Still plenty of gardening ahead

Making a homemade chicken creamy pie

This chicken pie is fairly easy because you use two frozen nine-inch pie shells and four boneless skinless chicken breasts. For this pie, you will need two nine-inch frozen pie shells, four boneless skinless chicken breasts, half can evaporated milk, one can Campbell’s cream of chicken soup, small jar Heinz chicken gravy, salt, pepper, half teaspoon poultry seasoning, one stick melted light margarine. Boil chicken until tender. While chicken is cooking, lay out the pie shells to thaw (this will be two shells for bottom and two shells for tops of the pies). De-bone the chicken breasts and place half in one shell and half in the other shell. In a bowl, mix the can of cream of chicken soup with a jar of gravy and half a can of evaporated milk and a stick of melted margarine, salt pepper and the poultry seasoning. Pour half the mixture on each pie. Cover pies with other two crusts, Pinch edges to seal the pies. Cut slits in the tops of the pies. Bake pies on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes. One plus of these pies is that you can freeze them.

Starting late tomatoes from seed

As August moves along, it is time to start packets of tomato seed to be transplanted to the garden in late August or early September. The best varieties for early autumn are the determinate varieties such as Celebrity, Mountain Pride, Marglobe, Rutgers, Homestead, and Better Boy. To start tomatoes from seed, use a fine-textured seed-starting medium such as Jiffy organic or Hoffmans. For each seed variety, use a quart flower pot filled with seed-starting medium and allow a handful per pot to cover the seed. Measure enough for each pot that you need. Mix the medium with enough water to moisten it. Scatter the seed over the medium and cover the seed, label each pot with the variety of the tomato. Repeat process with each pot. Press down the medium with your fingers for good soil contact. Use a spray bottle such as window and glass cleaner comes in to mist the pots each evening. They will develop two leaves in eight to ten days and be ready to plant in individual pots.

The impatiens have been showing their color

The annual summer charm is the impatiens in containers and hanging baskets as they provide colorful blooms on the porch, deck and in the hanging baskets. They really perform well in hanging baskets as they cascade over the sides of the baskets. They bloom in colors of bright orange, red, white, salmon, pink and wine. With a bit of care they will bloom all the way until frost. The impatiens is also known as “Mary’s Earrings” which is a pretty name for such an unusual flower. The bees as well as the butterflies are attracted to them.

Hard to beat taste of fresh tomatoes

It was Lewis Grizzard, the Mark Twain of 20th century writers and syndicated columnist for the Atlanta Journal and constitution, who said, “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts when eating a home grown tomato.” These are true words from one of America’s best columnists of the 20th century. A vine-ripened freshly sliced ​​tomato, placed on bread smothered with mayonnaise on both sides and a sprinkling of salt and pepper also on both sides of the bread elicit thoughts as pleasant as you can think.

Starting the seeds of broccoli and collards

As we move through August, the time is ideal for starting broccoli and collards from seed for transplanting to the garden in mid-September. Purchase a bag or two of seeds. Starting medium which is especially formulated for starting seeds. Buy the varieties of broccoli and collards you prefer. Use two quart-sized flower pots to start the seed in. Measure out two pots filled with the medium and two handfuls to cover the seed with. Add enough water to moisten the medium. Fill the two pots to within half an inch from the top of the pots. Sprinkle seed from broccoli over medium and cover with a handful of medium. Label the pot because all cole family seeds look alike. Repeat the process with the collard seed. Pat soil over the top of medium for good contact with the soil. Use a spray bottle such as glass cleaner comes in and spray a mist on the medium each evening. Keep the pots out of direct sunlight and preferably in the carport or porch. The plants will sprout in eight to ten days. When they develop two strong leaves, transplant to individual pots and keep out of direct sunlight. By mid-September, they should be ready to transplant to the garden plot.

Keeping track August fogs

Something different about the month of August is the fogs that occur on many mornings that may send us a hidden message about the upcoming amounts of snow we may receive in the winter months. Rise early before the sun burns off the fog and record the density of the fog and the date and whether the daily fog was heavy, medium, or light. August has 31 days, so record the fog each morning. As winter arrives, check the snow amounts during winter with the amounts of the fogs of August.

Making a batch of smooth apple sauce

The first of the apple harvest is coming in and you can buy them by the bushel. A warm summer afternoon is a fun time to sit on a shady porch and peel a bushel of apples and make some apple sauce. Peel the apples and drop them in a canner of cold salted water to prevent them from turning brown. Peel all the apples and allow them to soak in the salted water for fifteen minutes. Rinse the apples in the canner of fresh water. Pour apples into the sink and rinse them off. Cut into one-inch chunks and place in canner of fresh water. Boil apple chunks for 10 or 15 minutes until you can stick a fork through them. Remove from heat, drain, and run through the blender in “puree” mode for several seconds. Pour the pureed apple mixture into jars that are sterilized and process in a hot water bath canner for 25 minutes. An easier way is to process them in a pressure canner at ten pounds pressure for five minutes.

Taking care of summer roses

The knockout roses of summer are so pretty and are still producing blooms and will produce until the first frost. Roses now need a boost as we move into the second half of the summer. Roses need a boost of Rose-Tone organic rose food once a month until the end of summer. Use the water wand in shower mode to the base of the roses. Cut back long canes and dead head all spent blooms. Spray for leaf mites and Japanese Beetles.

Beware of wet dew

The dew on August mornings lingers all the way until afternoon. The dew is a sticky moisture that is not good for mowers and weed trimmers because it sticks to the blades and housings of the mower as well as the feet. Never mow the lawn when the dew is still on the lawn. Wait until the sun dries the dew even if it takes until mid-afternoon. Another summer factor is never mow a lawn after an afternoon thunderstorm even if you have to wait until the next day to mow.

An organic, smelly, cure for insect bites

There is nothing more irritating than an insect bite or bee sting whether you are in the garden or on the porch or deck. We have a remedy for bites and stings if you can tolerate the smell of an onion. Use half an onion sliced ​​down the middle and rub it on the bite or sting. This is a double cure because first of all, it will relieve the bite or sting and the aroma will prevent another bite or sting.

A quick shot for controlling the weeds

No harmful chemicals are involved in this weed killer solution that works quickly and well on hot dry, summer afternoons, with no rain in the forecast. Just fill a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar and spray the mist on the weeds, while you avoid misting vegetable foliage.

Hoe hoe hoedown

“Men and other men.” There are two kinds of men who will never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else.

“Twin Natures.” A man was in court for stealing from a department store. The man said to the judge, “Your Honor, I’m a Christian, I’ve become a new man who did wrong. But I have an old nature too. I was not my new man when I did wrong, but my old man.” The judge responded, “Since it was the old man who broke the law, we will sentence him to 60 days in jail. And since the new man was an accomplice in the theft, we will give him 30 days as well. I sentence you both to 90 days in jail. This case is dismissed.”

“Fun Pun.” If a nickle knew what it was worth today, it would feel like a half-cent.

“Fun Pun.” Why did the Cyclops have to close the school? He had only one pupil.

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