Southern Summer… Making Homemade Ice Cream

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Southern Summer Mornings

The summer season is here!!! The Dog Days of Summer are quickly approaching and this Southern Summer has already been hot! What summer cold treats do you offer to family and friends to cool down?? Homemade ice cream is definitely a Southern favorite.

The only thing that could make this hot summer day better is ice cream! 🍨🍨🍨🍨

Nothing seems to excite my family more than the treat of homemade ice cream. Homemade Ice cream just simply tastes like a southern summer at its best. Last year, I posted my favorite vanilla homemade ice cream on Pinterest and it has definitely been a hit!

As the July 4th holiday approaches, I thought it would be a great time to share this very simple recipe with y’all today. This recipe works well with my current ice cream maker. You can add fresh summer fruit into the mix or simply sprinkle across the top as a beautiful garnish.

Fresh peaches or strawberries are amazing with Homemade vanilla ice cream
Gather your ingredients…
I use whole milk
1 cup will give you a very sweet cream mix
Mix together all ingredients and make sure sugar is fully incorporated into milk/cream mixture. Pour into 2 quart ice cream maker.
I have one that is similar to the ice cream maker on the left. These are currently available for purchase at WCH!
Life is like ice cream, you need to enjoy it before it melts 🍨

Pulling Weeds

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As your garden grows, so do the weeds😳! Weeds, the unwanted earthy material we desire to rid our flower & vegetable gardens of forever. Weeds can somehow creep into your garden and appear almost overnight. Weeds steal valuable water & nutrients from your growing garden. Before you know it, your once gorgeous garden is chocked full of weeds and struggling to survive. So, as a gardener, an ongoing task is weeding.

Some people say, that pulling weeds is a laborious task, while others seem to get lost in the joy of nature. Regardless, of your mindset, it is a maintenance task that must be routinely addressed as a homeowner in order to keep an approachable, well maintained landscape.

On the blog today , I have researched and found my Top Weeding Tips to share with y’all. These are not fool proof, but it could help you with your summer garden maintenance routine.

Top Ten Weeding Tips:

1. Timing is Everything … Pulling weeds is a much easier task after a good soaking rain. Those of us who live in red clay soil zones, can definitely attest to the ease of pulling after a rain versus the dry, hard clay soil. Smaller weeds are much easier to yank than larger ones. So don’t ignore the task of weeding. Pulling weeds in morning or later evening are definitely easier during those long, hot summer days.

After a rain is a perfect time to walk in garden to see the beauty of your labor & be active in weeding out those pesky little weeds.

2. Tools… the right tools for the job are important! I usually carry a small bucket for weeding to dispose of those pesky things. A weeding tool, gardening spade, gloves, and gardening hoe are essential for getting the job done, get the root out!

Great tools make quick work of weed control!

3. Think about your mulch layer… If you mulch heavy( 3-4 inches deep) it should help somewhat with weed control. Simply putting down an inch or two of mulch around perennials, annuals and shrubs is simply not going to cut it. A shallow layer of mulch won’t keep weed seeds buried in the soil below from germinating. The key to weed control is to smother them out! Weed seeds need light, water, & air in order to thrive and grow. Make conditions harsh for weeds to prosper. Also, don’t forget to think about the birds who float in weed seeds that can get into the soil below to sprout and grow. Mulch in flowerbeds should be at a minimum of depth of 4 inches.

4. Tilling… the least amount of soil that is disturbed, the better chance you have to keep weed seeds from being distributed . Weed seeds are buried in every inch of your beautiful garden, but only those in the top inch or two of soil get enough light to trigger germination. Digging and cultivating brings hidden weed seeds to the surface. So don’t dig or till unless absolutely necessary!

5. Think about planting more… the unused garden space in your garden invites the opportunity for more weeds to grow. It maybe time to grow more veggies or flowers!

