Dog Days coming to an end

Dog days will end August 11

As of next Thursday, August 11, Dog Days of 2022 will come to an end. This does not mean hot weather will come to an end, but only the humidity will drop a little. Even with departure of Dog Days, we still have plenty of hot weather in store as we have only reached the halfway point of summer.

Checking out the pesky morning glories

As we deal with August, keep a close eye on those pesky morning glory vines and don’t allow them to choke out summer vegetables. One morning glory flower can produce a seed pod with hundreds of seeds. Morning glory vines also have roots like drill bits that reach deep into the soil. Pull them up by their roots and out of the garden before they reach the flower stage.

There’s still time to plant a turnip row or bed

The days of August are the time to plant a row of purple top turnips and give them a great start for an autumn harvest. You can plant them in rows or beds as August gets on its way. Add a layer of peat moss to the furrow when sowing turnips.

Cat nights begin

On August 17 the cat nights will begin. Did you ever wonder why cats prowl at night — it’s because all day long they take cat naps. Cats are always on the prowl at night and the night seems to belong to them. Cats are sort of like the month of August, unpredictable, finicky, restless continually searching as well as mysterious. Cats at night seem to be in a state of transition and typical of the whole month of August that pours out a lot of heat in daytime and cold dew at night. It is a month that days get shorter and nights continue to get longer. Cats are hard to figure out and many August days are hard to figure out and are as unpredictable as my cat. My grandma in Northampton County had several cats, and she had an old saying that cats drew lightning and when a storm was brewing, she would make sure they were not on her porch or near the chicken house. One thing we know about Cat Nights is the fact that they will be hot!

Making a tomato bread pudding

With an abundant harvest of fresh tomatoes you can use some of the harvest to prepare a tomato bread pudding. My grandma and mother always used leftover homemade biscuits in their puddings but we use hot dog and hamburger buns that are leftover and you can also use Caesar salad croutons for a flavorful tomato bread pudding. To prepare a fresh tomato bread pudding, place ten or twelve fresh tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for half minute, remove and place in a bowl of cold water. Slip off the peelings and core, the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into chunks and stew them until they break up and become soupy. Add one, stick light margarine to the stewed tomatoes, stir in one cup of sugar, half teaspoon salt, two beaten eggs, four hot dog or hamburger buns or one package Caesar salad croutons or break buns into small chunks one fourth cup light brown sugar, one teaspoon vanilla flavoring, half cup catsup, four drops Texas Pete hot sauce. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan or dish sprayed with Pam baking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Sprinkle top of pudding with finely grated parmesan cheese or a layer of cream cheese.

The season of August fogs

We hope you are keeping a written record of the size and number of the fogs each August morning. Check them each morning when you first get up especially before the sun begins to burn them off. The fogs tell the types of snowfall the winter will bring. It will be interesting to see if the August fogs have any bearing on the number and amounts of snow the winter will produce. According to my Northampton County grandma, a heavy fog meant a heavy show, a medium fog meant a medium-sized snow, and a light fog meant a dusting, trace, or very light snow fall. Keep up with the fogs during the 31 days of August and see what the winter brings in snowfalls and amounts

Tomatoes ripen quickly in the August heat

In the heat of the August sun, tomatoes will ripen fast, on days when the sun bears down and no rain or thunderstorm is in the forecast, use the water wand in shower mode and water the base of the tomato vines, and not the foliage to prevent blossom end-rot. During dry spells, birds will peck holes in tomatoes to obtain moisture. To prevent this, harvest tomatoes before they get fully ripe and place them on the porch or deck to finish ripening. Apply powdered lime to tomato vines and hill up soil on both sides of tomato vines. You can also mix lime and water in a sprinkling can (about two quarts lime per sprinkling can). Add water to can and pour around base of tomato vines.

Keeping sweet bell peppers harvested

Sweet bell peppers should be almost ready to harvest as the August sun shines down on them. Sweet bells are easy to process and freeze. All you have to do is cut off the tops, split them and remove the seed, and cut peppers into quarter inch cubes and place in pint or quart plastic containers. When you need them all during the year, pour what you need and place container back in freezer.

Starting a late harvest of strike green beans

Strike is the very best variety of green beans for late summer and an abundant production. A row that is planted this week will produce a harvest during late September and into October. Plant the strikes in a furrow about four inches deep and apply a layer of peat moss in the furrow after sowing the seed. Apply a layer of Black Kow composted cow manure and an application of Plant-Tone organic vegetable food. Hill Soil up on both sides of the furrow and tame down with the hoe blade for good soil contact. Once they develop two leaves, apply a side dressing of Plant-Tone and hill up soil to cover it up. Apply water with water wand in shower mode if no rain is forecast during the week.

Rainbow of colors in the zinnia bed

The zinnias of mid-summer are showing off a rainbow of colors and attracting an abundance of attention from yellow and black swallowtail butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, goldfinches, and the majestic Monarch butterflies. When all these floral masterpieces are on display along with the tapestry of butterfly wings, they combine to perform a spectacular show.

The almanac for August

The moon reached its first quarter on Friday, August 5. The moon will be full on Thursday, August 11. This full moon will be named “Full Sturgeon Moon.” The moon reaches its last quarter on Friday, August 19. There will be a new moon on the evening of Saturday, August 27.

Preparing an apple sauce pound cake

This is a very easy recipe for an apple sauce pound cake that could be called semi-homemade. All you need to do is mix a box of Duncan Hines caramel cake mix or spice cake mix (caramel is best), one three ounce box Jello instant vanilla or butterscotch pudding mix, four large eggs, one pint of apple sauce, one teaspoon apple pie spices, half cup Crisco oil, half cup milk, one teaspoon vanilla flavoring. Mix all ingredients well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a tube pan with Pam baking spray, Pour batter into the pan and bake forty five to fifty minutes. The cake will be done when it springs back when touched or when a toothpick comes out clean. Better yet, you can tell by the smell when this cake is done.

The 2022 firefly report-summer of 2022

June started off on a cool note and a few temperatures in the cool 40s and the overall average temperature for the month was 72 degrees. This caused a lower number of firefly counts for the first week in June. On June 8, the firefly count was 80 and temperature was 74 degrees; June 9, the count was 175’ on June 12, the count was 237. The count was 325 on June 16. On June 23, the count was 320. For most of June the average count was 260 each evening between 8:50 to 9:25 p.m.

The record number was June 29, it was 606. On that evening, the temperature was 78 and the humidity was 65. On that evening the fireflies were observed from trees to the grass on the lawn and all areas in between.

The ideal nights for counting were dry nights, lower humidity and no wind. Peak viewing is between 8:35 and 9:35 p.m.. Their numbers seem to dwindle after that. As Dog Days started, the number averaged around 100 or less. Best counts were between 70 to 79. On rainy evenings the number dwindles. High humidity affects their numbers.

In July on the first day of the month, we counted 536 with a temperature of 74 and humidity of 79. July 2 was stormy and few fireflies. July 3 was clear, humidity 84 and a count of 236. July 4, the temperature was 78 and humidity 69 and the count was 326. On July 6, the count was 159 with humidity of 85 and temperature of 81. As we reached Dog Days, the average count slowed considerably each night with humid conditions and evening thunderstorms.

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