Ray Baird

The EVERGREEN OF THE CAROLINA JASMINE It must be the tame version of the wild honeysuckle because both have tender evergreen foliage, but unlike the wild honey suckle, the jasmine has golden flowers several months of the year and it’s aroma fills the whole garden plot. This bush is wonderful because it can trimmed or formed to any way you please. They develop long runners but can easily be trimmed. They can be purchased at nurseries or most garden shops, hard wares as well as home improvement warehouses.

COLD, GRAY, FROZEN This describes the garden plot in the late days of January. The collards have a gray-ish tint to them after being bit by frost and covered with snows, but still ready to harvest. Onions spike from their covering of leaf mulch and frozen sod has not been hindered them. Chickweed still crawls across the rear of the garden and we leave it undisturbed because after all, it is green and green is precious in the dead of winter.

A REMEDY FOR A COLD WINTER AFTERNOON A hot bowl of stew will cure any winter blah and we have a remedial recipe for you in the form of salmon stew, easy to make and rib-sticking good! Just take one 14 and three fourths ounce can of Double Q salmon and empty contents into a four quart pot, melt in one stick light margarine until melted, mash margarine and salmon together while on medium heat, add one can evaporated milk and four cups regular milk or low fat milk, season with salt and pepper and Old Bay (if desired). Keep on medium heat or lower, stirring until mixture comes to a boil. In an eight ounce glass of water, mix four tablespoons of corn starch and stir until smooth, reduce heat and add corn starch mixture until the mix of salmon gets as thick as you desire. Check to see if you have enough salt and pepper . Serve hot with crackers or oysterette crackers.

THE END OF COLD JANUARY IS VERY, VERY NEAR Only two more days and the month of January will be history. Two days after that will be groundhog day. Will he see his shadow or not, or does it really make a difference? Whether he sees his shadow or not, there will be six weeks or more of winter weather that we will be dealing with. One sure sign of spring is the fact that cabbage and broccoli seed can now be started because they usually take about six or seven weeks before transplanting to the cool weather soil of the mid- March garden plot.

THE COUNTDOWN TO THE DAY OF HEARTS AND FLOWERS Valentine’s Day is down to sixteen days away and plenty of time to spend a winter afternoon shopping for a great practical Valentine gift for that special person. Even the supermarkets are filled with floral arrangements, but flowers are just one of many valentines offerings, and the list goes on to include candy, cosmetics, clothes, music CD’s, and when all else slips your mind, there are gift cards from stores, shops and restaurants of your choice.

GET READY TO TRIM THE GRAPEVINES Grapevines are now dormant with all the runners exposed so that they can easily be pruned at this time of year. Pruning back long runners is essential for producing a harvest of grapes. Pruning the runners will get them closer the vine so they can produce more fruit. After the pruning, apply a coat of dormant spray on a calm sunny afternoon.

KEEP RECYCLING RESOLUTION PROGRESSING During the new year, continue to recycle cans, bottles, cartons, jars, boxes, newspapers and plastics to keep the from the landfills.. Bundle all newspapers and break down boxes before placing in the recycle cart. Also remember to roll the carts to the curb the night before the recycle trucks come early next day.

ORDERING FROM 2016 SEED CATALOGS After going through 2016 seed catalogs, order only seed varieties that you cannot find locally. Remember that sees in these catalogs cost more and have less seeds per packet plus you have to pay for shipping and handling, so think and purchase accordingly.

BIRDS OF COLOR ON A WINTER MORNING As the morning sun rises higher, the colorful winter birds make their appearance at the feeders and put on their colorful show. The cardinals are the first to arrive because they like the feeders all by themselves. Next come juncos, chickadees and sparrows and then a few blue jays. To finish the morning, squirrels come and finish of seed scattered on the ground. During winter, feed the birds and fill the bird baths when the temperatures rise above freezing.

A VALENTINE GIFT OF LIFE AND BEAUTY Consider a potted floral arrangement for your Valentine. A flower that can later be transplanted to the outside. This will be a gift enjoyed long after Valentine’s Day is over.

Ray Baird has been providing gardening tips to the community for years and can be reached at 336-969-9350 or at

Ray Baird

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