IN THE GARDEN: Infused honey and fall plantings
Spring showers bring wildflowers. Wildflowers provide for the bees. Bees make honey …yummm!
First, honey should be local to you to have the best health benefits. We prefer using dried herbs. When flavoring honey with fresh herbs or flowers, refrigeration is required.
So, let’s get started.
Begin with clean, dry Mason jars. The ratio of flavoring to honey is 3-6 teaspoons of herbs or spices to 1 cup of honey. We chose cinnamon and cloves for our first batch from an endless variety of combinations.
Place the spices in the jar. Ladle in the honey, and wipe the edges — you don’t want to attract pests. Place the lid on the Mason jar, and set it in a warm window for about a week to infuse. Shake it gently each day, and presto, you now have homemade infused honey!
Label, date and decorate it.
Side note: This process works for flavored olive oils as well.
FUTURE EROSION CONTROL
Over the past several years, we have received torrential storms after a hot dry summer. When the rains come, the water flows, often washing away nutrients and topsoil and sometimes moving rocks.
Keeping in compliance with your local water restrictions, water in spots where the water will flow. For instance: We have gullies in our drives after the rains. Watering now, on the sides of the drive, especially where the water enters as a stream, creates a stronger root matrix along the edge. The stronger root matrix strengthens the ground. Also, the watering results in higher grass, forbs and roots. Their physical height and presence, along with the reinforced root matrix, will help to dampen the velocity of the water flow when the rains come.
Until the rains come, slow-drip your trees. Water in the mornings or evenings when the evaporation will be the least. Soaker hoses and drip lines work best in this heat.
FALL GARDEN PLANTING
Is your fall garden plot ready? The beginning of August is a good time to get started.
Vegetables to plant:
- Beans, bush — Blue Lake, Concador (yellow), Commodore Improved (Kentucky Wonder), Contender, Greencrop, E-Z Pick, Jade, Maxibel, Provider, Royal Burgundy, Tendercrop, Topcrop
- Beans, lima — Fordhook 242, Henderson
- Broccoli — green
- Brussels sprouts — Royal Marvel
- Carrots — Imperator 58, Danvers 126, Little Finger, Nantes, Napoli, Nelson
- Cauliflower — Snow Crown
- Chard, swiss — Bright Lights, Ruby Red, Verde de Taglio
- Collards — Vates, Blue Max, Georgia, Corn, Sweet-Funks Sweet-G 90, Honeycomb, Merit
- Cucumber — (pickling) Calypso, Carolina, (slicing) Diva, Fanfare, Slice Master, Poinsett, Salad Bush, Sweet Slice, Sweet Success
- Lettuce — (leaf) Crawford re-seeding, Simpson Black seeded, Red Sails
- Mustard — Tendergreen II, Florida broad leaf
- Parsley — Italian and curly leaf
- Peas, Southern (cowpeas) — Excel, Texas Pink Eye
- Potato — Irish, White Kennebec, Red LaSoda, Red Pontiac
- Radish — Red Prince, Champion, Cherry Belle, White Icicle, Easter Egg, Daikon
- Turnip — Royal Globe, White Lady, Toyko Cross, Turnip Greens 7-Top
Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower work best as transplants rather than from seed for August plantings in our area.
Now, grab your water bottle and get your hands dirty in the soil.
Keep your souls and soles in your garden! Remember the True Master Gardener: Jesus said, “I am the vine; my Father is the Gardener.” John 15:1
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