By Tom Yoder
What is the first thing you think of this time of year that pertains to the color green?
It could mean green grass or possibly the sprouts of green flower shoots but most probably it would be St. Patrick’s Day and four-leaf clovers.
Eating and drinking green
What St. Patrick’s Day means to me is going to one of my favorite restaurants, wearing green, and eating corned beef, cabbage and potatoes while drinking a “green” beverage that probably has been turned green artificially with food color. Corned beef and cabbage can be a connoisseur’s delight if prepared right or it can be a bland disaster. The best corned beef is prepared from the brisket of the beef that has been brined and marinated with spices for several days; meat markets normally have them whole and in cry-o-vac and soaking in the marinade. Some markets will use the “point” of a hip roast called a “brisket round” (a large round and thicker cut taken from the hip of the animal) but this cut is normally not as tender because of where it is taken from. Served along with the brisket is a large cut of cabbage (usually a quarter to a half head) and boiled potatoes (sometimes baked) with carrots and onions; am I drooling?
Shiny green top-hats with a black bow-tie are a common sight at eating establishments as well as strands of shiny green Mardi-Gras type beads and battery-operated flashing green lights which may be four-leaf clovers, green earrings for the women, or any silly thing that says fun. It is and has always been a fun night out for everyone that is in a party mood and is a connoisseur of this Irish dish.
St. Patrick’s Day is a global celebration of Irish culture on or about March 17 each year to remember one of Ireland’s patron saints who ministered Christianity in that country during the Fifth Century.
The wearing of the green
The wearing of green and leprechaun costumes dates back to the 17th Century to honor this patron saint. Custom has it that anyone not wearing the traditional green of any kind can be “pinched;” it doesn’t have to be anything more than a green ribbon or such to be safe from the pinching. Some diners and partiers go all out with complete leprechaun costumes or other Irish attire.
Turning our attention to another kind of green this time of year (our grass), it is easy to get overly anxious to fertilize our lawns to get a jump on nature and green-up that tired brown grass that you are getting tired of seeing; after all, stores are all stocked with bags and bags of all the gardening necessities and are advertising it in earnest. Even though it is tempting to apply early, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by waiting. Grass roots aren’t able to cope or take up the nitrogen until ground/soil temperatures reach a constant 66 or 67 degrees when they’ll be reaching deeper in the soil, so do as Purdue says and wait until at least the first of May or even the second week of that month.
If you want to put something on your lawn now and if you’ve been troubled by crabgrass, then by all means apply a pre-emergence crabgrass control on your lawn any time before new sprouting occurs. If you are troubled by those three-leaf or four-leaf clovers in your lawn, there is an application available to eliminate those too.