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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 the bites and stings if you can tolerate the smell of an onion. Use a 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.
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The sweltering sun bears down and heats up the Dog Day afternoon. The leaves on the mighty oaks, poplars, and maples flip their petticoats as they await the heat-relieving benefits of an afternoon thunderstorm. Even the hot foliage in the garden plot of summer vegetables fold open their green leaves to wait for the approaching thunder and lightning that heralds the up and coming refreshing thunderstorm, when huge raindrops will fall from dark gray clouds. The summer wind picks up and so do the torrents of rain. Temperatures fall as the leaves and garden foliage absorb the rain drops and both spread back their petticoats in thankfulness and even as the clouds clear out, the sky responds with a colorful rainbow at the close of a Dog Day afternoon.
As the nights continue to get warmer and the summer thundershowers appear each evening, conditions should improve for the arrival of fireflies to light up the sky at eventide. Perhaps this will be an abundant season for the fireflies. They seem to be more plentiful some years than others. Sometimes we wonder if light pollution causes many of them to migrate to wide open country. We notice that the best opportunity to see an abundance of fireflies is to ride down a country back road, turn off the vehicles lights and see a field swarming with fireflies. Nothing is more beautiful in summertime than an evening filled with fireflies. During all of the month of June this year, we are going to spend several minutes each evening doing a firefly count and record our findings for the month. We will let you know in the July Garden Plot the results of the count.
As we approach the merry month of May, hanging baskets need to be started and some annuals perform much better than others in hanging baskets. The very best are those that grow over and not up in the baskets. When they cascade over the sides, they create a bouquet of blooms. Great choices for hanging baskets are impatiens, verbena, wave petunias, and the begonias. Place only two or three plants per basket to allow room for them to spread out. Water baskets often because the summer sun shines down on the baskets all day and dries them out. Water until water runs out of the hole in the bottom of the basket. Water them every evening at sunset.