What Season Is This?

Just for the record. Me and this blog have divided the earth into 3 regions. Northern hemisphere, North of 23 degrees latitude, Southern hemisphere, South of 23 degrees latitude Then there is that region extending from about 23 degrees North to 23 degrees South Latitude where temperatures are favorable for gardening almost non-stop 12 months a year.

Look-up your first and last freeze/frost dates by zip code Find Frost Date Sorry only works for Zip Codes located in the United States.
Pickling Vegetables everything from Artichokes to Zucchini.

grilled dove Fall Hunting Starts on the first day of September in the south and southwest USA.
Opening day for Dove season seems to be a southern holiday and is much enjoyed even if you (grin) fail to down even one Dove. At least in Oklahoma, the native Mourning Dove and the White Wing Dove(mostly seen only in southwest) near and along the Texas/Mexico border areas have strict daily limits. However the non-native Eurasian collared Dove aka Ring neck Dove has no such daily bag limits.

Doves, pigeons and squab deserve their own category. They are really dark meat birds with very little fat. When plucking doves and pigeons keep them whole. (It’s an eye appeal thing) They are very easy to pluck taking only a few seconds once you get the hang of it. What you get in return for your effort a beautiful presentation and those little legs, which are so very tasty! Remove the wings from doves and all but the first wing joint on pigeons.

Dove are small birds, one dove makes a good portion for an appetizer, three to four are served for a main course. Pigeon being larger birds, only one pigeon makes a light dinner main course. Serve two for that hungry working man in your family. Squabs are the same as pigeons, serve one to two per person.

In my opinion, grilling is the best way to cook young doves and pigeons. Grilling is the only way to get the skin crispy without overcooking the breast meat. Don’t over cook your dove or pigeon! They are small birds and cook quickly. Remove them from the grill while the breast meat is still a light pink. Older Doves or Pigeons are better braised or aluminum foil wrapped and oven cooked.

Quick Hints on Grilling Dove or Pigeon
* Grilled Doves Stuffed with 1/4 to 1/2 tart apple and fresh herbs, brush with bacon fat or wrap bird with a slice of bacon and dust with smoked (sweet) paprika before serving.
* Cajun Grilled Doves Doves rubbed with Cajun seasonings and grilled hot and fast.
* Grilled Dove, pigeon or squab Italian Style. Grill your birds over a hardwood fire and dressed only with a little bit of salt and a little black pepper and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Don’t over cook your birds! It is just that simple.

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Vegetables You Should Consider Growing

kohlrabi Kohlrabi sometimes called German turnip or turnip cabbage. Is an annual a low, stout cultivar of cabbage. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw as well as cooked.

The taste and texture of kohlrabi is similar to broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple, although much less sweet.

Kohlrabi – A few recommend Varieties

Variety Days to Harvest
Early White Vienna 55
Grand Duke 45
Purple Danube 40


Rutabaga Is sometimes called a turnip, Swedish turnip or yellow turnip. Tops and root can be eaten cooked or raw in salads.

It seems that from what I can find rutabaga is a cross between cabbage and turnips. The name Swede is used instead of rutabaga in many paret of the UK, including much of England, Wales, Australia, and New Zealand. The name turnip is also used in parts of Northern and Midland England, the West country (Cornwall), Ireland, Manitoba, Ontario and Eastern parts of Canada.


Variety Days to Harvest
American Purple Top 90

fennel Fennel is a flowering plant in the celery family. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea coast and on riverbanks.

It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses and, along with the similar tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe.
Florence fennel or finocchio is a variety with a swollen, bulb like stem base that is used as a vegetable and can be eaten cooked or raw in salads.


