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Sowing purple top turnips

Autumn is now only a month away. A row or bed of purple top turnips can be sown in the garden plot. Temperatures may be warm but the soil after sowing a turnip row or bed can be kept cool with the water wand by spraying water on the row or bed each evening. When sowing the turnip seed, place the seed in a three- or four-inch furrow and apply a layer of peat moss in the furrow before sowing the seed. Thinly scatter seed in furrow and cover with another layer of peat moss. Apply an application of Plant-Tone organic vegetable food and hill up soil on on both sides of furrow. Tamp down soil on top of the row for good soil contact. Keep turnip row or bed watered to cool the soil. The peat moss will absorb the moisture, and promote growth in the remaining warm days of the month of August.

Saint Bartholomew’s Day

Saint Bartholomew’s Day will be celebrated Wednesday, August 24. On his special day, something unusual occurs as the dews of summer mornings begin to become cooler and linger until the middle of the day. The fogs of August may contribute to the cooler dew, but also the fact that the days are getting shorter and late nights of August have a subtle nip that lets us know that autumn is on its way. Many leaves are seeing this subtle hint and have already developed tints of yellow and gold. Cold dew and subtle nip in the night air lets us know this is slowly paving the way for nippy air, Jack Frost, and falling leaves as we move closer and closer to a new season.

The Christmas cactus on the August porch

All four of the Christmas cactus are performing well on the front porch as they enjoy sun and summer as they bask in temperatures that will prepare them for blooms in December. They receive a drink of water each week and an application of Flower-Tone organic flower food once a month. They will be moved inside the sunny living room in late October.

Planting the colorful annuals of autumn

The pots and containers of summer’s annuals can now be replaced with the annuals of fall and winter such as pansies, mums and oriental cabbage and kale. When planting these annuals, add a layer of crushed leaves and water plants often so the leaves will stick to the soil and give added protection later on when temperatures get colder. The oriental cabbage and kale will survive through winter if they are kept out of the north wind in a protected area of the porch and cover with a towel or cloth on freezing nights. Mums will also need a small amount of cold weather protection. The pansies are tougher and will endure the extremes of winter.

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Time to set out spring flower bulbs

Most hardwares, nurseries, garden shops, and Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and Walmart or Lowe’s Home Improvement now have displays and bins of spring flowering bulbs of jonquils hyacinth, tulips, daffodils, narcissus, and crocus. They can be planted from now and through the end of October. When you purchase bulbs of spring, choose from those in bins or mesh bags so that you can feel and inspect the bulbs for firmness and texture. You can buy hyacinths in individual and assorted colors. There are several types of jonquils but the King Alfred is most popular. Buy a bag of bulb booster and place a half handful under each bulb. Cover bulbs with a layer of peat moss and a layer of Flower-Tone organic flower food before covering with soil. Cover the area where the bulbs are planted with a layer of crushed leaves. Hyacinths come in the colors of red, pink rose, yellow, lavender, blue, and purple. They also have the sweetest scents of flowering spring bulbs.

Autumn care for the next azaleas

The beautiful green foliage of azaleas have performed well and we enjoyed their colorful blooms in spring. Their evergreen foliage is still lush and green. As August draws to a close they could use a bit of attention as we get closer to autumn. They can now be fed with Holly-Tone evergreen food to give them a boost. In September, a layer of crushed leaves can be placed around them. The foliage can also be trimmed and shaped. Give azaleas a drink of water every ten days.

Time to sow Siberian kale

Siberian Kale is the sweetest and best of all the greens. It can be used raw in a salad or cooked as a green or canned in pint and quart jars. It is sweet, crisp, tender, and quite different from turnip and mustard greens. It is winter hardy and will endure winter and produce all the way until spring. The leaves are a little larger than other greens. A great way to prepare Siberian Kale is to broil a pound of bacon and cut into half-inch chunks, boil Siberian kale in a pot until tender, chop it up after draining. Add mayonnaise to the kale and bacon and add two tablespoons of ranch dressing.

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Lining the list of cool weather veggies

As we get well past the middle of August, it is time to plan the autumn garden plot. The seeds of turnips, Siberian kale, curly mustard, mixed greens, onion sets, and spinach can now be sown in the late summer garden. Plants of broccoli, cabbage, collards, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts can also be set out. Keep all cool weather vegetables watered with the water wand not only for moisture, but to cool down the soil.

Making a tasty roasted turkey loaf

When preparing a turkey, and you have any leftover turkey, make a special meal of turkey loaf with the leftovers. For a turkey loaf, you will need three cups of leftover turkey (run through the blender in “grate” mode), one small bag Pepperidge Farm cornbread dressing, one can Swanson chicken broth, small jar Heinz roasted turkey gravy, two large eggs, one envelope Recipe Secrets Beefy Onion Soup mix, one teaspoon poultry seasoning, one teaspoon celery seed, half teaspoon pepper, half teaspoon salt, one cup shredded carrots. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the can of chicken broth over the Pepperidge Farm corn bread stuffing in a bowl and set it aside for fifteen minutes. Mix all other ingredients together in the bowl with dressing and broth. If too dry, add a little water. Form into a loaf or place in a loaf pan or baking dish. Bake for one hour or until loaf is firm. This loaf will serve six persons.

Keeping hummingbirds on the zoom

As the humming birds of mid-summer contend for space at the feeders and fight for domination, keep the feeders filled with nectar. They are now staying pretty active at the feeders and burning a lot of energy. The nectar in the feeders will boost their energy level. You can make your own nectar by mixing two quarts of water and three cups of sugar and several drops of red food coloring in a pitcher of water and pour into a half gallon plastic milk carton. Keep nectar in refrigerator and use as you need it.

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August proves to be transition time

As we move through August, we see before us a transitional month with heavy dews, dense fogs, and a subtle hint of autumn in the air, along with the yellow tint in the maples and tiny berries forming on dogwoods. The annuals of summer are slowing down. Days are getting shorter every evening by a minute. The humidity is dropping a bit lower and the garden summer vegetable crops are reaching the harvest stage and some crops are slowing down. Thunder storms are not as frequent. The crickets are sounding off and katydids are less noisy in the mighty oaks. Slowly, silently the late days of August are fulling us into the approaching season of autumn.

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Hoe hoe hoedown

“Toothy Sermon.” The pastor visited the dentist for a set of false teeth. The first Sunday after he gets the teeth, he preaches for only eight minutes. The second Sunday, he preaches for ten minutes. The third Sunday, he preached for two-and-a-half hours. As the pastor left the pulpit, many in the congregation asked him what had happened. The pastor replied, “This morning, I put in my wife’s teeth by mistake and I couldn’t shut my mouth up!”

“Return to Sender.” A son wrote a letter to his dad. “Dear Dad, Gue$$ what need most? That$ right. $end it $oon. Be$t wi$he$, Joey.” The father replied. “Dear Joey, NOthing ever happens here. We kNOw you like school, write aNOther letter soon. Mom was asking about you at NOon. NOw I have to say good-bye, Dad.”

“Dumbbells.”Professor: “If there are any dumbbells in the room, please stand up.” There was a long pause and then one student in the back of the stood up. The professor said, “Do you consider yourself a dumbbell?” Student, “Well, not exactly, but I hate to see you standing all alone.”

“The Last Supper” First husband: “When I am near death, I will ask my wife to cook my last meal.” Second husband: “Why would you went her to do that?” First husband: “Then I would feel more like dying!”

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