Expect snow ahead with oak and hickory trees

Cold temperatures, frosty meadows, and icy mud holes

Freezing temperatures at night, frost crystals on the grass and deck in the morning, cold winds blowing from the north and perhaps a forecast for some snow – January can bring a mixed bag of ingredients and we could get a few sunny days mixed in to make the month enjoyable. Temperatures during most of January will rise above freezing, which is truly a blessing as it prevents the ground from constantly freezing.

In the Piedmont, we measure snow in inches while in the midwestern part of the country they measure snow in feet. In Minnesota, when the last snow falls in April, some of the first snow of the season is still beneath the last snow of winter. And in northern New England, they get their share of heavy snowfall, too. A bit of weather lore in those areas of the country is that if the weather for January is cold and grey, you can expect winter until early May.

Spring bulbs are in their sleeping mode

Under a blanket of crushed leaves are the bulbs of nuncils, hyacinths, crocuses, daffodils and narcissus. For the next few weeks, apply a layer of bone meal or bulb hardener on top. When we get heavy snow, the melting snow will soak the bone meal into the soil and give a boost to dormant bulbs. By the end of January, it should begin to show thin bumps of green.

Storing vegetable and flower seeds

Many hardware and seed shops, garden centers, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Ace Hardware, Food Lion, Lowe’s Foods and other supermarkets have racks of seed packets on display. Most packages cost less than $2. Every week when you shop for groceries, grab a packet or two of flower or vegetable seeds. There are so many options this time of year and the shelves are full. Place the packets in a small box and keep them in a warm room. Keep an inventory of seed packets. Place flower seeds in a separate envelope from vegetable containers and refresh your stock every week. They won’t spoil and will be ready when planting season arrives. Make sure packages are labeled packed for the 2023 gardening season.

Carolina jasmine features fragrant flowers

A sweet, fresh scent wafts from the edge of the garden plot as the amber flowers of perennial Carolina jasmine begin to bloom. What a fragrance this flower emits here in the dead of winter. We believe this scent will excite the bees into their hives and hollows. This shrub is ten years old and blooms several times during the year. We keep it trimmed and shaped and it blooms in every season of the year. The dark green foliage is thick and birds love to perch in its leaves. Bluebirds like to hide among the leaves.

Keep your furnace filters clean or change them

To keep your heating system running clean and more efficiently, change or clean your system filter once a month. Write the filter size on the door of your heating system using a black permanent marker. Keep several filters near your system. A clean filter makes the air in the home cleaner and healthier as well as reduces dust and pollution.

A little green is unwanted in a winter landscape

Weeds always seem to survive the harshest winter conditions and endure despite the freezing temperatures. Chickweed, wild onion, and Bermuda grass appear every winter month. Chickweed is easy to get rid of because it has a shallow root system and can be uprooted with little effort and tossed from the lawn, rose bushes or garden. Don’t even try to pull the wild onions but use a weed trimmer to cut them down to ground level and stunt their growth. Bermuda grass has a long, deep root system. The winter months are an ideal time to uproot them and make sure you throw them out of the garden or better yet, throw them in the trash.

White frost crystals, snow dust and red cardinals

Saint Valentine’s Day is about a month away. We can already see nature’s valentines on the front lawn on mid-January mornings when colorful cardinals visit the bird baths and feeders. Frosty crystals with the winter sun shining on them and perhaps a dusting of snow enhance the colors of the cardinals. They are colorful in all four seasons but the white background of frost and snow creates a natural Valentine’s Day card. The Cardinal could be the official bird of Saint Valentine’s Day!

Keep birdbaths and feeders filled in winter

All winter birds are active as they continue their search for food. They also search for water when there are no mud holes or rain for several days. Keep the birdbath filled, and when the sun warms above the freezing mark, empty the ice from the bath and refill it with fresh water. Check bird feeders and refill them as needed. Sprinkle a handful of seeds on the ground for small birds.

Prepare meatloaf with brown sugar sauce

There are many types of meatloaf and this one is special because it has a sauce that gives it a little spice. It’s easy to prepare and the whole family will enjoy it. You will need 1 pound ground chuck or round, 2 hot dog wraps or 1 bag toasted in a blender in grate mode, 1 cup milk, 1 packet Lipton Mushroom Onion Soup, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons One large beaten egg, 1/2 cup Heinz ketchup and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Mix all the previous ingredients well and shape into a loaf. Bake in a 13x9x2 inch baking pan or dish sprayed with Pam baking spray in a 350 degree oven for one hour and fifteen minutes. To pour the sauce over the meatloaf, mix 1 cup Heinz ketchup, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 2 teaspoons prepared French mustard, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Pour over the meatloaf and bake for another ten minutes at 350 degrees.

Check your rose bushes in the dead of winter

As we move into the longest month of winter, your rose bushes could use a little tender care. A new layer of crushed leaves can be applied for additional winter protection. They can use a small drink of water if there has been no precipitation for a week or so. Large canes, bits and spent flowers can be removed. If ice and snow come in, take a broom and sweep away the heavy ice and snow.

