler midsummer dew

Saint Bartholomew’s day will be celebrated on Thursday. The legend on his day says the dew that falls on his day and each day afterword will get cooler. This is one of the subtle early signs of autumn and also a signal that we have reached midsummer. The August fogs are occurring and we hope you are keeping a record of them each morning and whether they are light, medium, or heavy or none. In winter, we will check to see how the fogs measure up to the snows of winter.

An interesting ice cold experiment

We do not recall our grandma in Northampton County recording the cold dew’s from Saint Bartholomew’s day and into September. She would have probably did it if she had known about his special day. We are going to try an experiment between Saint Bartholomew’s’s day and Sept. 15 and check each mornings dew before the sun dries it up. We will run our hand through the dew laden grass and write down the date and amount of dew whether light, medium, heavy, or none and also if the dew is warm, cold, or chilly or no dew at all. Then during winter when ice is in the forecast, we may get some idea of how much ice we will have. Our calculation may be as close as some of the meteorologists are. It will be a fun and interesting experiment. We may also establish a tradition for our grandchildren to practice and follow!

Adding long life to your water wand

Water wands have a spring loaded trigger which may shorten their life if you do not take care of it. You can protect the spring by always removing the wand from the hose when moving the hose from one area yo another. Never pull the wand when it is attached to the hose. In winter, store the wand in the house or basement, not an outside building, to protect the wand from freezing temperatures.

Keeping late tomato plants well watered, fed<

Mid-August can be hot and dry, so keep the water wand ready and keep tomato plants moist by watering the base of the plants. Keep them fed with Tomato-Tone organic tomato food and soil hilled up on both sides of the row after applying Tomato-Tone. As other tomatoes finish their season, remove their cages and stalks and place them on the late tomato plants. Keep applying Tomato-Tone every 15-20 days. Tomato-Tone is a great organic product that is calcium enriched and cost about $8 for a four pound plastic zippered bag.

Time to sow purple top turnips

Turnips are a root crop that requires a long season to produce large turnips and they should be sown soon so you can enjoy a harvest all during winter. Broccoli, cabbage, and collards can be planted in September because they are defiantly cold weather vegetables. Being a root crop, turnips need to be sown between now and the first week of September. For great results, plant turnip seeds by preparing a furrow about three or four inches deep, apply a layer of peat moss in bottom of furrow, sprinkle turnip seed lightly on top of peat moss and apply another layer of peat moss on top of that seed. Apply an application of Plant-Tone organic vegetable food on the peat moss and hill up soil on each side of the furrow and tamp down soil for good contact with seed. Once the turnips sprout, apply an application of Plant-Tone organic vegetable food and hill up soil after applying Plant-Tone.

Keeping the coleus (Josephs Coat) thriving until frost

The foliage on the coleus has been a colorful and beautiful display since late spring. To keep them colorful until frost, keep the lavender flowers pinched of before they produce seed. These seed pods send messages to the plants to slow down. By pinching off flowers, the coleus will continue to produce colorful foliage.

Checking the weeds

Weeds in mid August are making a last ditch effort to produce seeds for next season. The best way to get rid of noxious weeds is to pull them up by the roots and throw them out of the garden. You do not need any chemicals or herbicides- only the two hands that God gave you. Morning glories, not grass, Bermuda grass, lambs quarters and crab grass can easily be pulled up by the roots and thrown out of the garden before they produce seed that can winter over and cause problems in next year’s garden plot.

Cat nights are now on the prowl

Dog days are over and cat nights started last week on Tuesday, August 17. Cats prowl all night and August is a month on the prowl with heavy fogs, cold dews, quick storms, humid days, August, like cats are traditional. Cats have a completely different mission at night than they do in daytime as they prowl around. August itself is catlike in nature with plenty of daytime humidity and changing to dense fog and heavy dews at night. Trying to figure the conduct of August is about like trying to figure out a cats disposition!

Gambling with a late row of green beans

We still have a little more than two months of warm weather and maybe even more which is enough time to produce another row of green beans before frost. Most bush green bean varities have a maturity date of 65-70 days and this is plenty of time for the harvest before frost arrives in mid- to late-October. The best green beans for a late harvest are Crop Top and Strike. Use plenty of peat moss and maybe some black Kow composted cow manure when sowing late green beans and an application of Garden-Tone organic vegetable food. Keep the green beans watered with the water wand in “shower” mode when rain is not in the forecast.

Mid summer crows making noise

As we move farther into August, we see and hear more crows in the area. We believe they are getting more adapted to people and we even have them visiting the birdbath. As close as they are we expect they have roost and nest in the neighborhood.

Making a brown sugar pound cake

To prepare this cake, you will need a one pound box of brown sugar, one cup sugar, three sticks light margarine, five large eggs, three cups plain flour, half teaspoon baking powder, one cup milk, one teaspoon vanilla, one cup chopped pecans. Do not preheat oven. Cream the margarine and two sugars together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg addition. Mix flour and baking powder in separate bowl. Add flour to other mixture. Slowly add the milk and vanilla. Fold in the chopped pecans. Baked in a greased, floured, and lined waxed paper in bottom of the tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour (more if needed). Cool for twenty minutes before removing from tube pan.

Hoe hoe hoedown

“Young at heart.” The young man cried out to his parents, “I want adventure, excitement, money, romance, fun. I’ll never find it at home so I’m leaving. Don’t try and stop me!” With those words he headed toward the door, and his parents followed close behind him. “Didn’t you hear what I said, I don’t want you to stop me.” “Who’s stopping you,” said his parents, “We’re going with you!”

“Special delivery.” A country doctor went way out into the boondocks to deliver a baby. When he arrived at the country home, there was no electricity and no one was home but the mother in labor and her 5 year old son. The doctor needed a little help so he recruited the 5 year old to hold the lantern while he delivered the baby. The mother pushed and in a short while delivered the baby. The doctor lifted the newborn baby by the foot and spanked him on the bottom to get him to take his first breath. The doctor then looked at the 5 year old boy who said, “hit him again doctor, he shouldn’t have crawled up there in the first place!”

Tonight is the full Sturgeon Moon

As we enter the final days of August, the Full Sturgeon Moon shines down just an hour after sunset and brighten fields and roadways adorned with Queen Ann’s lace and fields loaded with the corn harvest. It will be the last full moon of summer. Next month, we will have a Full Harvest Moon on the first day of autumn.



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