On sale now!!! All remaining flower & vegetable seeds

6. Turn the pages of your Almanac!!! Pulling weeds during a barren sign(Leo, Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius) is impactful!

I usually consult my Almanac before I go pull weeds. It is a fruitless task to weed control on a day that is unsuited for it. I never weed on good planting days.

7. Take a daily walk through your garden, & pull a few weeks everyday. Pick a section to focus on each day and just work in it.

8. Technology time… plant apps are readily available to help you identify plant material. Weeds can be identified and help you determine how to get rid of it. How does this weed spread… seed, runners, or rhizomes/root based ???

Consider using a plant identification app.

9. Talent… use your talent as an amazing gardener by never leaving the roots behind. If you pull only the leaves, weeds will grow back. Grab the weed close to the ground and pull straight up. Remove the entire root for a successful weeding session. For those really hard ones to kill, we have some amazing chemicals to try, if you need them. Our customers have requested chemicals that are people/pet friendly that work! We have them!!! Come stop by and talk to us about options available.

Amazing products inside WCH!!!

10. Tenacity will pay off… there will always be weeds in the garden, hopefully less than more… if you use a few of these tips to help reduce your weeding chores. Don’t give up on your garden. The joy it brings is definitely worth it and persistence is key in weeding the garden.

June Gardening Guide

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Gardening became a lovely little side hobby of mine when we purchased our first home years ago. I loved learning about all the different types of trees and flowers in my yard. The gardening gene runs deep in my family. From my youngest memories, my family always had a garden full of veggies and beautiful flowers dotted the yard.

Snowball Hydrangeas were a staple in our yard growing up.

June is normally a month when your flowers and vegetables begin to show off in full beauty. The hard work of May and the other spring months pays off but it is not a time to relax just yet!!!

For a beautiful garden, June is a month when watering, weeding/hoeing, and monitoring for insects & disease can reap rewards. If these go unchecked during the summer months, it can definitely lead to disaster!!!

I love, love 💕 this water hose for watering plants!!! It is lightweight and easy to move around in the yard to water flowers during those drought filled days.

Wilkes County Hardware has the tools in order to help you be a successful gardener this summer. Don’t forget to stop by and consult with our staff if you have questions, concerns, or if you need gardening supplies. We will be there to assist you.

Black Wonder soil builder has been a garden favorite of our gardening customers!!! What a great way to supplement your soil and add much needed nutrients!!! You will definitely see the difference!!!

According to 2022 Blum’s Almanac, June is a great time to continue to plant tomatoes 🍅, eggplant, peppers 🌶, cabbage, beans, and celery. Sowing seeds for later transplanting…collards, cabbage, & cauliflower. Plant blackeye, crowder, and lady peas, squash, cucumber, and pumpkins 🎃.

Only a few of these are left! Gardening calendars still available.

In your flower garden, plant all types of lovely cut flowers like zinnias, marigolds, dahlias, calendula, nasturtium, phlox for later fall flowers. Remember to monitor your gardens carefully for insects 🕷, pests, or disease.

Deer 🦌 are always in my yard. I use the deer spray pictured here to keep activity at bay. It works well for me! Spray your plants routinely for 3 weeks to get the scent firmly established on the plants. Reapply if you have a heavy rain. After the 3 weeks, you should be able to apply once a month depending on the rain.
Plants looking stressed??? Use this concentrated spray to give your plants a boost! Good for struggling house plants too!!!

The “Best” days to plant 🪴 for June … 1-2, 8-11, 18-19, 23-24, 28-29.

We still have seeds left for planting!!!

The “Best” Weed killing days are June 16-17, 25-27. But these 3 barren signs (Leo, Gemini, Virgo) is usually a good time to spray weeds.

Wilkes County Hardware has several options available for your weed control needs.

Tuesday June 14 will bring the Strawberry 🍓 Moon!!! This moon is named after the wild strawberries that ripen in the month of June.

