Press-Republican

Columns

March 26, 2012

For gardens, and cooking, timing is everything

I made turkey and dumplings earlier this month when it still felt like winter. It is one of our favorite cold-weather meals, and it "sticks to your ribs," as the saying goes.

While I was preparing it, I was thinking about the similarities between cooking and gardening. Not just that we cook food that we grow in our gardens, raise on our farms or purchase from some of our fine local producers, but the similarities that make us good cooks or good gardeners.

Let's take my turkey and dumplings as an example of what I mean. I stew turkey drumsticks using a recipe that I learned from my mother. The ingredients I add to the pot and the timing of when I add them makes a huge difference in the finished dish.

Even more crucial is the addition of the raw-dumpling mixture to the bubbling stew. As my mother taught me, and I in turn taught my daughter, it's all about the timing.

If I am careless about the timing, what I put on the dinner table may bear no resemblance to what I had intended, and few foods are less appetizing than soggy, lumpy dumplings.

Now think about your lawn and garden.

Everything you do in your garden or with your lawn will have an effect, but it may not be the effect you want if the timing is not correct. If the weather continues to be warm and the lawns begin to green, it may be tempting to apply fertilizer. Unfortunately, that would result in more top growth at the expense of the roots. Lush, succulent growth may also attract more insects. The best time to fertilize is around Labor Day.

It is also tempting to begin working our garden soil as the weather warms, but working soil that is too wet can be very damaging to the soil structure. You won't see the damage but will likely see less than ideal results in your garden.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • clute_cropped.jpg The Law and You: Police search of vehicles

    Because a car can be moved while a warrant is being obtained, authorities are given powers that let them act more quickly, writes former DA and judge, Penny Clute.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ken_wibecan.jpg Another day in the life

    Each morning I rise from bed, slowly, as is my habit, and sit quietly on the bed contemplating the day that looms before me, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR small talk mug 081714 Corner store is no more

    Columnist Gordie Little offers a reminder of the little grocery stores of days gone by.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR skin deep mug 081714 High-end products worth the splurge

    Regardless of the price, writes columnist Felicia Krieg, she would buy the core group of her makeup products over and over again.

    August 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Tax code needs overhaul

    Corporations may be criticized for exploiting loopholes, but it is the complex tax system that is at fault, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Ideas about soil health changing

    New techniques like no-til and cover crops can make soil healthier than conventional tillage, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Economy may have changed forever

    The Great Recession has reordered the workforce in a way that makes it unlikely it will ever be the same, according to columnist Colin Read.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg The dark side of fun funerals

    Something strange happened in American culture in the past decade or two: People started planning fun funerals, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR fit bits mug Developing power key to success

    While strength is important, the ability to generate power is required for many basic activities in life, writes columnist Ted Santaniello.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • PPR you had to ask mug 081014 Time to reel in youth sports parents

    Do not scream at a child that he's a loser, at least not in a language he understands, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice
Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk
Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time