Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year: Be a Tiger

Now I tell ya, there's always a New Year somewhere!

Happy New Year and may it be the Best Ever.

2010 will be opened with a Blue Moon, something of a rather rare happening. The next Blue Moon will not happen again until August 31, 2012. And the next after that on July 31, 2015. Just for the heck of it, the next December Blue Moon will be on December 31st, 2028.
Many people will celebrate Chinese New Year on February 14th, which ushers in the Year of the Tiger. It could make for an interesting Valentine's Day. (and yes, I did double check, it is the Year of the Tiger, not the Rat).
Chinese New Year is a good time and is similar to our Christmas celebration; a time for family and friends, gift giving and plenty of good foods. Any friends who will be celebrating this New Year, feel welcome to comment(Sadeep, what can you say?).
I wrote an article about last minute Christmas Gift Shopping a week or so before the holiday. Then, after further thought, realized, the article is good for any and all gift shopping regardless of Blue Moons. So, I figured might as well plug it. Click here on gift ideas.
The Year of the Tiger on February 14th, a good day for florists and candy makers, is a time to start thinking about getting some plants started for the season. In a Zone 5, it is a tad early except for some pepper varieties which require a lot of time to reach maturity. But it is time to get potting soil, pots, and seeds together along with a garden plan.
The Year of the Tiger might be a good omen for backyard gardeners; be aggressive, adventurous and determined to get what you want.
On the subject of calendars. Not even the Mayan Elders believe the world will end in 2012. That's a nice money making story but hardly real.

Tomatoes can save money in the Year of Tiger

Tomatoes are easy to grow with few problems despite what happened last year with the late blight. With a few aggressive and determined gardening steps, tomatoes should be like zucchini, plentiful.
There are some common blights which can raise some problems; briefly, Septoria, Early and Verticillium. Basically, all three of these are marked by discoloration in the lower leaves. These are fungal diseases which can be controlled or eliminated.
The first step is to start out with home grown seedlings or seedlings purchased from a reputable grower. The fungal diseases mention can overwinter in the ground so it is best not to plant tomatoes where they grew last year; pick a new spot.
Give the plants the required space; don't overcrowd. Stake or cage the plants; sprawling on the ground tomato plants are an open invitation for trouble. Use mulch, preferably compost mulch and avoid overhead watering. The blight can splash up from the soil and on the plants.
Pay attention. At the first sign of trouble, get rid of the discolored leaves (burn them if possible or place in the garbage) and spray. Good sprays would be a mix of baking soda or manure tea. There are some good organic sprays available commercially.
A few simple, common sense gardening practices will result in huge yields of tasty tomatoes and perhaps, even enough to give away or sell for some extra cash.

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Where will the road lead in 2010?

New Years Resolutions for January 1st or February 14th or Both

There are a lot of ideas but how about a storm kit for the home. It's inexpensive to put a storm kit together and it could be life saving. With global warming comes more violent weather, so it is best to get prepared.
Plant native wild flowers this year and help out the bees, both the honeybee and native populations. They are in trouble from a number of diseases and the populations are declining. Honeybees are amazing and real work horses of the insect world. That we even have honey is a true feat.
Vincent di Fondi's new book Blessed Abduction, would be another good choice for a resolution. Vincent is now retired and enjoying life in Costa Rica. Or the books by Sam Hossler which portray the history of northwestern Pennsylvania. Sam now lives in Florida but was a long time resident of the Canadohta Lake area where enjoyed the winter weather.
Read more blogs like those listed below and if an ad catches your eye, click and find out more. Bloggers work hard and generally get paid when folks get interested enough to click an ad. No ads, leave a comment, your insights and observations are always welcome by bloggers.

Good Blogs

Vincent di Fondi - Vincent was also featured in the December issue of International Living Magazine. His book is available at Amazon and Indie Books.

On Your Way to the Top - Kathleen has a good, homespun blog. The latest post is about the family trip from upstate New York to Ohio for a family visit.

New York's Southern Tier - Kathleen also does a travel destination blog for Helium Zones which features many events in the western and central New York region. If your traveling in that area over the holidays, check it out.

Veggie Garden Blog - Dan in Ontario has some terrific photos and great veggie garden insights. He is feeding the birds this season and thinking hard about next year's bounty. Thanks, Dan and I forgot to send a Merry Christmas, so have the Best new Year Ever wish!

Simply Snickers - Linda writes an exciting blog here, well worth the visit. She is an avid and prolific writer and knows an awful lot about horses, just ask her in a comment section after you have enjoyed her writing. She also wears funny hats at times! (had to get that int here, Linda)