Variety Days to Harvest
Trieste 90
Zefa Fino 65

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Tulips, Daffodils And Hyacinths – Fall Planting

It’s nearing the time of the year to plant your spring blooming bulbs. Tulips, Daffodils And Hyacinth bulbs will soon be arriving everywhere. Soil will be cooling and you want to get your bulbs planted before your soil becomes frozen and un-diggable.

daffodils Properly preparing the soil for bulb planting is important. Good soil drainage is essential in raising bulbs. If you have a soil with a high clay content, it can be improved by adding compost, peat moss or some other source of organic material. The organic material should be worked in the top twelve inches of soil (eighteen inches is even better).

Both spring and summer bulbs need phosphorous to encourage root development. Keep in mind that phosphorous moves very little once applied to the soil. Some bulbs are planted 6 to 8 inches deep. The phosphorus needs to be mixed in the soil below where the bulbs will be located so it can be utilized by the bulb roots. Mix bonemeal or superphosphate with the soil in the lower part of the planting bed as it is being prepared.

If bulbs are going to be maintained in a planting bed more than one year, it is important to supply additional fertilizer. Spring flowering bulbs should have mixed into the soil in the fall five tablespoons of 10-10-10 soluble fertilizer (or equivalent bulb fertilizer) plus two cups of bonemeal per ten square foot area. As soon as the shoots break through the ground in the spring, repeat the above soluble fertilizer application. Do not fertilize spring flowering bulbs after they have started flowering. This tends to encourage the development of bulb rot and sometimes shortens the life of the flowers.

Summer and fall flowering bulbs should be fertilized monthly from shoot emergence until the plants reach full flower. Apply seven tablespoons of 10-10-10 soluble fertilizer (or equivalent bulb fertilizer) split over two or three applications over a ten square foot area.

The optimum pH range for bulbs is 6 to 7. A soil test of the planting area is necessary to determine if lime needs to be applied to adjust the soil pH. If needed, limestone should be worked into the soil. For good bud development, work bonemeal into the soil at planting.

Planting Location
dutch-tulips Before selecting the location to plant bulbs in the landscape, consider the light requirements of the plant. Does the plant require full sunshine, partial shade or full shade? Since early spring bulbs bloom before most trees or shrubs leaf out, they can successfully be planted under trees and shrubs. Many summer blooming bulbs require full sun or partial shade.

Spring bulbs planted on a south slope will bloom earlier than the same bulbs planted on a north slope. Spring bulbs planted on a hillside will bloom earlier than bulbs planted in a valley. Cold air is heavier than warm air and behaves like water. It flows down the slope, settling in the low areas.

Planting Depth
The general rule of thumb for planting spring bulbs is to plant two to three times as deep as the bulbs is tall. This means most large bulbs like tulips or daffodils will be planted about 8 inches deep while smaller bulbs will be planted 3-4 inches deep. Planting depth is measured from the bottom of the bulb. This rule of thumb on planting depth does not apply to summer bulbs which have varied planting requirements. For planting depth of summer bulbs, consult the information supplied with the bulbs.

Tulips, daffodils and hyacinths should be planted with the nose of the bulb upward and the root plate downward. The best method of planting is to dig and loosen the entire bed to the proper depth. Press the bulbs into the soil in the planting area and cover with soil. Because the soil in a spaded bed is better drained and prepared, the planting will last longer. This method of planting is preferred over trying to plant bulbs one by one with a bulb planter. In many soils bulb planters do not work well, if at all.

Watering Bulbs
Water the bulbs following planting. This will help settle the soil in the planting bed plus provide needed moisture for the bulbs to start rooting. Fall planted bulbs must root before cold weather. Avoid over-watering at planting time since this can result in bulb rot.

For both spring and summer bulbs, start watering when the flower buds first appear on the plant if the soil is dry. Shallow watering will not do the job. Remember that the bulbs may have been planted 6 to 8 inches deep and the water needs to soak to that depth. Through the bud, bloom and early foliage stage, add about one inch of water per week if this amount has not been supplied from rainfall. Water with a soaker hose to keep water off the bloom. Bulbs like alliums, or the shallow planted bulbs, will rot quickly if over-watered in the heat of summer.

