Thursday, August 29, 2013

Winter Predictions, Fall Gardens, and 1859 Just Doesn't End

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August - Some Fall Projects and Winter Predictions

Saturday, August 3, 2013

August a Month to Harvest and Plant - and Enjoy the Pickerelweed

 Pickerelweed is blooming in many wetland areas of northwestern Pennsylvania. It is an impressive and important native plant to North America. It has blue flowers on a spike which can rise three feet above the water level. Native bumblebees and honey bees are attracted to this water plant as are species of butterflies and even an occassional humminbird.
Amazingly, there is even one species of native bee which lives simply on this plant. Pickerelweed also provides a habitat for several aquatic species. It is generally accepted the plant, well unofficially, get it's name from the pickerl fish or more commonly called, the water wolf or the northern pike.
It can be purchased in many garden centers and is a great addition to any water garden or pond.
For more information on this important native species, Pickerelweed.

Think Mediterranean

Rosemary is one of the most healthy herb in any garden. Once a native of the Mediterranean regions (think healthy diet), it is now grown around the globe. It is a flavorful herb and an easy plant to grow, best of all, it can be harvested at just about anytime of the year.
In northwestern Pennsylvania, it needs to be brought indoors during the winter months because, well, winter's can be a little brutal. But, no worry. The herb does just fine in a sunny window sill. Another plus, it really doesn't like a lot of water or fertilizer. The herb goes well with fish or wild game and there's something special about rosemary roasted potatoes.
It is a well known and respected medicinal herb and recent research indicates it could help brain power and memory. 
Rosemary also makes a good tea and other garden herbs, honey or maple syrup, can be added to it to personal tastes.
What I just write?
For more details and an overview on this ancient plant, Herb for All Seasons

Home Garden

June and July were really, really, wet months. Hopefully August will see drier conditions. August is a good month to re-plant many crops for a later fall harvest. The growing season is far from over. For some hints and tips, August Garden.
NOTE: Cyclospora is the latest food illness making headlines. Hundreds of people have fallen sick after eating infected packaged lettuce. While not present just yet, in NW PA, the warning lights are once again flashing about foods we consume. For some medical info on this parasite, Cyclospora.
Lettuce is one of the simplest crops to grow in the backyard and it's very healthy. There is plenty of time to plant it in August to enjoy in late September and August. 
Garlic, at least in my garden, is ready to be dug and dried for winter, and re-planting again in October. It is best to take the largest cloves in the garlic bulb and save them for planting sometime before Halloween.

On the Wild Side

Both blackberries and blueberries are ripening fast, both crops seem to be good this year. Here, the apple crop is also very heavy as are the acorns. I have heard it said several times now that those heavy crops are a sure sign of a bad winter. I'm not so sure, all winters get hard after the first few storms.
But back to acorns and oak trees, grow your own this fall. It's a fun, easy and cost free family project which could last for hundreds of years. Plant an Acorn.

Good Blogs to Read: