The Garden Plot: On Valentine’s Day, don’t get caught empty-handed – The Stokes News


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The day of hearts, love, flowers, and chocolate is Sunday. The choices for Saint Valentine’s Day are great and the stores are well-stocked. The florists and even supermarkets are filled with flowers. And there are plenty of alternatives that can replace floral offerings: choose from a huge assortments or chocolates, even a gift cards from any local business.
(Always get a small box of chocolates no matter whatever else you give for Valentine’s Day to make it special and romantic as well as unforgettable.)
The Almanac. There will be a new moon tonight. It’s a busy stretch: Lincoln’s birthday is Friday, Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14, Presidents Day is Feb. 15, Mardi Gras begins on Feb. 16 and Ash Wednesday is Feb. 17. Then George Washington’s birthday is Feb. 22. The full moon will occur on Feb. 27; this moon is called the “Full Snow Moon.”
February is winter’s shortest month. With only 28 days, of course February is the shortest month of the year. It can also turn out to be the very coldest as we reach past winter’s mid-point. We can receive a few hefty snowfalls any time during the month.
On the brighter side, we can see robins bouncing around on the lawn and dark green spikes of jonquils and hyacinths peeping out of the soil. I see no signs that winter weather is having any ill effects on the robins. They seem to be doing what they always do … searching for a meal. Robins have adapted themselves well to our winter wonderland.
February is lawn care time. Now the lawn is dormant, which means it is the opportune time to feed it before spring arrives next month. Never use 10-10-10 fertilizer on lawns, because this is a garden formula. Use a blend specially formulated just for lawns; there are several varieties designed just for lawns in our area. Pick a day when snow is forecast in the area. Snow will soak the lawn food into the soil and prevent pellets from washing away.
Real lawn food is named just that: food. You do not want to fertilize your lawn but feed it. The best lan food may cost more, but it provides longer lasting results. Always remember, you get what you pay for.
Starting off the garden year. Red radishes are a tough cold-weather vegetable with the shortest of maturity dates, about 45 to 50 days. They are one of the earliest vegetables that can be sown in The Garden Plot. Most seed packets say radish will mature in 30 days but this is just not true — they usually require two weeks to germinate, so a harvest can be more like 40 days. A packet of radish seed costs about $2 or less. Sow radish seed in ta bed or short row about two inches deep and sow thinly. Cover the seed with a layer of peat moss and an application of organic plant food. Hill up soil on each side of furrow and tamp down with a hoe blade.
Cherry Yum Yum
This is a simple, easy, no-bake treat for Valentine’s Day.
1½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1½ sticks butter or margarine, melted
1 can of Comstock cherry pie filling
8-oz. cream cheese
1½ cups sugar
1 cup of milk
2 tubs Cool Whip (optional)
Spread half the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch baking dish or pan. Mix all other ingredients except cherry pie filling and add half the mixture over the layer of graham crackers. Spread the cherry pie filling over the top of that, and then add the other half of the remaining cream cheese filling. Top with the remaining graham cracker crumbs. Refrigerate an hour to two before serving. Top with Cool Whip if desired.
Hoe-Hoe-Hoedown: An old man limped into the doctor’s office complaining that his knee hurt and he could hardly walk. The doctor checked him our from head to toe, paused and said, “How old are you?” The old man told the doctor he was 98 years old. “Just look at you,” the doctor said, “you are almost 100 and your knee hurts. What do you expect for your age?” The patient replied, “Well my other knee is 98 years old and it doesn’t hurt!”

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