Mowing Foliage One of the visual problems with spring bulbs is the foliage that remains after bloom. The foliage can become unsightly if the bulbs are planted in a public area of the landscape. Foliage should not be mowed off until it turns yellow and dies back naturally.

The foliage on the smaller bulbs such as snowdrops and squill will die back rapidly and cause little problem. The foliage on the larger bulbs like tulips and daffodils will take several weeks to die back. Keep in mind that after flowering, the plant needs the green leaves to manufacture food (photosynthesis) that is stored in the bulb for next year’s growth. If the homeowner mows off the foliage early, the plant can no longer manufacture nutrient reserves for next year. This results in a small, weak bulb which will gradually decline and die out.

There are several ways to divert attention from the yellowing bulb foliage. Interplant the bulbs in the spring using one or two colors of annuals. Place bulbs behind the plants on the front edge of a border planting. Plant taller flowering bulbs behind lower growing foreground shrubs. Plant bulbs with groundcovers and perennials like hosta or daylilies.

Some of the summer blooming bulbs like dahlias and gladioli occasionally need extra support to be able to remain erect. A support ring is an easy way to support plants that have weak stems. Stakes will also work for this purpose. Drive stakes in place at planting time to avoid accidental damage to the bulbs or tubers.

The bulb bed should be covered with two or three inches of mulch. Mulch will help minimize temperature fluctuation and maintain an optimal moisture level in the planting bed. The small, early booming bulbs should not be mulched.
Digging and Storing Spring Bulbs

Once the foliage dies back or matures in the late spring or early summer, the bulb is dormant. Summer is the dormant period for spring bulbs. As the foliage dies back, the roots that nourish the bulbs also die back. With fall rains, the bulb comes out of summer dormancy and roots begin to grow again to provide the bulb nutrients and moisture.

Once the spring bulbs enter dormancy, the time is right to dig the bulbs if needed. Some bulbs benefit from digging to divide the bulbs and spread them out over the bed.

If the choice is to dig bulbs, they should be stored in a well ventilated place and replanted in the fall. Every five years daffodils and crocus should be dug and replanted to prevent overcrowding. The first sign of overcrowding will be a decrease in the flower size, uneven bloom and uneven plant height. When this occurs, dig, spread bulbs out and replant immediately.

Digging and Storing Summer Bulbs
Most summer flowering bulbs should be dug and stored when the leaves on the plants turn yellow. Use a spading fork to lift the bulbs from the ground. Wash off any soil that clings to the bulbs, except for bulbs that are stored in pots or with the soil around them.

Leave the soil on achimenes, begonia, canna, caladium, dahlia and ismene bulbs. Store these bulbs in clumps on a slightly moistened layer of peat moss or sawdust in a cool place. Wash and separate them just before planting.

Spread the washed bulbs in a shaded place to dry. When dry, store them away from sunlight in a cool, dry basement, cellar, garage or shed at 60 to 65F. Avoid temperatures below 50 or above 70F unless different instructions are given for a particular bulbs.

Inspect your bulbs for signs of disease. Keep only large, healthy bulbs that are firm and free of spots. Discard undersized bulbs.

If you have only a few bulbs, you can keep them in paper bags hung by strings from the ceiling or wall. Store large numbers of bulbs on trays with screen bottoms. Separate your bulbs by species or variety before storing them.

Be sure that air can circulate around your stored bulbs. Never store bulbs more than two or three layers deep. Deep piles of bulbs generate heat and decay.

hyacinths Most flowering bulbs are best stored over a long period at temperatures between 60F and 68F. Try to keep the humidity in the storage area as low as possible. Never store bulbs in an area where ethylene gas produced by fruit is present. Bulbs can be stored in a container with peat moss, sand, perlite or vermiculite. Another common storage method is to place the bulbs in a very loose knit sack and hang in a sheltered, cool area. Do not divide or separate bulbs before storing them.

