Tag Archives: Handmade

Forcing Bulbs to bloom for winter flowers

Forcing Bulbs For Winter Flowers is easy, fun and comes with a colorful reward. Winter flowering bulbs.
Source University of Minnesota October is the time of the year to begin potting your favorite spring bulbs to prepare them for winter flowering. Amaryllis, tulips, narcissus (daffodils), hyacinths, crocus, grape hyacinths, and lily of the valley are good choices and all can be forced into flower in late winter and early spring. A pot of tulips on the window sill can make a long cold winter easier to survive.

Purchase only top quality, good sized bulbs (bigger is better) should be used. Your neighborhood greenhouse operator will tell you the varieties that are best suited for forcing. Don’t mix varieties in the same container, since they vary in their dates of flowering.

Potting the bulbs in clean, sterile clay or plastic pots. Normally the “noses” of the bulbs are exposed. Do not bury the bulbs. The soil should be an open mixture of good (3 parts)garden loam, (2 parts)peat moss, and (1 part)sand. Don’t worry about soil fertility or feeding bulbs because they have enough stored food to flower one time.

Plant the bulbs close together in the pot. Usually 6 tulip bulbs, 3 hyacinths, 6 daffodils, or 15 crocus, will fit into a 6-inch pot. The flat side of the tulip bulb should be placed next to the rim of the pot since the largest leaf will always emerge and grow on that side, producing a more desirable looking pot.

It’s extremely important that bulbs be handled with care. Never allow the bulbs to be in temperatures above 65 degrees. The pot(s) should be loosely filled with soil. Don’t press the bulbs into the soil. Allow 1/4-inch or more of space at the top of the pot so it can be easily watered. The bulbs should be watered immediately upon planting, and thereafter the soil should never be allowed to become dry.

Forcing bulbs in Water. Hyacinths, crocus, and narcissus also can be forced in water. Special clear, glass vases are made for hyacinths or crocus. The bulb is placed in the upper portion, water in the lower portion. The vase is then kept in a cool, dark room (preferably under 50 degrees F) for four to eight weeks until the root system has developed and the top elongates. At this point it should be placed in a bright window, where the plant soon will blossom.

Bunch flowering narcissus, such as Paper White and Soleil d’Or, can be grown in shallow pans of water filled with crushed rocks or pebbles. The bulbs should be secured in the pebbles deeply enough so that the basal plate is in contact with the water. Keep them in a cool, dark room for several weeks to ensure root growth, then place in a sunny location. Each bulb will send up several flower stems bearing many blossoms.

Amaryllis Culture The amaryllis is a tender bulb that will bloom without special treatment when first purchased. It should be potted up in light, rich soil in a pot that is only 1–2 inches larger in diameter than the bulb. The upper half of the bulb should be exposed above the soil. After watering thoroughly, allow the soil to become quite dry. Water more frequently after the flower stalk appears, but never water when the soil is already moist. Put the plant in a warm, sunny spot until the flower buds show color, then move it out of direct sunlight.

After blooming, cut off the flowers to prevent seed formation. The foliage should be handled as if it were a sun loving houseplant. Place it in the brightest possible location indoors until it is warm enough to sink the pot in soil outdoors where it will receive dappled sunlight at first. Gradually move it to a brighter location where eventually it has full sun for at least five or six hours daily. Fertilize with a balanced houseplant food at regular intervals to build up the nutrients needed for blooming next year. Amaryllis should be brought indoors before the first frost in the fall.

Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

Why is Common Sense so Uncommon?
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2020 National Doughnut Day is celebrated on the first Friday of June.

The original doughnut wasn’t at sweet as we have it today, and it wasn’t glazed.

** 1918 Doughnut Recipe

Ingredients:

5 cups flour

2 cups sugar

5 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt (a.k.a 1 “saltspoon”)

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups milk

1 tub lard

Directions:

Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4-inch thick.

Drop the rings into the hot lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the doughnuts gradually. Turn the doughnuts slowly several times.

When browned, remove doughnuts and allow excess fat to drop off.
Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy.

Grin … if you don’t have a ‘tub of lard’ feel free to use shorting or oil to fry your doughnuts.

