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home : lifestyle : lifestyle today   May 25, 2016

4/15/2013 11:31:00 AM
There was no planting of Good Friday potatoes this year

Nancy's geraniums.
+ click to enlarge
Nancy's geraniums.
Nancy Dinelli-Prill

Miss Martha reminds me every spring that her grandfather always planted potatoes on Good Friday. But, her grandfather didn’t live in our time of “global warming,” which meant there still was so much snow and ice in Northern Illinois on the potato ground that nothing could be put in. In other places it was much too wet.
It was a very different Easter for us this year, we had no family gathering. We usually gather at Platteville because that is a good central point, but this year it looked like it was too much work.
Besides, it seems everyone in the family was doing nothing but running. I told everyone to just stay home and enjoy their homes and families.
Alicia wanted to come, but I told her not. She has her hands full with a hog sale coming up at the university farm and then the sale of the bulls at Platteville. She has little free time. The rest of the family is just the same.
“The Farmer” and I stayed home and it was strange not to have egg hunts for the little kids, or fly kites or see who has the strongest egg and all the rest that goes along with Easter.
“The Farmer” wondered what we were going to do about dinner for Easter, whereupon I picked up the phone and called the restaurant and ordered a chicken cordon bleufor me and a ham and pineapple plate for him. The dinner came with soup or salad, we took the salad and a piece of pie to share.
You know what? It was very good and after I was finished with my noon meal I went out and planted Sandy’s giant red radishes and some lettuce in the corners of the Italian garden. I decided that I would put more little patches of veggies in the Italian garden and less flowers.
Speaking of flowers, you should see my geraniums, some of them are a good 10 years old. My front bay windows are full of the biggest pink blooms of the plants that I bring in each fall and winter put them in the bay windows that face east.
The first month or so upon coming in, they get really ratty looking and I pick a few dead leaves off. I give them one shot of fertilizer for blooming and they get a cup of water a week.
That is one of the tricks of growing any flower indoors — the trick of watering. Geraniums like a drink of water only once a week, usually a good cup of the stuff. They like it cold, make sure it isn’t soft water. Beware of the salt. They hug those east windows when it is cold and thrive on cold nights and sunny days.
They are such a delight. On Easter this year, the plants in the north-east bay window were blooming and right beside them in the south-east bay window, those plants are just going to come into bloom.
I just counted and it seems that I have a total of 20 geranium plants, one is almost as tall as I am and I’m trying to make a geranium tree.
When all danger of frost is gone, all 20 of them will go outside. Sometimes I put them in “The Farmer’s” little red wagons in order to be able to pull them into the garage at night. I do that so they aren’t shocked by the change. I also don’t put them in direct sun at first. I pull their wagon to the front of the garage inside one of the open doors. Geraniums, also don’t like to be in full sun during the summer.
Sounds like a lot of work? Maybe, but it is better than sitting and watching television. By the way, around July I fertilize the geraniums once again, but very lightly.
Geraniums always have been my favorite plant and to be able to have them blooming year round is really a joy.
Ken, a writer friend of mine wants to do a story for the city paper near us about my geraniums. I told him no because people don’t understand something like growing geraniums year around without a greenhouse, without cutting them back and without repotting them. My plants still are in the same soil they originally were and even “The Farmer” comments about how great they look.
Give it a try! Ciao!

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