For all you outdoor-enthusiasts, your favorite time of the year is right around the corner - Daylight Saving Time.
This year DST runs from March 13 through November 6 . This will give you ‘leave-before-daylight’ and ‘get-back-home-after-dark’ workers at least an hour of daylight to see what the ‘old-homestead’ looks like, maybe giving you enough time to take a trek to the river and catch your supper.
Sunrise will change from 6:33 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, to 7:36 a.m. on Sunday, March 13, and sunset will change from 6:26 p.m. on Saturday, March 12 to 7:31 p.m. on Sunday, March 13, the first day of Daylight Savings Time. The summer solstice, considered the longest day of the year and also the beginning of summer will see a sunrise at 6:12 a.m. with a sunset at 8:31 p.m. which gives you over 14 hours of daylight.
These extra hours of daylight in the evenings will also give the small back-yard’ gardener more time to hoe that grass that grows seemingly even when it’s dark. Speaking of gardens, all of you serious-farmers-at-heart know it takes from 90-120 days from the time that early crop of seed potato is dropped in the ground for it to produce those small round jewels you gratefully grabble out from beneath the mother plant so as to have a mouth-watering pot of fresh-new-potatoes to grace the dinner table come Mother’s Day.
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Most ardent tater lovers, since it’s usually the earliest crop planted in the garden will do a ‘hiney-test.’ That is, they sit on the ground in the buff’ and if the temperature of the soil is not too cold to sit-a-minute comfortably, then the soil is warm enough to ‘plant-dem-taters.’ If you haven’t performed this feat by Valentine’s Day, then you’re ‘behind-the-8-ball’ when it comes to having that pot of fresh taters and snap beans for mom on her special day.
Many is the time we went to Economy Feed and Seed on Bay Street in Savannah and peered inside an opened 50 lb. bag of seed potatoes and weighed out 15-20 lb. to plant two or three rows. Most seed potato will have probably four good ‘eyes’ - buds - on them to be cut off in sections, then spread out to dry for a day. With rows all laid off, fertilized and soil pulled over from both sides to form a mound, the cut eyes’ gingerly placed in flat boxes are transported to the garden where it’s ‘chop-and-drop’ time.
If planted by the middle of February, the coolness in the mornings will ward off those ‘no-see-ums’ from gnawing on you while you plant. Any seed taters left over makes a fine potato salad.
Happy eating and enjoy these longer days of summer.
Remember to ‘spring-forward’ an hour before retiring Saturday night, March 12, since the magic hour is 2 a.m. Sunday, March 13.
Contributor Jean Tanner is a lifetime rural resident of the Bluffton area and can be reached at email@example.com.