*When finding items to cut out doughnut circles, be creative. 1918 Salvation Army Doughnut Girls used whatever they could find, from baking powder cans to coffee percolator tubes.

Homemade Disinfectant That Works

Regular Bleach is safe for kitchen countertops and cutting boards. Bleach should never be used full strength for cleaning any surface, it should always be diluted with water. For disinfecting countertops, use a solution of 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water. Apply the bleach solution and let stand for 5 minutes, rinse thoroughly, and allow to air dry.

After cleaning with warm soapy water, dishes, cups, sinks, tubs, showers, toilets and ‘most floor surfaces can be disinfected with bleach water. Note Dishes must be rinsed well and dried before being put away.
Bleach water is also effective for disinfecting outdoor appliances and furniture as well.

Caution Always wear eye protection and latex gloves when using any bleach based disinfectant. When disinfecting appliances always unplug appliance before using bleach water to disinfect appliances.Bleach disinfectent must be used with caution and always in a well ventilated area.

Be on the front line protecting you and your family from bacterial and viral infections.

Being more productive

A newly hired software designer and university educated programmer told his supervisor that he must have access to a stand up desk to complete his software programming assignment.

His supervisor agreed to the young programmers demands and the engineering maintenance department setout to provide him with a standup work station.

Be very careful what you ask for, you may get it!

Home(stead) and Garden Projects [3]

OK, OK, this is the last of my project pictures…. I promise.

24 foot double gate

20 foot farm gate

sheep or goat milking / grooming stand

4 post bed frame

hunting cabin wood burning stove

shop work on a cold day

salvage trailer

finished salvaged flatbed trailer

12X24 foot portable building

salvage livestock trailer

finished salvage livestock trailer

Home(stead) and Garden Projects [2]


This was a winter project. It was built for my daughter to serve as a bookcase. Much to my surprise she said she has only one book, her mothers old cookbook.

It seems that she gets all of her books on tape and listens to them while in her car and at work. Anything else is found using an internet search for one time reading.
It has morphed into a pantry shelf filled with flavored coffee’s, tea’s, chips and boxes of dog bones and bird feed for her macaws.

When did people stop buying, reading / collecting books?

Below are two examples of what I call Yard Art.

Home(stead) and Garden Projects [1]

To allow wordpress to more quickly load pictures I am displaying photographs in a fairly small format. To see the larger version click the picture to zoom in.

This is my design and is handmade porch / patio bench I constructed for a friend and his new ‘trophy’ wife.

This porch / patio table was constructed using a slab of granite stone salvaged from a botched kitchen counter top installation. It has been on a patio for more than 25 years and looks as good today as it did the day I finished it’s construction.

A custom designed and handmade walk bridge connecting a path from a hobby work shop and the covered front porch of a home in the country. Walk bridge is 4 feet wide by 12 feet long.

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Christmas Message

Thanksgiving a different prospective


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Abandoned and Orphaned – Give them a second chance

As we approach the holidays think of the many poor abandoned and orphaned Fruitcakes.

If someone forces a fruitcake through your letter box or abandons it on your door step. Sometimes you will find them hidden on dark shelf’s of pantries, lurking behind a jar of juice in the back of your refrigerator. They may be found well concealed in an Amazon, eBay or Walmart box marked ‘Christmas gifts.
While at work you may discover someone has abandoned a poor little Fruitcake and secretly placed it in your bottom right desk drawer, don’t despair.

If you have no place in your heart or home or desire to adopt and care for one of these abandoned or orphaned Fruitcakes post them as soon as possible to me at Town and Country Gardening blog.

I will give them a home, treat them with respect, feed them with a sprinkling of spice rum from time to time while waiting for them to mature. Fruitcakes will get the attention they deserve being displayed on my best silver platter as a special treat for my family, friends and special holiday guest.

About Texas Fruitcake I find serving large quantities of wine, brandy and whiskey before serving Collins street bakery Fruitcake makes my Fruitcake more appealing and it disappears quickly as my guest comment of the luxury taste and texture of my holiday Fruitcake.

FYI: I am in no way affiliated with nor do I receive free gifts or monetary compensation. from this bakery. I just like their fruitcakes.
Happy Holiday season