The Dogwoods are in bloom all over Granny Mountain, that soaking rain and cool temperatures last week were just perfect for pushing the buds open!
Everywhere I look, something is popping out of the ground!
I read a great tip last week from a gardener in Texas who uses pennies from her change jar to surround Hostas as a slug deterrent. Slugs won't cross copper because it imparts a slight electric charge when they touch it. Who doesn't have a handful of pennies in a purse or a pocket, on the kitchen counter or in a cup holder in the car?
In the Garden...
I potted up some beautiful spring flowers this week; pansies, Johnny jump-ups, petunias and Sweet Williams. Mom always called them "Pinks," I think because the edges of each petal look like someone has taken pinking shears to them! They are of the Dianthus family and in Arkansas they can be an annual, biennial or a perennial depending on how severe our winters are.
You may see "volunteer" plants coming up in your flower beds this spring after last winter's mild temperatures. That's a plus for any gardener, saving you time and money not having to replant for each season.
I leave these in pots until warmer temperatures arrive, then transplant to my flowerbeds. Easy to care for, they thrive all summer and give me another show of color going into cooler temperatures in the fall.
I'm probably pressing my luck setting these tomato plants out this early, but I just couldn't say no!
Three tomato plants, one lone jalapeno...
I'll add cilantro this week to this galvanized tub on the deck. The makings for
Texas Pico de Gallo just a few steps from my kitchen!
I saw a great idea on Pinterest this week to start a compost bin. Why we haven't done this before now escapes me, it's been on my To-Do list every year. Grandma had a little metal bucket that she used for kitchen scraps that set on the counter, handy for peelings and egg shells. They were added to the compost pile at the edge of the garden along with grass clippings. Grandpa would turn it over with a pitchfork that set nearby and in no time, the mixture turned into rich soil. If you've been wanting to have a compost bin too, just go HERE for EZ instructions!
On Bug Patrol... Last week's problem with ants is being solved, I'm seeing the big black "Tree Ants" carry the Terro granules up the tree trunks. GOODBYE to them once they share with the colony and most importantly the Queen.
Just a reminder, this is a good time to get Flea and Tick granules down in your yard. They are saying this is shaping up to be a very bad year for ticks. If you time it just right, these frequent showers will water in the granules for you! It may say Flea and Tick on the bag, but this easy to use pest killer eliminates cockroaches, spiders, cutworms, scorpions and many other insects. To keep them out of your home, you need to treat your yard.
In the Kitchen this week...Compost Cookies. You won't believe the ingredients, everything but the kitchen sink! Basically a chocolate chip cookie gone wild with used coffee grounds... please read on... crushed Fritos, potato chips and pretzels, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and oatmeal.
Compost Cookies from the Oatmeal Cookie Blog
1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons dry, used coffee grounds (this is NOT a misprint, save them from this morning's coffee!)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup flour
3/4 cup roughly crushed potato chips
1/2 cup roughly crushed pretzels
1/2 cup roughly crushed Fritos
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350º.
2. In your Kitchen Aid or a large mixing bowl, cream together the creamables.
3. In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients and whisk together until smooth.
4. Add the combined wet ingredients to the creamables. Mix together until well incorporated.
5. In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold together until evenly distributed.
6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the combined creamables and wet ingredients. Mix until evenly combined. (At this point you can chill the dough to bake later)
7. Shape dough into balls--about 2 tablespoons each.
8. Place dough balls about 2 inches apart on Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
9. Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.