Ron Cornwell, University of Illinois

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Horseradish – Hate It Or Love It – It’s A Must Have Plant For Every Herb Garden

blooming horseradish Horseradish – Hot and Pungent. Grow it anywhere. Asia, Australia, Canada, USA, UK and Europe, South Africa, grow it anywhere. Horseradish does best in cool damp, not wet soils.

More than almost anyone wants to know about horseradish. It is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family (which also includes mustard, broccoli, and cabbage). The plant Origin is unknown but is probably native to southeastern Europe and western Asia. It is now popular around the world. It grows up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) tall, and is cultivated primarily for its large, white, hot and pungent tasting root.

Intact (whole)horseradish root has hardly any aroma. When cut or grated, however, enzymes from the plant cells break down to produce allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil), which irritates the mucous membranes of the sinuses and eyes. Grated or mashed it should be used immediately or preserved in vinegar for best flavor. Once exposed to air or heat it will begin to lose its pungency, darken in color, and become unpleasantly bitter tasting over time. (Thank you wikipeda.)

Horseradish can grow up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) tall, and is cultivated primarily for its large, white root. Horse Radish with a little vinegar is commonly used among the Germans for sauce to eat with fish and meats as we do mustard.

Horseradish is a perennial and is hardy zones 2–9. And can be grown as an annual in other zones, although not as successfully as in zones with both a long growing season and winter temperatures cold enough to ensure plant dormancy. After the first frost in the autumn kills the leaves, dig and divided it’s roots. The main root is harvested and one or more large offshoots of the main root are replanted to produce next year’s crop.

Horseradish sauce is commonly served along side beef or pork dishes, lamb and egg dishes and with cheese and sausage (worst). A common horseradish sauce is made using graded horseradish and mustard or mayo. Sometimes the sauce is as simple as a bit of vinegar or lemon juice. Sometime horseradish is mixed with grated beet root.

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Yellow And Red Paper Wasp

paper wasp Twenty-two species of paper wasps have been identified in North America. (wikipedia)
The best that I can tell I have been blessed or cursed with 4 different species of paper nest building wasp. I hear people calling them Yellow wasp, Yellow jackets, Red wasp and a few names that I can’t use on a PG rated blog!

I find nest of the common Yellow jacket wasp, European yellow wasp, and 2 different types of Red paper wasp. The Red paper nest building wasp are my enemy! Simply put have a really crappy attitude and will attack you or your pets for no known reason.
:-( Unlike bees, that can only sting you once, wasp can sting you many times.
When I discover nesting sites containing red wasp I go into chemical warfare mode and spray the nest with wasp killing chemicals.

red paper wasp Killing the little bastards. Killing the wasp and nest removal is fairly simple and safe if you follow a few safety precautions.

Once you have located their nest, wait until night fall after all the wasp have returned to the nest for the night. Carefully approach the nest. Using Hornet/Wasp killing spray, spray the wasp and nest. While wearing heavy rubber gloves, remove the nest. Burn the nest or squash their nest under foot to kill any larva contained in the nest cells.
The same procedure is also effective early in the morning before the wasp have warmed up and leave the nest for the day feeding and being a real pest to animals and people.

All Wasp are not the bad guys. Most wasps are beneficial and are critically important in natural biocontrol. Paper wasps feed on nectar and other insects, including caterpillars, flies, and beetle larvae. Because they are a known pollinator and feed on known garden pests, paper wasps should be considered beneficial to a healthy garden.
Wasp feed on a wide variety of caterpillars including corn earworms, armyworms, loopers, and hornworms that are used as food to feed paper wasp young.

Caution Paper wasps will sting if they are disturbed or their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause an allergic reaction as can other insect (bee) stings.

I have found paper wasp nest under lawn mowers, on the bottom wire of barbwire fences, under house eaves, in the rafters of little used out buildings, under porch decks. You can never be sure that wasp have not build a nest near you, your house or your garden.

