Summer is finally arriving | Mt. Airy News

Summer is finally arriving | Mt. Airy News

Getting the garden ready for May

As April closes out, warm temps rise

Warmer temperatures and more stable weather are on the way as the fickle month of April winds its way down. May arrives very soon. It should change the seasonal weather to a warmer mode and pattern. The garden soil should now be warming up and pave the way for the planting of warm weather vegetable crops.

Keeping the humming bird feeders filled

Now that May is almost here, there will be plenty of hummers at the feeders. Check the nectar several times a week and keep them filled. You can make your own with one cup of sugar along with one and a half cups of water. You can also use bottled water instead of water from the faucet. Nectar can also be purchased in ready-mixed half gallon bottles, envelopes, or boxes of powdered nectar that can be mixed with water.

Kicking off a great season of green beans

April is almost over and it should now be safe for sowing seeds of green beans because by the time they sprout, the soil will be much warmer. The very best of bush green beans are Top Crop and Strike and also Blue Lake bush. These are string-less beans that will bear over a two- to three-week period of continuous harvest. They should produce a harvest in 65 to 75 days. Sow the green beans in a furrow about 6 to 7 inches deep. Apply a layer of peat moss in the bottom of the furrow, sow seeds and apply a layer of peat moss on top of the seeds and then spread a layer of Plant-Tone organic vegetable food on the peat moss before hilling up the soil on both sides of the furrow and tamp down with the hoe blade for solid soil contact. Apply Plant-Tone to side dress the green beans when they develop two leaves and every 15 to 20 days after that and hill up the green beans as they grow.

Water wand is a great garden tool

The water wand is one of your garden’s best friends when planting the garden and in a season when not much rain falls. They also save a lot of water because you can apply only where it is needed. A durable water wand has many settings from shower, mist, stream, spray, hose, and other modes. They cost from $12 to $16. They have an off and on switch. When you use the wand and finish, always disconnect the wand to prevent damage to the spring operated lever.

Setting out coleus or Josephs coat

The first summer annual that you set out should be the colorful coleus of Josephs coat. This is a great name for them because the flower has many colors like red, cream, pink, yellow, white, rose, burgundy, and mint green. They come in assorted colors in six- and nine-packs. You can plant a six-pack in one large container for a huge burst of color that will endure until frost. To promote plenty of foliage all summer long, pinch off the purple blooms every week. Keep the container in a semi-sunny location. Feed with Flower-Tone organic flower food every 20 days. Water once a week.

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Early Girl tomato plants to start a harvest

To start off a beautiful harvest of tomatoes, use Early Girl tomato plants. After setting them out in the garden, they will live up to their name and bear a harvest in 70 to 75 days. Set plants about 18 to 24 inches apart, apply Tomato-Tone organic tomato food when setting out the tomatoes and apply Tomato-Tone every 20 days and hill up soil into the Tomato-Tone. To prevent blossom end-rot, apply calcium carbonate (powdered lime) and hill the lime into the soil. You can also use Vigaro tomato food with calcium added. This can be purchased in three-pound bags at Home Depot.

Starting an asparagus fern for summer

Small pots and containers of asparagus are now being displayed at garden centers, nurseries, hardwares, Lowe’s Home Improvements, Home Depot and Ace Hardware. Buy a larger container and a bag of potting medium so you can transplant it when you bring it home. Over the summer, it will grow quickly and in late autumn move it inside the house to winter over. We have one that is seven years old.

Dogwood Winter almost at the finale

As we move to Mays first day, the Dogwood Winter is coming to a close and with that event comes some warmer temperatures and perhaps some warmer nights — good news for the garden and lawn. Also good news for those that are waiting to set out tomato and pepper plants.

