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February 22, 2016

Fur kids basking in some rare February sun.

It has been a challenging winter as far as the sunshine goes.

Friday brought 70 mile an hour wind gusts to parts of West Michigan.

We were without out power for a few hours.

Nothing we couldn't handle, however.

Near zero a weekend ago.

60 degrees a few days later.

I hate to see what plant damage this winter has done.

Karen and her sister may have their mom in a new facility within the next week or so.

As suggested by some of you, 'A Place for Mom' is a valuable service.

It is a shame that some facilities treat the elderly as if they are non people.

Yolanda is doing well, thank you for all of your continued prayers.

(Your Snickers fix for the week, Ziggy praying at bottom of letter)

Words can't express the importance of prayer.

I do pray for all of you as well.

February continues as 'National bird Feeding Month'.

Though fewer birds are visiting in the mild weather.

Three weeks until Daylight Savings begins.

Less than a month for Spring to officially arrive.

A few Bits-n Pieces as we prepare for gardening season.


Pitchers and catchers reported last week.

Full squads report this week.

Hallelujah ........................................

'Spring Training Is Here'.


Bring it on.

Not that winter has been harsh, here in SW. Michigan.

It's still winter.

Short and cloudy days.

Nothing growing.

The only green we see is the conifer trees and a few evergreen shrubs.

Spring Training and Baseball, reminds us that warmer weather is just around the corner.

You and I go into our own kind of spring training too.

Mentally and emotionally, you can't wait to start planting.

Get outside and smell the fresh air.

Pick up, squeeze and smell that handful of dirt for the first time.

You can't wait to start planting all of the those seeds you've collected and purchased.

Me too, the first week of march becomes a magic time of the year for me.

A few things to check on your list might go like this.

Grow light or lights.

South facing windows don't offer enough light.

Seedlings and young plants require 16 to 18 hours of light for proper growth.

A heat source to help with germination.

For me, I sit seed trays on top of the cable TV. box.

This generates enough heat for germination and allows me an unobstructed view on how things are going.

Once seedlings begin to pop, I place them under the grow light.

Some seeds like Salvia splendens, require direct light to germinate, no covering these seeds.

Other less thought of procedures are sterile and clean seed planting trays/pots and a soil-less potting or planting mix.

You can purchase a special planting mix just for planting your seeds.

Regular potting soil and garden dirt are too heavy and not good for your seeds/seedlings.

Clean and sanitized planting trays are always a good idea as well.

Soak in a 10 percent bleach 90 percent water for a few minutes.

Rinse and dry.

Plants grow in all kinds of conditions and soils in your garden and in the wild, why should you go through all of this trouble.

There are many reasons.

The most important, in my opinion is the sickness, or diseases your babies might get.

Dampening off, or root/crown rot is common in seedlings.

Starting out with clean conditions helps to prevent this and other issues that may be in the soil or remain in last years containers.

If you like, think of your new seedlings as a brand new baby.

You want to protect them from drafts, germs, contact with dirty surfaces.

This is a bit of an extreme, but in the same ballpark.


Ah yes, baseball.

If you haven't yet, start saving your eggs shells and banana peels.

Egg shells are a wonderful source of calcium for plants, animals, and even people.

Crushed egg shells are an important source of grit and calcium for your nesting, backyard birds.

Grit to help digest other food.

Calcium to insure strong eggshells and healthy hatchlings.

Calcium is key in having a strong and healthy tomato crop (blossom end rot is a tell tail, sign there is a lack of calcium).

Banana peels (and potato peels and cantaloupe rinds to a lesser extent), offer a good source of potassium.

Plants require potassium to grow strong, produce a bumper crop of flowers, and lead to larger fruits.

A banana peel is 42 percent potassium and filled with other micro, and macro nutrients your plants will love.

You can freeze them if you like, all winter long, I toss them around rose bushes, into the flower beds and compost heap.

They decay right into the soil.

Feel free to toss all of your vegetative garbage into the flowers beds and gardens all year round.

I never have issues, or problems with furry creatures.

If a deer or rabbit happens by in the dead of winter, they can chew on carrot peels or apple cores.

It beats having the bark stripped off or young branches chewed on.

Once your soil is thawed, or you live in warmer climates, dig little holes here and there to bury your garbage in.

Worms will come along and have a feast.

Working the soils and casting their work as they go.

Toss your coffee grounds as well.

Allow them to be worked into the soil.

Don't panic when you see Daffodils and other spring blooming bulbs peaking through.

This is quite normal.

Flower buds are still deep in the bulb and wont freeze off.

Often the case is this........

Over time, all bulbs begin to work their way towards the surface.

Mark the spot and when bulbs go dormant, plant them deeper once again.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

"Thought is the blossom;
language the bud;
action the fruit behind it."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Though, language, and fruit can be bad or good.

There are rewards, or consequences.


"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God".

Philippians 4:6

"Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually".

1 Chronicles 16:11

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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