Extension offers gardening tips
CENTREVILLE — The grey days of winter are upon us but even in the darkest days the glimmer of spring lights the way.
Although, it may seem like there is not much to do in the garden during this time of year, There are plenty of gardening tasks to keep people busy during the dreariest of days, according to Rachel Rhodes, Master Gardner coordinator for the University of Maryland Extension’s Queen Anne’s County office.
Keep garden beds covered with shredded leaves, straw or bark mulch to minimize the risk of soil erosion and nutrient run-off.
As a reminder, the Maryland Lawn Fertilizer Law prohibits anyone from using fertilizer products to melt ice and snow on steps, sidewalks or driveways.
Continue to feed wild birds through the remaining winter weeks. Black oil sunflower seeds and suet cakes are a good choice for a wide variety of birds, the release states. Keep bird feeders clean and provide wild birds with fresh water.
Check the germination rate of old seed. Place 20 seeds between moistened paper towels roll up the towel and place it in a plastic bread bag. Put the bag in a warm location and check after five to seven days to see what percentage has germinated. Discard seed
lots with less than 75% germination.
February is a good time organize the garage or garden shed.
It also is a good time to buy fresh seed locally or order from mail-order seed companies. Select cultivars with resistance to diseases
that have been a problem in your garden.
If starting seeds indoors, set up florescent grow lights and gather needed materials: pots, trays, soil-less mix.
In the beginning of the month, start seeds of early crops such as leeks, onions, shallots and artichokes indoors under florescent lights. In addition, start peppers — they are very slow growing.
Later in the month, start seeds indoors of beets, turnips, Chinese cabbage, kale and other early crops. These will be ready to set out in the garden in three to five weeks. Or, direct seed these crops in the garden as soon as soil can be worked.
Also, build a cold frame and late in the month, add compost and good soil, then sow spinach, lettuce or a mesclun mix for early greens.
Start a compost pile if you do not have one.
Day length is increasing and the sunlight is more intense. Houseplants will begin to show signs of new growth. It is time to start fertilizing indoor plants.
Leaf yellowing and leaf drop houseplants can be a result of low light conditions combined with overwatering. Spider mites are another possible cause.
Anthurium, moth orchid, African violets, kalanchoe, cyclamen, succulent gardens and air plants — very low maintenance — all make nice gifts to brighten up any interior space.
For more information, visit extension.umd.edu/queenannes-county/master-gardener-home-gardening or go on Facebook www.facebook.com/queenannescountymastergardeners.
Never has our world been more divided than today. Politics, religion, sports and on and on I could go. For the most part, so many people think being divided is a negative thing. And for many people it is.
However, after being married to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage for almost 50 years, I have discovered that a divided house can be a very happy house. It just depends on how you are divided and what divides you. That makes all the difference in the house.
Being married as long as I have been does not make me an expert in this area. I am only an expert in forbearance, which is the reason there is always a smile on my face. Whether you believe it or not, that smile is genuine.
All of this came to focus recently when we finally finished adding an office room to our house. It has been in process for at least four years. That’s where my “forbearance” comes to play.
When I think everything is ready to close, something happens that kicks that can down the road another mile or two.
Last year we were almost ready to finish when the coronavirus hit and put everything on the pause. I’m not too fond of pause unless on a cat or dog.
So, except for some bookcases, the office has come to the point of completion.
This has brought our house to the Great Divide, which has brought a lot of happiness to our home.
On the other side of our house is a room called the Craft Room, which the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage supervises. This is a room that, although I may be allowed to step in, for various reasons, I don’t.
I look into that room, and I see all kinds of crafty stuff that I have no idea in the world what it is. And believe me, I am not going to ask what anything in that room is.
So, at one end of the house, we have my wife’s Craft Room, and at the other end of the house, we now have the Pastor Cave, of which I am the sole supervisor and administrator. It is the place where I am in control of ever ything.
When my wife is in her Craft Room on one side of the house, and I’m in my Pastor Cave on the other side, we are significantly divided but enthusiastically happy.
My wife does her thing in her room, I do my thing in my room, and the twain shall never cross paths.
This great divide has brought a lot of happiness to our home.
The saying is true, what divides us may destroy us. But, if put together craftily, what divides us may bring us together on a different level.
She’s happy in her room, I’m happy in my room, and the house rings with enthusiastic happiness.
Occasionally, my wife will come to the door of the Pastor Cave and say very enthusiastically, “Look what I just made.” Then she shows me some craft that she has put together.
