Winter’s shortest month
We are already six days into winter’s shortest month and also what could be winter’s coldest month and that would make the month seem longer. We need a few hefty snowfalls during February to decrease the insects that are wintering over and also the weed seed and harmful organisms and fungal diseases that harbor in the soil. We need a February cold snap to tune up the garden plot and nothing will perform that like a snow covering the soil. Snow is heavy and when it melts it penetrates deeply into the soil. A February cold snap will promote a ground freeze which will also benefit the garden as well as the dormant lawn.
Thunder in winter can be snow sign
My Northampton County grandma always said that thunder in the month of February was a sure sign of snow in a few days. Winter thunder is different than spring and summer thunder that usually precedes an approaching thunderstorm or thundershowers. Thunder in winter is not a harbinger of a thunderstorm, but it thunders because of warm air aloft and colder air at the surface. My grandma was partially right when she would predict snow in a few days. Usually in winter, when it thunders, it will only thunder two or three times. Grandma would count the number of times it thundered and based her prediction on the number of times it thundered would be the number of days before we would see snow. She was right many times and wrong sometimes, sounds like today’s weather forecasters!
Checking out the wintering bulbs
As we move into February, the bulbs of spring flowers such as daffodil, jonquil, narcissus, crocus, hyacinth and tulips should be producing green spikes and tips popping from the winter soil. In winter, they are always a welcome sight. Once you see signs of life, apply a handful of bone meal or bulb booster around the green spikes.
Getting close to Valentines Day
Saint Valentines Day is only eight days away. You still have plenty of time to shop for that special Valentine for the wife, sweetheart, children or grandchildren. You can purchase gift cards from favorite shops and stores as well as restaurants. Flowers are always popular on Valentines Day and you can also buy floral arrangements such as azaleas and other flowers in pots or containers. The special Valentine cards with money inserts also make a gift that will please anyone on your list. Anything you do to remember your Valentine will be special.
Keeping windshields clean
In winter, your vehicle’s windshields take a lot of punishment with salt and slush from ice and snow removal equipment and passing traffic. Keep the windshield washer reservoir filled with fluid that contains de-ice solution once every week. Spray the windshield with window wash and wipe it clean. Clean the wiper blades from grime and salts from the road. Allow your vehicle’s defroster to do its job and it will prevent ice from forming during your drive time and cause wiper blades to last longer. Always keep a roll of paper towels in the vehicle along with a can of de-icer.
Planting something red on Valentines Day
The first seed to be sown in the 2022 garden plot should be a packet or two of red radish. They are available at seed stores, hardwares, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement and Ace Hardware. One of the qualities of radish is that you can expect a harvest in about 45 to 50 days after sowing the seed. They are not popular with many gardeners because there is not much you can do with them at the dinner table except place them in a salad bowl. A packet of radish will go a long way and you can choose from many varities such as Cherry Belle, Rover, Cherry Bomb, Cherriette, Easter Egg and Crimson Giant. When you sow radish, sow sparingly and cover with a layer of peat moss and feed with Plant-Tone organic vegetable food.
Winter grand tour of lawn and garden
The winter lawn is brown, tan and dormant and the garden plot is in slow mode or “nap” time. This paves the way for a scavenger hunt of the garden and lawn for limbs, sticks, rocks, and missiles that the lawnmower or tiller will run over. Use a bucket and pick up these objects before the lawn and garden season begin.
Lawn mower and tiller tune up time
While the lawn is dormant and the garden is in nap mode, the season of tuning and repairing the mowers, tiller, weed trimmers and blowers or vacuum’s is here. Don’t wait until the mowing season gets in full swing to get small engines tuned and prepared for mowing and tilling. Here in the off season, most repair shops will pick up equipment, service it and return it to you for a small delivery charge. Get them to check battery, tires and belts as they service your equipment.
Making a muffin pan of corn puffs
Corn puffs are something wonderful for a cold February evening to warm up the family. For this recipe, you will need two cups of creamed corn, two cups cracker crumbs, broken up (Or ran through the blender in “grate” mode), two large eggs, one cup milk or sour cream, one stick light margarine (melted), three teaspoons sugar, half teaspoon salt, half teaspoon pepper, half teaspoon paprika. Beat eggs until stiff, add remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into muffin pans lined with cupcake holders. Bake at 300 degrees until firm (about 45 to 50 minutes).
Valentine color at the birdbath
Red is the main color at the season of Valentines. At the bird feeder and bath, that gets our attention in the form of colorful cardinals. The male is bright red and the female has only hints of bright red. They are both being “Valentines” at the feeder when the male feeds the female. We would like to declare cardinals the official birds of Valentines Day! They are already featured on many Valentines.
Opportune time to fertilize lawns
As February moves along, food and fertilizer can be applied to the dormant lawn. While lawns are dormant, this is the opportune time to apply both lime (calcium carbonate) and lawn food. There is a great possibility of some February snow that could cover the winter lawn after lawn food and lime are applied and this will soak the lime and fertilizer deep into the soil and into the roots instead of washing it away. Never use 10-10-10 fertilizer on lawns, but use specially formulated lawn food that is designed to feed lawns over a extended time period. If you use a spreader, clean the inside of spreader with fresh water after applying lawn food to prevent rust. Dry with a towel and spray with a coat of oil spray such as WD-40.
Making a Valentine cherry salad
This is a very easy salad to prepare on the days leading toward Valentines Day. You will need two three-ounce boxes cherry jello, one cup boiling water, one can Comstock cherry pie filling, one can (large) crushed pineapple, one can fruit cocktail (reserve juice), half cup chopped pecans. Dissolve jello in boiling hot water and let cool. Add other ingredients and mix well. Add some fruit cocktail liquid if salad seems to dry.
Hoe hoe hoedown
“A kids prayer,” A pastor asked one little boy in his church if he said his prayers every night. “Yes sir,” the little boy replied. “And do you always say them in the morning too?” the pastor asked. “Why, no sir,” the boy replied. “I ain’t scared in the daytime.”
“Happy hunting.” On Wednesday night, the deer hunting season ended. During the service that evening, the pastor asked the men of the church who had bagged a deer. Not a single man raised a hand. The pastor was puzzled and said, “I don’t get it. Last week many of you said you would not be at church because of hunting season. I had the whole congregation pray for your deer.” One hunter said, “Well, pastor it worked. All the deer are still safe.”