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Ready for Spring - Let the
By Lorraine Clark
The seed catalogs started coming right after
Christmas, but I knew it was too early to order and so I
put them on the bookshelf for another day. When I had
about 8 catalogs, I sat down one cold winter day of
February and started planning the garden. I had gone
through the left over seeds from last year and knew
what I already had. Then I planned what I needed to
order: yellow pear tomatoes, green and yellow bush
beans, a variety of lettuce mixes, several interesting
zucchini blends and some really unusual hollyhocks
with double centers. I made a grid of the items to order
and which catalogs had the best prices and selection.
Then I filled in the order forms and was ready to send
them off. A few days later I got emails that the orders
had been received and would be shipped soon.
The day the orders came in was exciting, almost as
good as picking the first tiny vegetables. Now it was
time to plant. Tomato seeds would be started inside.
These are the heirlooms and other varieties that can’t
be purchased locally as plants. This year I got 3 inch
peat pots that are a little larger than I had used before
to give the plants more room to grow and more soil so
they don’t dry out so quickly. Peat pots are great
because they can be planted right into the garden
when the plants are large enough and the weather has
Tiny seeds were dropped into the pots and covered,
labels were placed in to mark what was planted, and
water was sprayed onto the pots. A plastic lid was put
on to hold the moisture and help with the germination.
Soon little green sprouts began to appear and the
summer growing season was started. The plants will
stay inside until mid-May and then can be planted
outside in the garden.
I have saved plastic gallon milk jugs and will cut the
bottoms out to create little shelters that can be placed
over the tiny plants. With the lids off the jugs, the plants
can save sunlight and be warm during the cool nights.
Growing my own plants and harvesting the produce is
a real thrill. This past week I made chili and used
tomatoes from last season I had canned. Yummy! Bring
on spring. I’m ready.
Have you seen this?
OK I know about going green, getting your “green on” and
even recycling but have you heard about solar highways?
Just when I thought I had heard everything, well you
know the rest.
Photovoltaic cells, aka sloar panels, are everywhere now
days, and who knows with the abundance of sun we have
here in White Pine County we may soon see solar become
even more popular. After all, even in the winter months
our area is blessed with sunshine at least 340 days out of
the year. Watch this video and see what you think.
Solar Panel Highways
by Lorraine Clark
I received a lovely poinsettia plant in December of 2011. The red
branches stayed nicely until last January and then most of the green
and red leaves fell off. I have had these plants before but never had
any luck keeping them alive after the blooms faded. I intended to
trim it back but didn’t get that done. I keep watering it along with all
the other plants. About May I looked at the plant and realized that all
the leaves had dropped. I thought about trimming it back then but
noticed that new leaf buds were beginning to appear. I keep
watering it and watched it. By the end of summer, the plant had
grown taller and had new green leaves all over it.
Poinsettia need to have several hours of darkness in the fall to bring
out the red or other colors on the branches. By late fall, the days are
short enough that even sitting in a window there are long hours of
darkness for the plant. But if necessary, the plant can be set into a
closet or other dark area. Just don’t forget to water it about once a
By Christmas the color on the plant was great and it is still beautiful.
I did repot the plant so it had more room to grow. The leaves will
begin to fall soon and I will water and take care of it through the
summer again. By fall the plant can begin to produce its color. I can
continue to enjoy this plant for many years.
I bought a small poinsettia this Christmas because I really liked the
cream and pink colored leaves. This plant is now dropping its
leaves. I will repot it and water through the summer and enjoy the
color this next winter.
With just a little effort, the poinsettia that is lovely for Christmas can
become a nice addition to your houseplants.
Christmas cacti are plants that are popular in the fall and winter. I
have several that I have had for years. They like a south or west
facing window and take little care, mostly not overwatering since
they are succulents. Here are some of the blooms that are still
appearing since the plants began blooming last Thanksgiving.
They will continue for another few weeks and then will produce new
leaves until time to bloom again in late fall.