Get ready for late tomatoes | Mt. Airy News (2022)

Get ready for late tomatoes | Mt. Airy News (1)

Setting out tomatoes for late harvest

As July reaches the halfway point, there is still a lot of summer left to produce a second harvest of late summer tomatoes. Many hardwares, garden centers, nurseries, Walmart, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware and Home Depot still have plenty of tomato plants in stock. Choose determinate varieties such as Celebrity, Rutgers, Marglobe, Homestead, and Better Boy. Place a layer of peat moss in bottom of the furrow to retain moisture as the summer heat bears down. Apply a layer of Tomato-Tone organic, tomato food before covering the plants with soil. Keep soil hilled up on both sides of tomato plants. Water base of the plants each week when no rain is in the forecast. Feed every 15 days with Tomato-Tone organic tomato food.

Another tale of a lazy Dog Day afternoon

Dogs seem to have the most common sense when it comes to coping with Dog Day afternoons, they just find a shady spot under a tree or inside the carport. They don’t seem to allow the heat to bother them and they certainly don’t experience heat strokes. Maybe this Dog Day tale will solve the mystery of why dogs can deal with the heat of Day Days better than most humans. Maybe it’s because they sometimes eat grass.

This Dog Day tale says that when a dog eats grass on a Dog Day morning, it will rain before the day is done. My Northampton County grandma always kept a few hounds around, and she always said dogs ate grass because they were sick (or maybe it was to keep them from getting sick). That made sense because in those days, most people, and we are sure most dogs, used their own remedies. Most people back then lived too far away and would not travel to a doctor or especially to a vet. They made do with what they had and so did the dogs.

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As Dog Days move along, wet dew increases

As we reach past the half way point of July, the lawn is heavy, laden with dew and it lingers until mid-day. It is also unusual because it is very sticky. It is a sure signal that autumn is slowly on its way. Please do not mow the lawn when the dew is still on it because it will promote rust on the mower and blade, and also pile wet clippings on the lawn. Wait until later in the afternoon when the sun dries the dew. It will certainly be easier to mow and you will have a much better looking lawn.

Take advantage of the July corn harvest

Many gardeners don’t raise corn because they don’t have space and the long maturity time of 90 days or more to a harvest. Corn also produces a short harvest window and this prevents many gardeners from raising a corn crop. There are plenty of farms in our area that sell corn by the dozen ears or also a cabbage bag of twelve dozen ears. One such place is Smith Farms located on U.S. 601 between Boonville and Yadkinville. They will bring the corn out to your vehicle from their barn. Another location is Matthews Farm on Old U.S. Highway 421 near the Yadkin River Bridge. Both these farms offer corn for freezing. Call ahead to make sure corn is available and place your order so it will be ready when you arrive.

A fresh corn pudding is easy to prepare

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This recipe is great when prepared with fresh corn, but can be made with canned cream- style corn and is great either way. Corn is a vegetable good in all seasons of the year whether fresh, frozen, or canned. For this corn pudding recipe you can use a 16 ounce can of cream-style corn or seven ears of fresh cut com from the cob (about one-and-a-half-to-two cups), Dice corn with a knife or food chopper, add half teaspoon salt, one cup of sugar, half teaspoon pepper, one teaspoon vanilla flavoring, three eggs one cup milk, two teaspoons corn starch, one stick light margarine. Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Spray baking dish or pan with Pam baking spray and pour the pudding mixture into the pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for fifty to sixty minutes. Stir pudding two or three times during the baking process. The pudding will be firm when done. To brown the pudding on top, place oven on low broil for a minute or so. Carefully watch to avoid burning. Great served warm or cold.

Investing in a durable corn silk brush

In talking about the season of fresh corn and freezing corn, a great investment that makes processing corn much easier is to always have a corn silk brush to make silking ears of com easier to do. You can purchase these brushes at Target, Walmart, houseware departments and kitchen specialty stores, as well as hardwares, from $3 to $5. A bottle brush works but not as well.

Dragon wing begonia has glossy foliage and colorful flowers

The Dragon Wing begonia fills the front with plenty of greenery and flowers as it cascades over its container. Just one potful overflows and is abundant with clusters of blooms. The leaves are oblong and glossy and the whole plant resembles a huge umbrella. The Dragon Wing will produce all the way until frost.

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Majestic monarchs visit zinnia bed

Not only do black and yellow tiger swallowtails visit the colorful Zinnia bed, but so do the brightly colored Monarchs. The glow of the majestic monarch graces the zinnias with colorful orange wings framed in black with white dots present a show piece of beauty and detail. Butterfly wings are truly works of art.

Slices of green at every summer meal

Cool as a cucumber on every hot Dog Day evening is what summer’s harvest of cucumbers is all about. Cucumbers add something special to every meal of summer. All you do is use the vegetable peeler, peel several and slice them and apply salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar or ranch dressing to add something extra to every meal. Many gardeners like the unusual cumber sandwich with cucumber slices, plenty of mayonnaise, salt and pepper. We like the old fashioned way of peeling the cucumber and applying salt and pepper and the crunch.

Simple and easy to prepare blueberry sonker

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This is a simple sonker recipe with fresh blueberries and a can of blueberry pie filling. The ingredients for the sonker are one stick light margarine, one cup sugar, two-and-a-half cups fresh blueberries, one can Comstock blueberry pie filling, one teaspoon vanilla flavoring, one cup plain flour, one teaspoon baking powder, pinch of salt, one cup evaporated milk. To make crust, mix together one cup plain flour, flour, one teaspoon baking powder, pinch of salt, evaporated milk, and three fourth cup of sugar. Mix all these ingredients together until it forms a smooth batter. Melt one stick of light margarine in a saucepan and pour into a 13x9x2 inch baking pan or dish. Pour the crust mixture over the melted margarine. For the blueberry filling mixture, bring the pie filling, fresh blueberries, sugar, and vanilla flavoring together and simmer for two or three minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the blueberry mixture into pie batter pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until light brown. The crust will be on top when sonker is finished baking.

An essential ingredient for hotties

As the hotties of Dog Days bear down making life a bit uncomfortable for dogs and people, consider also what the hot soil in the garden plot endures. You can improve soil conditions by applying a layer of peat moss under the soil of every vegetable you plant during summer months. Peat moss promotes moisture retention and improves soil texture as it adds organic matter to the soil. It acts as a sponge to absorb moisture and helps in the cooling of garden soil. A 3.5 cubic foot bale costs around twelve dollars and is a good investment for every garden.

Hoe hoe hoedown

-Dead news report. Employee: “Editor, your assistant just died, and I was wondering if could take his place.” Editor: “It’s alright with me if you can arrange it with the funeral director.”

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-Return to Sender. Husband: “The bank returned the check wrote last week.” Wife: “Good, what shall we buy with it this time?

-No Sale Salesman. Sales manager: “Did you get any new orders today?” Salesman: “Yes, I got two orders.” Sales manager: “And what were they?” Salesman: “One was to get out and the other was to stay out!”

-Hard work doesn’t always pay. Teacher: “Kids, we can always learn a lesson from the ants. They work hard every day, and what happens at the end of the day?” Student: “Somebody steps on them!”


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