I love fresh strawberries!!! This dishpan makes it easy work. Yes, these dishpans are available at Wilkes County Hardware 😎

Also, Don’t forget to fly your American flag 🇺🇸 on June 14th for Flag Day!!

Need a new flag??? Don’t worry, you can drop off your old flag at Wilkes County Hardware too!

Happy Gardening Y’all!!! 👩🏻‍🌾👩🏻‍🌾

New ladies gardening t-shirt !! This one is selling fast!!!

Shopping in 2022… Using QR Codes-Part 1

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Have you ever used a QR Code??? Scanned a QR code from a restaurant menu , or shopped using a QR code??? Have you picked up one of your favorite magazines lately to find QR codes inside or even seen them on tv????

Wilkes County Hardware was featured in Foothills Digest. They routinely use QR Codes to keep their readership engaged and curious

I recently received a bill & an option to pay the bill was via scanning the QR code. The QR Code took me to a website to pay a bill. It was easy & convenient.

This seems to be a new way to shop in 2022. Which leads me to investigate /answer a few questions about QR Codes for you today.

What are QR Codes???

Better known as Quick Response Codes. These little scannable codes can hold a vast amount of information about new products. Users can engage with new unfamiliar products, gaining insights & instant information.

More products are coming into our store with QR Codes

When did they become important????

QR codes have been around for at least 10 plus years and are not new in the world of education… teachers have been building scavenger hunts & other types of lessons based on QR Code learning for the last several years.

Why now???

QR Code usage has grown leaps & bounds in the business world in the last few years, seeing an increase in use by 94-96 percent!!! Usage can be attributed to more shoppers having smart phones with the ability to read QR codes without using a separate app. During Covid, QR codes provided a contactless way for consumers to interact with new products, gain insights, or even watch video tutorials.

Ready Seal has great information online after using QR Code

QR Codes are easy to use. Just open the camera app, scan the code and a link pops up to take you to a website, or even watch a video !

QR Codes lead our customers to a link for useful information about an item they are researching or want to know more about

Who is using them???

Millennials & Gen Z

⁃ 22 percent of US population are Millennials ( born in years of 1981-1996)

⁃ Millennials are largest spending sector of the US population!

Millennial spending power equates to $2.5 Trillion, now let that sink in for a minute….

⁃ Millennial Generation was the first “connected” generation with the internet at their fingertips.

Online shopping is key for millennials… 42 % shop using phones, 91 % shop online

⁃ Convenience is priority for millennial customers as well as using product reviews. QR Codes hold a wealth of information right at your fingertips!

Find Wilkes County Hardware social media links all in one place!!!

⁃ Gen Z- those born after 1996, do not know a time before the internet and spend significant time online every day. Both millennials and Gen Z are willing to try new technologies in order to shop.

⁃ Gen Z- prefer brands or business should be innovative, & go “green “. They would love a business that is working on cutting edge technology & saving the planet 🌎 by wasting less resources in paper print media.

So what???

We had a minister several years ago and he included this phrase in his sermon every Sunday. The “So What” portion of his sermon was the crucial part of the sermon. The “so what” was the ultimate “take away” or words to remember from the sermon. So here it is, the “so what” of QR Codes.

1. QR Codes are everywhere and companies are encouraging people to use them. Smart phone usage as you shop or checking out is just becoming more mainstream.

Reminders of QR Codes and the ease of use is everywhere!!!

2. QR Codes hold a wealth of information at your fingertips.

3. The Millennial & Gen Z are using technology to shop online and in retail stores. Businesses need to meet consumers where they are in order to stay competitive.

4. Look 👀 for QR Codes at Wilkes County Hardware to help you learn more about new products. Scan & use these QR Codes or even ask us to help you navigate how to recognize a QR Code on your phone. We are here to help!!!

In our Lawn & Garden area you can find products with QR Codes

5. Stay posted on for another blog post just for you on QR Codes usage inside Wilkes County Hardware!!!