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Posts tagged “northern hemisphere

Preparing Your Garden for Winter ❀



See our list of fall chores to prepare your garden for winter—and ensure a beautiful and vibrant spring! We’ve covered vegetables, herbs, berries, perennials, roses, trees, and shrubs. ✿

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Easy Peasy :) English Peas ~ cold weather vegetables



Botanical name: Pisum sativumPisum macrocarpon

Plant type: Vegetable

USDA Hardiness Zones: 34567891011

Sun exposure: Full SunPart Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Soil pH: Neutral

Peas are a cool-season crop, now coming in three separate varieties to suit your garden and cooking needs. They are:Pisum savitum, which includes both garden peas (sweet pea, inedible pod) and snow peas (edible flat pod with small peas inside) and Pisum macrocarponsnap peas (edible pod with full-size peas). They are easy to grow, but with a very limited growing season. Furthermore, they do not stay fresh long after harvest, so enjoy them while you can!


  • To get the best head start, turn over your pea planting beds in the fall, add manure to the soil, and mulch well.
  • As with other legumes, pea roots will fix nitrogen in the soil, making it available for other plants.
  • Peas will appreciate a good sprinkling of wood ashes to the soil before planting.
  • Sow seeds outdoors 4 to 6 weeks before last spring frost, when soil temperatures reach 45 degrees F.
  • Plant 1 inch deep (deeper if soil is dry) and 2 inches apart.
  • Get them in the ground while the soil is still cool but do not have them sit too long in wet soil. It’s a delicate balance of proper timing and weather conditions. For soil that stays wet longer, invest in raised beds.
  • A blanket of snow won’t hurt emerging pea plants, but several days with temperatures in the teens could. Be prepared to plant again.
  • Peas are best grown in temperatures below 70 degrees F.


  • Make sure that you have well-drained, humus-rich soil.
  • Poke in any seeds that wash out. (A chopstick is an ideal tool for this.)
  • Be sure, too, that you don’t fertilize the soil too much. Peas are especially sensitive to too much nitrogen, but they may like a little bonemeal, for the phosphorus content.
  • Though adding compost or manure to the soil won’t hurt, peas don’t need heavy doses of fertilizer. They like phosphorus and potassium.
  • Water sparsely unless the plants are wilting. Do not let plants dry out, or no pods will be produced.
  • For tall and vine varieties, establish poles or a trellis at time of planting.
  • Do not hoe around plants to avoid disturbing fragile roots.
  • It’s best to rotate pea crops every year or two to avoid a buildup of soil-borne diseases.



  • Keep your peas well picked to encourage more pods to develop.
  • Pick peas in the morning after the dew has dried. They are crispiest then.
  • Always use two hands when you pick peas. Secure the vine with one hand and pull the peas off with your other hand.
  • Peas can be frozen or kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days. Place in paper bags, then wrap in plastic.
  • If you missed your peas’ peak period, you can still pick, dry, and shell them for use in winter soups.

Recommended Varieties

  • ‘Snowbird’ (snow pea), resistant to fusarium wilt
  • ‘Sugar Ann’ (snap pea), early variety, short vine
  • ‘Green Arrow’ (garden pea), mid-season variety, high yields, resistant to fusarium wilt


Wit & Wisdom

If a girl finds nine peas in a pod, the next bachelor she meets will become her husband.







Long Cold Winter …

few pics of my frozen world 🙂 enjoy!

L'amore e forte come la morte

babiesinsnowjan2014 207


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Northerners, got the winter gardening blues? ~ Grow Bulbs Indoors ~ How to





Growing Bulbs Indoors ~ Special techniques bring showy flowers into bloom ~ By Kathy LaLiberte

Amaryllis blooms brighten the home in winter. What’s more, they are among the easiest bulbs to grow indoors.

Growing bulbs indoors lets you enjoy the colors and fragrance of spring when it’s still months away. The key to success with indoor bulbs is to plan ahead.

Many people don’t realize that there are two types of bulbs for indoor growing: those you need to chill and those you don’t. Here’s how to tell the difference.,default,pg.html

It’s Easy to Coax Bulbs into Bloom All Winter Long


Forcing bulbs into winter bloom was all the rage in the 1800s. Hyacinths were especially popular, since they’re so easy. Here’s everything you need to know to start enjoying this traditional winter-time pleasure yourself.







tulips in snow

Yule – Winter Solstice

Yule: Winter Solstice – Dec 21st/22nd


The origin of the word Yule, has several suggested origins from the Old English word, geõla, the Old Norse word jõl, a pagan festival celebrated at the winter solstice, or the Anglo-Saxon word for the festival of the Winter Solstice, ‘Iul’ meaning ‘wheel’. In old almanacs Yule was represented by the symbol of a wheel, conveying the idea of the year turning like a wheel, The Great Wheel of the Zodiac, The Wheel of Life. The spokes of the wheel, were the old festivals of the year, the solstices and equinoxes.

The winter solstice, the rebirth of the Sun, is an important turning point, as it marks the shortest day, when the hours of daylight are at their least. It also the start of the increase in the hours of daylight, until the Summer Solstice, when darkness becomes ascendant once more.

