It's Time to Get Your Hands Dirty

Spring is almost here and everyone is scrambling to get their lawn fertilized, garden planted and spring cleaning done.  Here are a few tips and articles to help you "spring forward" into the coming season! 

What Does Your Garden Need to Grow?

One of the most essential things your garden needs is good soil.  The soil is where plants gather most of the vital nutrients they need to grow and produce.  In order to figure out whether the soil you are using for your garden is adequate, a soil sample may be performed to tell you exactly what your soil needs.  If the soil isn't ideal for growing plants, you may need to supplement it with fertilizers.

Three prime chemical elements are found in all mixed fertilizers are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—or N-P-K, the proportions of which are stated as numbers on the package. For example, a general-purpose fertilizer labeled 20-20-20 means that each chemical element—N, P, and K—contributes 20 percent by weight to the total formula (the remaining 40 percent is composed of inert materials and trace elements).
N - Nitrogen promotes healthy leaf growth by stimulating the production of chlorophyll (the main chemical involved in photosynthesis—how plants convert sunlight to food).
P - Phosphorus supports the vigorous development of roots, stems, blossoms, and fruits.
K - Potassium plays a key role in helping plants digest and manufacture their foods.

By fertilizing your garden, you can be assured your plants will be getting the most nutrients they need to grow to be healthy and productive.

Shop Fertilizers
It's Planting Time
This time of year is tricky when it comes to planting vegetables.  As soon as it warms up just enough to get you excited to start your garden, a frost comes up behind you and destroys all of your hard work.  A good way to protect your plants from a frost is to start seeds indoors or in a greenhouse.  Once plants are big enough to be transplanted outside, cover them with a frost blanket or landscaping fabric at night to prevent your seedlings from dying.
Start your garden with some cold crop vegetables in March and April.  Some good plants to start with are your root vegetables and leafy greens, as they can withstand the last frosts of the season. Onions, carrots, beets, turnips and radishes are good root vegetables to start with.  Leafy greens like kale, cabbage, spinach and collards make for a hardy cold crop and a tasty snack when they reach maturity.
Plants Are Here!
Chick Days are Here!
It's almost springtime and that means baby chicks are beginning to hatch! Whether you already have chickens, or you are thinking about getting some, it can be tricky to decide which breeds are best for you.  With more than 100 breeds of chickens in the United States, a little bit of research on different breeds is a good idea before deciding which birds are the best fit for you and your family.
An important factor when choosing chicken breeds is your climate.  While most chickens tend to do well in most climates, certain breeds like Leghorns and Anconas will do significantly better in a warm climate, due to their large combs and small bodies.  On the contrary, birds like Barred Rocks and Cochins will do well in cold climates due to smaller combs and large bodies. 
Another thing to consider when deciding on chicken breeds is bird temperament. Buff Orpingtons and Australorps are good examples of  friendly and docile breeds, perfect for being around kids and adults alike.
Everyone knows that chickens lay eggs, but did you know they can lay eggs of many different colors and shades?  If you want to have a basket full of colorful eggs, you might want to get a variety of breeds to brighten up that egg carton!  Most breeds lay brown eggs, but breeds like Leghorns lay white eggs, while Marans lay chocolate brown eggs.  Green eggs and ham is a possible meal with breeds like Easter Eggers and Ameraucanas, which can lay blue or green eggs! 
No matter what breed you decide to bring home to your flock, you will be sure to receive delicious eggs and a myriad of fun and enjoyment from your flock!
Chick Days Schedule
Amish Turnips
2c. cooked turnips
2/3 c. bread crumbs
1 tbsp. Margarine
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 c. milk
1 egg
salt & pepper
Cook turnips until tender.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Drain turnips, mash and then add 1/2 cup bread crumbs, saving rest for top.
Add egg, sugar, milk, salt and pepper to taste.
Mix together; pour into greased baking dish.
Dot with butter and rest of crumbs.
Bake for 45 minutes.
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