Saint Matthias Day
The day of Saint Matthias was Friday, Feb. 24. Something very important is said to occur on his special day. On this day, the sap in the maples, hickories and mighty oaks is supposed to begin its long journey from the ground to the trunks, limbs and branches. As the sap makes the journey up the trees, it’s time for us to get out the pots and containers and clean them up, and replace hangers on the hanging baskets. You can also purchase vegetable seed and be ready to plant them when the season arrives. If you are curious about who Saint Matthias is, we know him as the disciple who was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot as one of the twelve apostles.
Signs of a productive year of dogwoods
As we reach the last days of February, a limb check of the dogwoods trees reveal plenty of tiny bud tips that promise plenty of blooms in early April and the up coming season of Easter. As February comes to an end, some trees are showing hints of life and some of the maples have tiny buds as the sap slowly begins its rise up the tree trunks. We will gain an extra hour of daylight in two weeks as Daylight Savings Time returns. That extra hour of daylight, added to the extra minute of daylight we will receive each evening until June 21, will really help with the cool weather vegetable planting as we move on into the month of March. It’s not very hard to get used to that.
As February winds down, set out those onion sets
The weather in late February may be frightful, but if the soil is not frozen onion sets can be planted in the garden. Most hardwares have onion sets in stock, and you can choose from yellow, red, and white onion sets. They are sold by the pound. Even though the soil is cold, onions will thrive in winter soil. Prepare a furrow about five or six inches deep and apply a layer of peat moss in the bottom of the furrow. Place the onion sets about three or four inches apart with the root side down and apply another layer of peat moss on top of the onion sets. Spread an application of Plant-Tone organic vegetable food on top of the second layer of peat moss. Hill up soil on each side of the furrow and tamp the soil down with the hoe blade for solid contact with the soil. Keep soil hilled up to the onion sets as they sprout and grow. Keep them side-dressed with Plant-Tone every three weeks and hill it into the soil.
Chickweed and Bermuda grass; opposites
Bermuda grass and chickweed are perennial weeds in the garden and both grow in the winter garden plot, but they are opposite in their growth patterns. The chickweed has shallow roots and grows in shallow ground. It is easy to pull up and get rid of. The Bermuda grass has a root system that runs deep into the soil and may reach a foot or more in length. Winter is the best time to pull it up by the long roots and throw it out of the garden, or better yet, place the roots in the garbage bin. The best way to get rid of any weeds is by pulling them up by the roots and throwing them out of the garden. Don’t use chemicals or weed killers in the vegetable garden.
Using some water wisdom in 2023
Whether we have any drought conditions in the 2023 garden this year or not, we still need to exercise water wisdom. There are many methods to use wisdom in the use and conservation of water. We can use water wisdom by applying a layer of peat moss in the bottom of furrows before sowing seeds and then applying another layer of peat moss on top of the seed before applying plant food. Peat moss is a good organic product that promotes moisture retention and improves soil texture. Keeping soil hilled up to plants as they grow also helps moisture retention in the row and gives plants more support as they grow.
When applying water, use a water wand in spray mode and apply water to the rows and not the middle of the rows. A water wand is a great water saving product that has many adjustable settings that range from shower, mist, stream, and full. Mulch plants with layers of hay, leaf or straw mulch and compost to hold in moisture. Use natural or organic foods instead of pelletized chemical fertilizers. Use liquid plant foods that you add water to before applying. Use several five gallon plastic buckets and collect rain water and use it in a spray can to water the rows. Keep lids on the buckets to protect water from evaporating until you need it. Water only when no moisture can be felt in the row and place water directly in the row and on the plants only. Every time a thunderstorm puts down a lot of rain, collect some rain in five gallon buckets because this water when applied in dry conditions in the garden. It will perk up the plants because this water is charged energy generated by a thunderstorm.
Stock up on organic Holly-Tone plant food
As we get closer to spring, build up your supply of the Holly-Tone family of organic plant, vegetable, and flower foods to boost your garden into an abundant season of production. Notice that we said food, not fertilizer. Gardens need to be fed not fertilized. The Holly-Tone organic family has been producing organic plant, flower, and vegetable foods for 94 years. You can purchase it in four- and ten-pound bags. A four-pound bag costs around $10. The four-pound bags are easier to handle in the garden. Their zippered bags makes them easy to apply and place the plant food directly into the furrows and rows with no smell or mess. You can choose from Holly-Tone, evergreen organic plant food, Rose-Tone organic rose food ,Tomato-Tone organic tomato food, Garden-Tone plant and herb food, Plant-Tone organic vegetable food and Flower-Tone organic flower food. These are all fine-textured organic foods that are easily absorbed into the soil for a quick response from plants, vegetables, and flowers. An application of a little bit goes a long way toward a productive harvest. It can also be easily side-dressed into the soil to feed vegetables all during the garden season.
Making a creamy smooth millionaire cake
Mix one Duncan Hines white cake mix according to directions on the box. Bake in a 13x9x2 baking pan sprayed with Pam spray. Use these other ingredients to make the cake: one eight ounce box of cream cheese, one cup milk, one box Jello vanilla instant pudding mix, one 20 ounce can crushed pineapple (drained), one tub of Cool Whip, four ounces of chopped pecans, small jar of red maraschino cherries, and one teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat softened cream cheese with half cup of milk until smooth. Add the instant pudding mix and half cup milk. Beat until smooth. Spread on top of the cooled cake. Spread the crushed pineapple and cherry halves on the pudding layer. Spread the Cool whip on top and sprinkle nuts on top of the cake. Place in refrigerator one hour or overnight. (Add the vanilla to the pudding mix).
Halo around a moon during the winter
As we reach the end of February, there is still a possibility of some snow. Even in March we can receive some hefty snow. Keep an eye on the full or near full moon. If it has a halo around it count the visible stars inside the halo. This could indicate the number of days before we can see some snow.
Hoe hoe hoedown
“Bad Listeners.” Marriage Counselor: “Do you enjoy talking to each other?” Married couple: “Oh yes, we enjoy talking to each other all right, but our problem is listening to each other.”
“Happily Ever After.” Wife: “Now that looks like a happy married couple.” Husband: “Don’t be too sure, my dear, they may be saying the same thing about us!”
“A Crook and a Crooked Lawyer.” Crook: “I’ve got a million dollars in cash in my bank account. Can you keep me from spending time in prison?” Lawyer: “Believe me, you will never go to prison with that kind of cash.” And sure enough, he did not go to prison with that kind of cash – he went to prison flat broke!
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