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Waiting on Irma

September 8, 2017
By JOYCE COMINGORE - Garden Club of Cape Coral (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Here I sit mid-week, watching for the latest on Irma. Will she or won't she land here? It's time to consider getting out. Got a daughter in Kentucky, just up I-75. Don't really want to park on the parking lot of I-75, so it means leaving early, like Wednesday. This place did well in Charley, but it's an excuse to see my youngest daughter. Hope you all are doing well and staying safe. It didn't flood at my place during that last spell, but it did my middle daughter's place; my grandson can watch over the house as he lives directly behind me; time for a vacation, be it last minute.

Going off half-cocked can be called crazy, so does the full moon on Sept. 6, meaning the full moon makes people crazy, particularly me at this point. The urgency of Irma is pushing me that way. Normally I'd be calm about this whole affair, but I've been wanting to see my youngest daughter. My other three children live here in Florida, so it's been awhile since I've seen her and her family.

Does the moon really hold sway over us? The human body is 60 percent water, and if the moon can affect ocean tides, can it do our bodies as well? Scientific studies have listened to these claims enough for scientists to investigate them and found them lacking in basis. They found no correlation between the moon and human behavior. So why do police and hospitals insist there is an increase in incidents around those times? A 1999 issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders suggests that a lack of sleep caused by the full moon's brightness might worsen existing mental disorders. When electric lights were invented, that negated this thought. However, a preconceived notion leads one to believe every strange behavior encountered during a full moon reinforces their conclusion. The moon is full when the moon is on the other side of the Earth from the Sun. A full moon occurs every 29.530 days.

The Farmer's Almanac has people planting by the moon phases. Some quite successfully.

All those spaghetti lines in the weather announcements follow currents of wind that blow the hurricanes around. Charley even took a right angle at Sanibel and hit Punta Gorda during his spin around. They do like to take twists and turns, so predicting their exact direction is a guessing game. Irma is the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Atlantic, and she has Jose coming in close behind her. Hopefully, we won't have the water Houston had as Harvey just sat there for a while. We are now passing the Sept. 10 peak of the hurricane season. We're half way through. Let's hope it isn't a bumpy ride.

The humidity is great for growing plants, and our jungles are filling up, but the gardening spirit has left us begging to stay indoors. However, the weeds still need pulling. You can look forward to soon planting the winter crops.

With all the new type grocery stores popping up, there is a real trend toward Spanish foods. I recently bought a big sweet potato. There is a big difference between sweet potatoes and yams. Sweet potatoes are in the morning glory botanical family but yams are related to lilies, palms and grasses. Yams grow primarily in the tropics and are found in ethnic grocery stores. Now you can really buy yams at these new stores. Neither one of them are real potatoes. Their history goes back to pre-Civil War. Grocery stores sold white fleshed sweet potatoes. When the orange variety was introduced, sellers wanted to differentiate the new species, so instead of saying they were the same plant, they called the orange ones, yams. Now you can obtain true yams at these new ethnic grocery stores. We can probably grow them here, too. A good summer crop. Now is the time to start growing white and russet potatoes during the cooler weather.

Have you tried the blue potatoes? The anthocyanin antioxidants in the tasty, rare blue potatoes reduce inflammation, their skins are packed with iodine that helps stabilize thyroid hormone levels. Bury two "seed potatoes" about 4 inches deep, wait three months, when flowers grow, dig out the potatoes gently. Plant a new set of seed potatoes to keep the harvest going, every few weeks.

This is now the time to make any plans or changes you need in your gardening schedule. Discover new varieties.

Stay safe and keep the good vibes growing. There'll be a brighter day tomorrow.

Joyce Comingore is a Master Gardener, hibiscus enthusiast and member of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.

 
 
 

 

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