” And the Yule-log cracked in the chimney,
And the Abbot bowed is head,
And the flamelets flapped and flickered,
But the Abbot was stark and dead.”

H.W. Longfellow ‘King Witlaf’s Drinking Horn (1848)

Read in full here @ the white goddess


Sprouting on the ‘Sill: Growing Salad in Windowsill Gardens


Because lettuce and other salad greens germinate so quickly, it’s easy to grow a salad garden inside on a sunny windowsill. What I like to do is grow a mix of “baby greens,” which means I harvest the leaves before the plant matures. I mix these baby greens in with store bought lettuce for a flavorful salad or snip off a few leaves to top off sandwiches.

Growing baby salad greens and micro greens couldn’t be easier. Simply sow the seeds in sterile potting soil, cover them with a dusting of soil and keep the seeds moist by lightly misting them with water daily. Keep the pots in a warm location until they begin to sprout and then move them to a sunny window. If the plants look spindly or anemic, they need more light. The baby salad greens may require as much as 12 hours of light for healthy growth. A grow light is an easy remedy for this problem. Hang the lights about 6 to 12 inches above the plants.

Baby Lettuce Greens Micro greens are ready to harvest in about 14 days. Clip the seedlings off close to the soil. Baby salad greens will be ready in about 3 to 4 weeks. Trim them off at the base, starting with the outside leaves first.

P Allen Smith more at link here



Sprouting on the ‘Sill: Growing Salad in Windowsill Gardens

“My students live in a community with little access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables,” explains Gioya Fennelly, a teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt IS 143(M) in New York City. “100 percent of our population qualifies for free lunch. I developed the windowsill salad garden project to teach students how to grow their own gourmet-quality microgreens with minimal effort and at a fraction of the cost of purchased produce.”

Using recycled containers such as gallon milk jugs, soilless potting mix, compost from a classroom worm bin, and a few packets of seeds, her class begins its exploration into the world of agricultural production. They start plants in an ingenious indoor ‘greenhouse’ – a discarded doughnut display case — that’s large enough to hold 10 to 15 containers of seedlings. It gets the plants off to a good start by providing light and a steady 75° to 80°F temperature. Once the seedlings are mature enough to leave the ‘greenhouse’ they’re moved to a classroom windowsill, or given to students with a sunny window at home. By the end of the project, every family has enjoyed a share of the harvest.

“My students love trying new things. Most have lived in a city all their lives, and have had no opportunity to experience gardening.” Gioya’s windowsill salad garden is an 8- to 10-week unit. “With a little planning, you can harvest the tops in about 3 weeks when the plants are 2″ tall, and continue harvesting every 2 to 3 weeks thereafter. I recommend staggering plantings to lengthen harvest time.”

more at link here



Seasonal Advice for December: Recipes, Gardening, Folklore


Happy Holidays! December 2013 brings with it snow (for some), family, and parties, but remember to grab some hot cocoa during this winter month and relax when you can.

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat,
Please to put a penny in the old man’s hat;
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, God bless you!

Beggar’s rhyme.


December comes from the Latin word decem meaning “ten” because this had been the tenth month of the early Roman calendar.

December 6 is Saint Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, inspires traditions around the world from hunts for presents to stockings with sweets.

The 7th of the month is always National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

St. Lucia’s Day on the 13th has long been associated with festivals of light. Before the Gregorian calendar reform in 1752, her feast day occurred on the shortest day of the year (hence the saying “Lucy light, Lucy light, shortest day and longest night”).

Winter begins with the solstice at 12:11 P.M. on the 21st. See more about the first day of winter including facts, folklore, and wonderful winter photos!

December 25 is Christmas Day, a Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Learn more about American Christmas Traditions and Christmas Questions and Answers.

On the last evening of the year, December 31, kiss the person you hope to keep kissing!

Recipes for the Season

To help you prepare for this holiday season, check out our Holiday Recipepage for delicious dinner, side dish, and dessert ideas.

Going to a party? You may also enjoy our Christmas Party Appetizer Recipes.

Baking cookies for friends and family? See 5 new Christmas Cookie recipes.

Need a gift for a cook? Give him or her 118 scrumptious recipes for cookies, pies, cakes, breads, and more home-baked goods with our brand-new Everyday Baking cookbook!


This is a good time to start pruning dead and dangerous limbs from trees.

If you enjoy holiday plants, here are tips on plant care for poinsettia, Christmas cactus, and amaryllis.

As houseplants are growing more slowly in December light, cut down on watering by half until active growth resumes. Hold off on fertilizing as well. See tips on growing houseplants.

Everyday Advice

To help you with this holiday season, check out some of our tips and fun crafts:
The Holiday Table: Setting and Decorating
Holiday Cooking and Cleaning Checklist
Christmas Tree Care Tips
Make Your Own Holiday Candle


The dark winter night sky is a joy to behold. See our monthly Sky Watchfor highlights of the December sky.

December brings the Full Cold Moon on December 17, 2013.


Love snow? Check out our Snow Report page for snow conditions across the U.S.

Plus, you’ll find long-range weather forecasts, great recipes to warm you up, weather references, and more!

December changeable and mild, the whole winter will remain a child. December cold, with snow, brings rye everywhere.

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