Because I’m not very crafty, what she shows me is very delightful, and I express my great delight in her craftiness.
One of the essential aspects of a good marriage is knowing what the other person delights in.
For example, my wife delights in crafts. I could not spend five minutes in a craft room working on some craft. I would go absolutely insane. I probably would cut myself using some of the things in her craft room.
My wife takes great delight in working in her craft room. And you know what they say, a delighted wife means a delighted husband.
I am delighted when she is delighted, and that makes everything come together.
I’m happy when I’m in my Pastor Cave and take great delight in what I’m doing. I have everything at my fingertips that I need to do that makes me happy.
If our home weren’t so divided, we wouldn’t have all that delight that we enjoy right now.
When we first started our marriage escapades almost 50 years ago, I had no idea that we would end up so marvelously divided as we are today. If someone would’ve told me that she would have her room one day to do what she likes to do and I would have my room to do what I like to do, I would’ve thought they were crazy.
I enjoy crazy today. The other night I mentioned to my wife as we were watching TV that someone in the church had a birthday.
“Oh, my,” she said very enthusiastically, “I need to go and make them a birthday card.” And off she went to make a birthday card.
It may be a thank you card that we need to send to some family member or friend. And the good thing about all of this is, we don’t have to go out to purchase any cards of any nature or holiday.
It’s so wonderful to have all that you need where you need it.
I read in the Bible just the other day a wonderful verse, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
Amos must’ve been a husband to say something like this. The important thing is the focus of the agreement. At the opposite ends of our house, my wife and I are in full agreement.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-6874240 or email email@example.com. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.
EASTON — Dr. George Silver, 94, a tireless educator who pioneered Maryland’s first regional community college in Wye Mills, died following a long illness on Jan. 27, 2021, in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
As Chesapeake’s first president, Silver oversaw the launch and growth of Maryland’s first regional community college. Founded in 1965, Chesapeake serves five Eastern Shore counties.
Chesapeake College President Dr. Clifford Coppersmith lauded Silver’s legacy.
“We honor and remember Dr. Silver, a visionary and dedicated leader who was at the right time and place to build a foundation for higher education for the Mid-shore. He will always be remembered as a founding figure for Chesapeake College,” Coppersmith said.
Silver was named president in July 1966 and led Chesapeake through its crucial first decade.
“As the founding president, George Silver had to open the new college quickly in temporary quarters in Centreville and then oversee the design and construction of the campus. After more than 50 years his legacy can
still be felt in the strength of Chesapeake’s academic programs and the beauty of the campus,” said Dr. Stuart Bounds, Chesapeake’s fourth president.
In addition to overseeing the physical building of the campus, Silver had to build Chesapeake’s workforce by recruiting faculty and staff for the new college.
One of the instructors Dr. Silver hired in 1971 was Dr. Ed Baker. The kinesiology professor and coach, who retired from his full-time post in 2014, Baker still teaches two classes each semester as an adjunct. He has worked for all six of Chesapeake’s presidents.
“You couldn’t have chosen
a better first president for Chesapeake than George Silver,” Baker said. “He was a charismatic leader who was deeply invested in Chesapeake. No detail was too small for his attention.”
Baker said Silver was known to park in a different lot each day, so that he could see campus from a variety of perspectives. With pad and
pen in hand, Silver would note anything that needed attention or improvement on his morning walk to the office. The college maintenance department heard from him daily and knew that issues should be corrected by the end of the workday.
Dr. Maurice Hickey served Chesapeake College in a variety of faculty and
administrative roles for 32 years, and served as vice president for academic services before leaving in 2005 to become president of Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh, New York. He remembers Silver as an encouraging mentor.
“I was a young faculty member and coach of two sports, and he was a great supporter of intercollegiate athletics,” Hickey wrote in an email to The Star Democrat. “(Silver) also encouraged the faculty to continue their education. He not only encouraged me to earn my doctorate, but he also a wrote a letter of reference for my admittance into the doctoral program at the University of Maryland.”
“He was a detailed and decisive leader, but he also had a huge heart,” Baker said. “As a coach and teacher, I tried to follow the example he set. Yes, you must be disciplined and decisive, but our role in education is also to help our students whenever we can. We have to support our students, especially when they’re struggling.”
Melissa Silver of Richmond, Virginia, recalls the investment of time her father made in supporting campus life and his collegians. She was in elementary and middle school at the time and accompanied her parents “to every basketball game, ever y event that ever happened, either at the college or away from the college,” she said. “The three