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August Vegetable, Berry And Fruit Gardens

August and September are pay back months. That’s when you get paid back for all the time, water and effort you have invested in your summer garden.
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other Southern Hemisphere Gardner’s will just have to bear with me on this. I do know it’s still winter in your gardens. But Spring is on it’s way.

You may find your harvest basket running over with summer squash, okra, onions, garlic, eggplant, tomato’s and cucumbers. Apples, berries, grapes, plums and early pears are waiting to be picked, for eating raw fresh off the tree and vines or processed for your freezer, canned or made into jelly and Jam.
Their is so much needing done that it’s hard to find time to just set and enjoy your garden, fruit and berry orchards.

My tiny garden was truly tiny this year. What few plants that survived our long running drought, the tomato worms, squash bugs, cucumber bugs, vine bores and grasshoppers eat.

I mounted my tiny spring tooth harrow our John Deer tractor today and harrowed my tiny garden plot. It’s (the garden plot) dry as old buffalo bones. A lot drier than I thought it was. I’m jerking up dirt clods larger than my fist. It will take a lot of rain to bust up dirt clods that large and that dry.

The chemical war I conducted on my tiny garden plot this past Spring has worked out well. I put down a heavy dose of preeminence and sprayed all my weeds, mostly bind weeds with a combo of 2-4-D and glyphosate herbicide. It accomplished a very effective kill of weeds and prevented other weed seeds from germinating all Spring and Summer.
I will repeat this treatment next spring (around mid February) before tilling my garden plot and installing my drip irrigation system.

Maybe I can post a few pictures of my tiny very dry, garden plot and some of my home/handmade farm helper implements I have made (as needed) over past few years.

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Lazy Summer Dogs (I Do Mean – Hot Dogs)

1905 street vendor selling hotdogs. 3 cents each or two for 5 cents.
First things first. What makes the best hotdog bun?
* Off the supermarket shelf hotdog buns. Serve at room temperature, warmed or toasted on your BBQ grill or on a cast iron grill pan.

* Baguette, French or Italian stick bread.
– Hoagie bun.
– Sourdough buns. (see Hoagie bun)
– Subway bun. (See Hoagie bun)
– Croissant bun or Bavarian Croissant or Pretzel Croissant bun.(Not moon shaped)
– Cuban bun (bread) similar to French and Italian baguette bun. (bread)
– Split top roll(bun) A hot dog style roll.
— Cut bun(roll) in half if to long for 1 serving. Slice length wise to lay open like butterfly wings.
– Tortilla – use small flour tortillas, fold in half serve like a flour taco with your favored toppings.

No matter what name you use. Frankfurters, franks, wieners, weenies, tube steak, worst(there are many types and styles), (hot) links, Polish or Italian sausage. They all go well served on a warm or toasted bun with topping of your choice.

Spread (unsalted) butter on your buns, grill to a golden brown.
Hint Before spreading room temperature, soft butter on your bun, add a little mustard and or garlic paste to your soft butter, mix well. :-( I know it sounds bad, but, :-) it really taste good. Wow what a delightful surprise.

Ketchup, mayo, mustard, diced onion, relish, chili (I use canned Wolf brand) and grated cheddar cheese are all American common hotdog toppings.

Now lets try thinking out of the bun.
* Shredded cabbage or cold slaw.
* De-seeded sliced, diced or grilled chili pepper.
* Crispy bacon slices or bacon bits.
* Grilled red onions.
* Slice, dice or grate any cheese that you like not just American cheddar cheese.
* Sliced or diced avocado or avocado dip.
* A dollop of sour cream dip.
* Sweet, dill or sour pickles finely diced. Drain away excess pickle juice.
* Tomato’s or maybe cucumbers finely diced and drained.

All American Hotdog Is one of those dishes that it’s really hard to screw up.

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