Making baked mashed potato cakes

Potato cakes are old-fashioned supper favorites. My mother made them when we were growing up in eastern North Carolina. She made them for supper and served them with homemade gravy. The highlight of the recipe is to cook the onions and add them to the potatoes and other ingredients. For this recipe you will need three cups of mashed potatoes made from about six or seven potatoes peeled and cut into half inch cubes and then boiled until tender and drained and mashed, two medium onions (diced), four large eggs, half cup plain flour, half stick light margarine, one fourth teaspoon pepper, two teaspoons milk, half teaspoon salt, and six drops Texas Pete hot sauce. Boil the diced potatoes, drain and set aside. Dice the onions and cook in a sauce pan with half stick light margarine until tender. In a large bowl, mix and beat the eggs add the mashed potatoes and other ingredients except milk and other two eggs. Shape into patties and place patties on a greases cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees until done inside and golden brown outside (about 25 to 30 minutes.) Before baking, beat the two eggs and add two teaspoons of milk and spread over the patties before you place in the oven.

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Apply a layer of lime on all summer veggies

Keep a few bags of powdered lime or calcium carbonate on hand to apply in the furrows when sowing seeds of warm weather vegetables and also use powdered lime on tomato and pepper plants. Powdered lime is especially effective on acid soil. The powdered lime will work better than pellet lime because it quickly absorbs into the soil. When applying lime, use a large spoon or cup to prevent it from getting all over you because it has the texture of flour which is dusty. When you use a big spoon or cup, you will prevent wind from blowing the lime all over you. Lime is heavy, so purchase it in 50 pound bags for easier handling.

The refreshing elixir of last April shower

Sunday is the last day of April and here’s to hoping its finale will be a fresh April shower to roll out the welcome mat for the merry month of May. The gracefulness of April showers will be greatly missed because they helped wash away the dusty pollen and condition the soil in the garden for sowing warm weather vegetables, pepper, tomato plants, and flowers when May arrives.

Add peat moss to garden furrows of all veggies

To improve soil, texture, and provide plenty of moisture retention and growth promotion add a layer of peat moss to the furrows in the garden before sowing seed or setting out plants of tomatoes and peppers and add another layer of peat moss on the seed or plants before hilling them up in the furrows. A three cubic foot bale of peat moss costs about $12. Keep a bale or two on hand all season long. It is totally organic and can also be used when starting off flower seeds and beds and can be added to potting medium for hanging baskets, pots, and containers.

Planting several varities of green beans

Of all the vegetable varieties and the most choices to select from, the green bean has more than any other except the tomato. There are so many varieties that are productive and abundant. Some of the best choices are Top Crop, Strike, Derby, Blue Lake Bush, Kentuck Wonder Bush, Tenderette, Contender, Desperado, Provider, Jade and Beananza. Most green beans will produce a harvest in about 65 to 70 days. Many varieties will produce beans for several weeks such as Top Crop, Strike, Tenderette, Blue Lake Bush, and Derby. Green beans can be planted all during the summer and produce a harvest even into autumn.

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May arrives soon

May arrives on Sunday. With the arrival of the month, hopefully we will see warmer soil in the garden. It may be a few days of cool temperatures, but the green beans can be planted and by the time they sprout, the weather will be warming up. Most of the risk of frost is now over. By the second week of May, the main crop of tomato plants, pepper plants, egg plants, squash, cucumbers, lima beans, green beans, and corn can be planted and should grow quickly.

Hoe hoe hoedown

“Have a drink.” In the backwoods of Kentucky, a man was attending the Sunday morning preaching service and heard the sermon of Jesus turning water into wine. On the way back home, the man was stopped at a road-block by the county sheriff who was checking cars and trucks for moonshine. The sheriff looked under the tarp on the man’s pickup truck and saw several cases of quart jars. “What do you have in these jars?” the sheriff asked. “Spring water,” the man replied. “My wife and me only drink spring water.” The sheriff took a little out of the jar and took a sip. “That’s whisky,” the sheriff replied. “It is?”, the man asked, “Praise the Lord, he’s done it again!”

“Weight Loss.” There are only three things to give up if you want to lose weight: breakfast, lunch, and supper!

“At the races.” Jo: “I had a hunch today. I got up at 7. I had $7 in my pocket. There were seven people at the lunch counter. There were seven horses in the race. I bet on the seventh horse to win.” Flo: “So the seventh horse came out the winner?” Jo: “No, he came in seventh!”

“The crazy funny bone.” Dan: “Ouch, I bumped my crazy bone.” Jan: “Oh well, comb you hair over it and it won’t show!”

  • June 25, 2023