It’s time to buy those St. Valentine gifts

Saint Valentine’s Day is less than a month away. All florists, supermarkets, Walmart and other large stores are well equipped for this event. The day of hearts, flowers and love will be here before you know it. On a cold January afternoon, you can spend some quality time browsing these stores and finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gifts for your children, grandchildren, wife, husband or lover. You can choose from gift cards from their favorite shopping place, flowers in pots or containers or ordered from a florist for special delivery, gift certificates from favorite restaurants, jewelry, candy, perfume, and plastic gift cards in any amount is always a gift they will enjoy. Please any person.

Squash snickers in mid-January

January is a good time to think about what type of pumpkin seeds to plant for the summer gardening season which will also be the season for Surry County pumpkin growers to prepare wonderful summer treats. Straight squash varieties are the best ingredients for preparing butternut squash because they are more uniform in dicing, contain smaller seeds and are firmer and fleshier. The upright yellownecks are gorgeous and some will produce a crop 50 days after planting. Some of the best yellow straight necks are the most popular early yellow straight necks. Other straightnecks are Enterprise from Park Seed, Saffron from Burpee, Butter Stick Hybrid from Burpee, and Dixie Hybrid from Ferry-Morse. Many, such as Home Depot, Walmart, and Lowe’s Home Improvement now feature Burpee seeds in their seed racks. You can order the Park Seed catalog from the W. Atlee Burpee Company, 300 Park Avenue, Warminster, Pennsylvania, 18974.

Harvest purple top turnips

In mid-January the soil of the garden plot is cold and so are the turnips harvested from it. Cool soil makes kale sweeter and easier to peel. You can use a potato or carrot peeler to make peeling the turnips easier. Kale is a great winter meal and can be prepared like mashed potatoes. For a delicious bowl of mashed kale, peel the kale and cut it into half-inch cubes. Place it in a pot and boil until you can stick a fork through it. Drain the water, add a stick of light margarine, half a pound of crispy fried bacon, drained and cut into small pieces, add a quarter cup of sugar, a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of pepper, and two teaspoons of white Karo corn syrup. Stir and mash using a potato masher or mix with a blender. For a creamier kale, add 2 teaspoons of DUX mayonnaise.

This month’s floral feature: Johnny Jump Ups

As we enter another flower and vegetable growing season, we will showcase a variety of special flowers once a month and highlight their special traits. As we reach mid-January, the featured flower is the Johnny Jump-Up, also known as Viola, Wildflower and Heartsweet. They are members of the flower family and look similar to wildflowers. They are much smaller than pansies and bloom over a longer season than pansies.

One of the features of Johnny Jump Up is that the flowers and leaves are edible. The name Johnny Jump Up’s is unusual because they are self-sowing hops and grow in many places you wouldn’t expect them to grow. Their flowers are much smaller than pansies and only about an inch in diameter, but they produce more flowers per plant than pansies. It performs well in rows and will produce well in larger containers. Unlike pansies, they perform well in summer conditions in semi-sun, away from the heat of the day. Seeds planted in spring will produce flowers in summer. Seeds planted in summer will produce flowers in fall. Seeds can be sown six weeks before the last frost date and kept in a warm location indoors. Expose them to sunlight in the winter and bring them indoors at night. They will self-seed if you allow the flowers to develop from seed.

Johnny Jump Up’s leaves have a mild winter green flavor and can be boiled to make tea. Flowers can be used to decorate cakes. It can be eaten raw in salads.

Hui Hui Hudown

“Neighbors’ advice.” Lawnmower repairman: “Here’s your lawnmower, Mr. Jones; Your mower is now in excellent condition. Just don’t lend it to your neighbor again. Mr. Jones: “That’s the problem, I’m the neighbor.”

“Doctor-Patient Relationships.” Patient: How can I live to be a hundred years old, Doctor? Doctor: “Stop candy, cakes, cookies, ice cream, cookies, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, and fried foods.” Patient: If I do that, will I live to be a hundred? Doctor: “Maybe not, but it sure will feel like a hundred years!”

“Knock knock.” When your car’s engine takes a knock, it’s likely an auto shop.

“Squeezes out.” Husband: I think the Johnsons are suffering from midlife fatigue. Wife: Why do you feel this way about our neighbors? Husband: “Well, his wife says he won’t act his age and she won’t acknowledge her age.”

Get ready for heart season

Shops, shops and supermarkets will all be decorated in red, white and pink for St Valentine’s Day next month. The shelves are now filled with Valentine’s Day cards, candy displays, party supplies, as well as flower arrangements, and of course, lots of gift cards.

Buy a 2023 Blums Almanac for the New Year

The 195th edition of Blum’s Almanac is on sale now at local hardware. Not only is this a helpful planting guide, it contains lots of information, hunting calendars, recipes, moon phases, sunrise and sunset, health information, planting signs, garden information, lunar and solar eclipses, and plant zones. Lots of useful information for every day of the year.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: