Interesting gardening facts

The wonderful walking onion......Many persons regard the remarkable and slightly peculiar "walking onion" as either a junk plant, a curiosity for children or simply a bother in the garden. Few persons consider it a valuable addition to the garden or to the menu.
Perhaps it should be...for good reason. First, they are hardy and do well here. The little top set onions are about halfway between chives and garlic in flavor. The plants are totally edible. The bulbils are good pickled and the hollow green stalks can be chopped for salads and soups, split and filled with cream cheese. The onions propagate themselves by making clusters of bulbils, small bulb or bulb-shaped growth arising from the leaf axil or in the place of flowers (see above) at the top of their stems. When they become top heavy, the bulb cluster bends the stem to the ground, the bulbils root and the onion-as-Slinky keeps growing.

Why do butterflies have two sets of wings? It's not to fly higher or faster, according to Smithsonian magazine (January 2009).  The hindwings appear to be crucial to a butterfly's ability to be agile in the air and to turn quickly - presumably to avoid predators like hungry birds.

     Many of us have discovered that our dogs sometimes are driven to become gardeners...at least to replant bulbs in the fall or to transplant young plants in the spring.
     Many a perplexed gardener has wondered: "What is going on?" The answer appears to be that dogs are attracted to the scent of newly disturbed soil (especially as the soil warms in the spring) and the scent of bone meal (often applied when planting bulbs in the fall and sprinkled around bulbs in the spring).
    The way to avoid having your best friend and companion become a real problem is to fence off the area that attracts the dog. A piece of bird netting covering a bulb area and held in the soil with soil staples is almost invisible and needs to be in place only a week or two. A newly planted area can be fenced off for a short period of time or a piece of chicken wire or bird netting laid on the area. All these 'solutions' work for a short time and that is all you need. And the dog can return to sleeping in the shade!


Summer Food in Wintry February


16 Popular Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

1. Garlic – You can freeze whole garlic, garlic cloves or chopped fresh garlic. Frozen garlic does lose some of its texture, but the flavor remains intact.

2. Corn – You can freeze fresh-picked corn on the cob for up to one year. Pack it in freezer bags — husk and silk and all. For store-bought corn, husk and blanch it before freezing.

3. Avocados – The bad news is that frozen avocados lose their consistency. The good news is that they do not lose their taste, so you can use them for guacamole or dressing. Wash and halve them before peeling. Freeze as halves, or puree them with lime or lemon juice and then store for up to eight months.

4. Mushrooms — You can freeze raw button, creminis and portabellas mushrooms for later use. Chop and slice mushrooms and then spread them on a cookie sheet. Freeze. Then transfer the pieces to bags or containers.

5. Onion – You can save chopping time – and tears – by freezing onion for cooking later. Store peeled, chopped onion in plastic freezer bags. The best part is you can just toss them into your recipes without thawing them first.

6. Hummus – Scoop your fresh hummus into plastic containers. Then drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the top to keep it from drying out. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before mixing and serving.

more such winter gardening from Off the Grid News