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The longest month of winter is almost over

The January swan song is almost here. The longest month of winter will end tomorrow. As February approaches, some of the coldest days of winter may be ahead, but February is a month of only 28 days. When February arrives, we will only have 49 days until spring. It may seem like a long time in winter, but spring will be here before you know it. We celebrated Saint-Hilaire on Wednesday January 26th, and it is said to be the coldest day of winter, but with February right outside the door, we might have more cold weather than Saint-Hilaire could. offer it. Hopefully we can get a heavy snowfall or two in February.

Snow in winter has a ton of benefits

Winter snow will cover the garden plot, soften Siberian kale, enrich the soil with nutrients, build up groundwater and expand turnips. It penetrates the winter lawn, kills overwintering insects, weed seeds, eggs and larvae and pests in the soil, beautifies the landscape and excites children. “Some are cold and some are frozen,” but those who love snow are special and chosen. Snow facilitates inspiration and expiration. It opens the nostrils and lungs and strengthens the immune system, generates a sense of excitement and brings an atmosphere of calm and excitement to a hectic world. A winter snow will melt the heart and bring excitement to the soul. There is some excitement in a forecast that says snow is on the way.

Waiting, waiting for a snow day

Whether you like snow or not, you have to deal with it, so why not deal with it before it happens? Several items you will need in advance to make a snowy day more manageable are windshield washer fluid, a durable ice scraper and brush, several boxes of de-icer, a snow shovel, a bag de-icer, a small whisk, a broom, bread for sandwiches, quick snacks and junk food, evaporated milk for hot chocolate, a gallon of milk for making ice cream, lots of sandwich materials and frozen pizzas. No snow day is a success without these items.

Keeping Snow and Ice Out of Birdbaths

With ice and snow in the birdbath and other water sources covered in snow, the birds have a hard time finding water. There is water in the streets, but with the snow removal it contains salt, which can be dangerous for their health. On snowy or icy days or frosty mornings, empty the ice or snow from the birdbaths and refill them with fresh water. Repeat later in the day.

Keep an old fashioned oil lamp handy

21st century technology is good, but when it fails, a quality old-fashioned oil lamp filled with lamp oil is a handy item to have on hand in the event of a power outage. They come in handy when the batteries are low and the heat goes out. Many rigs are equipped with quality oil lamps, along with spare wicks, burners and lamp oils. A good lamp costs around $9 or $10. Instead of kerosene oil, they contain lamp oil in different scents that burn cleanly. They are definitely a great investment for any season of the year. Webster Brothers Ace Hardware in Walkertown offers a large selection of oil lamps, replacement brass burners, wicks and an inventory of scented oils. Always use oil lamps on a solid surface and out of the reach of children. Always be present in the room where an oil lamp is lit.

A year of four colored hours

Expect lots of color in the year of summer 2022 flower garden with lots of bushes at four o’clock. Four o’clock bushes provide flowers in red, white, pink, rose, wine and yellow colors. They produce lots of lush green foliage and will bloom from late May to early October. You can buy them in packs at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Ace Hardware, Food Lion, Lowe’s Foods and hardwares. Speckled and mottled varieties can be ordered from the Park Seed and Burpee catalogs. They thrive in all types of soil. My Northampton County grandmother had beds of these growing in the acidic soil of her front yard. Four o’clock will also thrive around the edges and corners of your garden plot for lots of foliage and color. Buy seeds now and store them in a cool, dry place.

Discover Christmas cacti

At the end of January, the Christmas cactus looks healthy in the sunny living room. As winter progresses, the cactus produces runners that need to be pruned to encourage new growth. They need a glass of Miracle-Gro liquid plant food mixed with an appropriate amount of water once a month and moistened with water every seven to ten days. You can also feed the cacti with Flower-Tone organic flower food every 10 days. If the foliage has a reddish color, it is a signal from the cactus that it is getting too much sun. Just move it away from the sunny window and that should quickly resolve this situation.

Watch panda and asparagus ferns

As asparagus and panda ferns overwinter in the living room they too develop runners which need to be cut back to promote growth and these runners need to be checked weekly and pruned so that they produce more foliage. Water once a week but only moisten the medium, do not overwater. Use Miracle-Gro Liquid Plant Food with the right amount of water. You can also use a handful of Flower-Tone Organic Flower Food once a month. Check both the Christmas cactus and the ferns by sticking your index finger in the middle to check the moisture content. Water lightly as needed.

Robins bouncing on the lawn

Many healthy robins visit lawns and birdbaths every day. When the ground is not frozen, they seem to find lots of grubs and insects. They do not shake and are lively in their movements. Robins may not build nests or lay eggs and we think they stay in hollow trees and logs, in woodpiles or under outbuildings, sheds and in forecourts. roofs of house attics or in and under barns. The ground freezes little in winter and our winters are quite temperate and the robins that we see do not seem to suffer from the harmful effects of the cold. Maybe they can dent the Japanese beetle population by eating their larvae! We wish them the best.

Take advantage of winter perennials

Perennials are one of the blessings of the flower world all year round. They put on a special show of life in all four seasons of the year with little maintenance. In winter, they don’t need a lot of water and are hardy enough to withstand frost, frost, snow, sleet and frost. On the porch and deck are coral bells, diantus, bugle grass, sea thrift, creeping phlox, periwinkle, dusty sucker, American violets, lemon balm, hen and chicks and pink savings. They all stay green and a few produce flowers in winter. All are excellent investments in foliage, color and year-round beauty. They work well when you only plant one per container and give them plenty of room to spread out.

Make brown sugar maple pies

For these two pies, you will need one can (pound) of light brown sugar, three tablespoons of plain flour, three large eggs, half a cup of melted light margarine, one cup of milk, one teaspoon of vanilla, a teaspoon of maple flavor, a cup of chopped pecans, two unbaked pie crusts. Combine brown sugar and flour, add eggs and beat well, add melted margarine and beat until light, add milk, vanilla and maple flavoring. Pour into two uncooked pie shells. Bake at 325 degrees until slightly firm and set. You can add chopped pecans to the pie mixture or spread them on top of the pie. We prefer them in the pie.

groundhog day

Wednesday, February 2 will be Groundhog Day or Candlemas, as it is known in Pennsylvania Dutch Country and most of New England. Whether the marmot sees its shadow or not, we still have at least six weeks of winter left and maybe even more until April. A bit of Groundhog Day weather lore says “If Candlemas is stormy, it will carry Old Man Winter on its back.” We think this is a “groundhog washout” because we have too many winter calendar days left!

Hoe hoe hoe

-“Wabbit wabbit.” If carrots are so good for the eyes, how come we see so many dead rabbits on the highway?

– Bold for thought. The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have become very good friends.

-The diet takes time to change your width!

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