Jim’s December 2018 Garden Quiz Answers

December 2018 Garden Quiz Answers

Here are the garden quiz answers and solutions for the December 2018 Quiz can be found.  A more detailed explanation can be found in the original posts in which these answers are located – somewhere in The Perfect Vegetable Garden.



Answer to Question #1

The question was: Mesclun is an illegal hallucenogic drug made from cacti like the Peyote Cactus that hippies consumed back in the 1970’s.  A) True or B) False

The correct answer is:

B) FalseSpicy Mix Mesclun - a favorite of Jim, the Lifelong Gardener

That psychedelic drug was called mescaline – and not only did the hippies use it – but, so did the American Indians – for religious, ceremonial, and healing purposes over the last 2,000 years.

“Mesclun” – or “mesclar”, as the French used to call it – is a mixture of salad greens that may contain a hodge podge mixture of any number of: Arugula, Baby Spinach, Bok Choy, Chervil, Endive, Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard, to name a few – along with red and / or green loose leaf lettuces.


This answer is found in Mesclun – A Torrent Of Taste.



Answer to Question #2

The question was: Beware of Assassin bugs!  They get their name because they will attack and eat each and every plant in your garden!  A) True or B) False

The correct answer is:

B) FalseAssassin bug liquefying their prey.

Assassin bugs actually eat those bad pests that damage our crops.  In great enough numbers, these executioners can keep your garden rid of eggs, larvae, and adult pests that munch down on your veggie leaves, stalks, roots, and fruits.  They particularly enjoy aphids – but, they don’t turn their nose up when encountering other nasties – including hornworms, cucumber beetles, and leafhoppers,

To prepare their meal, Assassin bugs stick their straw-like snout into their victim and inject a chemical that liquefies their innards.  Then these predator bugs suck out everything inside through the same appendage.


This answer is found in Assassin Bugs – Hired Guns Of The Garden.



Answer to Question #3

The question was: What is “green manure?”  A) It is slang for what you find in a baby’s diaper when it needs to be changed, B) Animal dung – used to fertilize soil, C) Combinations of grains, grasses, and legumes, or D) A healthy smoothie made with spinach and avocados.

The correct answer is:

C) Combinations of grains, grasses, and legumes.

Annual Ryegrass - Cover Crop

I don’t even want to know what’s in a baby’s diaper.

Animal dung, to me, would be “brown manure.”

“Green manure” is a cover crop that is grown in a garden “off season” to add nitrogen, and other nutrients back into the soil.  Using this technique greatly diminishes the amounts of store bought fertilizers needed to amend the garden dirt.

Consisting of grains, grasses, and legumes, cover crops are tilled back into the soil just before they go to seed – or, at least a month prior to spring planting – to give the cover crops time to decompose.  This will create a superior, healthy, food rich environment for your veggies to grow up strong and vibrant!

I never had a smoothie with spinach and avocados – but, it might be good if it was jazzed up with a bit of lime ice cream – don’t you think?


This answer is found in Cover Crops For The Backyard Garden.



Answer to Question #4

The question was: What does Jim, the Lifelong Gardener, recommend to use as a cover crop for your backyard garden?  A) Fescue, B) Bermuda, C) Ryegrass, or D) None of the above.

The correct answer is:

C) Ryegrass

I specifically use Pennington Annual Ryegrass – along with a nitrogen fixer, Austrian Field Peas.  I have found this to be the most cost effective combination for home gardens of all types and sizes.  It’s amazing how much the soil is rejuvenated using these two plants as cover crops!  And, you’ll save a bunch of money not having to buy tons of fertilizer – maybe only a few pounds will be needed towards the end of the season.

Pennington Annual Ryegrass 25 lbAustrian Field Peas









Using Fescue or Bermuda will just make my garden look like my front yard – and make it much harder to till in the spring.  Besides, there are not enough nutrients that these grasses will add to my backyard garden.


This answer is found in Cover Crops For The Backyard Garden.



Answer to Question #5

The question was: What is another name for broccolini?  A) Broccoli, B) Tenderstem Broccoli, C) Brokali, D) Both A and B, or E) Both B and C.

The correct answer is: 

E) Both B and CApollo Hybrid Brokali

Broccolini, also known as tenderstem broccoli or brokali, is a hybrid cross between broccoli and kale.  It is much leafier and has tinier florets than broccoli – and, the stalks are thinner and more tender.


This answer is found in Brokali – Another Great Addition To A Healthy Home Grown Veggie Garden.



Answer to Question #6

The question was: It is impossible to make homemade potato chips that taste as well or better than the store bought versions.  This statement is: A) True or B) False.

The correct answer is:

B) False

After a lot of trial and error, I have perfected the art of making homemade potato chips.  They are healthier – without all those extra trans fats – and they stay crisp and crunchy a whole lot longer than those chips you buy at the store.

Mandoline sliced potatoes on plates ready for microwave.

Head on over to the post and see how it’s done!


This answer is found in Homemade Potato Chips – The Best Ever.



Answer to Question #7

The question was: If you did attempt to make your own potato chips, the best way to cook them is: A) Deep Fry, B) Oven Bake, C) Microwave, D) Stovetop, E) All of the above, F) None of the above.

The correct answer is:

C) Microwave

hOmeLab microwave

Deep frying them makes them way too oily – and that’s not healthy or tasty.  Baking the ‘tater slices in the oven dries them out quite a bit.  And, using a stovetop?  How the heck you gonna cook ‘em on a stovetop?  In a frying pan?  Better use a bunch of oil this way, too – or they’re gonna burn for sure.

The best way that I’ve found is to stick them in a microwave oven for about 3 minutes on a plate coated in Pam.  The timing is critical – so, watch to see when they start turning a golden brown color – then, they are ready!green mandoline slicer

Don’t forget to make sure you can slice them “potato chip thin” – which is easily accomplished with a good mandoline slicer.


This answer is found in Homemade Potato Chips – The Best Ever.


Answer to Question #8

The question was: A snow thrower is a machine that makes snow balls out of wet snow and tosses them in any direction you aim the machine.  It operates at such a high speed that it has been known to win snow ball fights against up to 6 opponents at the same time. A) True or B) False.

The correct answer is:

B) False

Single-stage gas-powered snow thrower

A snow thrower – commonly referred to as a snow blower – cleans snow off of driveways, sidewalks, decks, and more.  Most of us incorrectly call them snow blowers – but, in actuality, the machine is not blowing snow – it uses augers and impellers to push the snow out of a discharge chute – actually throwing it away from the area being cleared.


This answer is found in Snow Thrower Reviews.



Answer to Question #9

The question was: Snow blowers are rated – based on the amount and type of snow they can clear.  These ratings are: A) Class A, class I, class II, class III, class IV, class V, and class VI, B) 1 AWG, 5 AWG, 10 AWG, and 26 AWG, C) Single-stage, 2-stage, and 3-stage, or D) None of the above.

The correct answer is:

C) Single-stage, 2-stage, and 3-stage

“A)” These are actually classes of moving water.  Class A is basically a lake with no moving water.  The numbered classes are increasingly faster moving water in a river rapids.

“B)” This should be a dead giveaway.  The “AWG” designation stands for “American Wire Gauge.”  Thus these are actually gauge diameters of wire.

Troy-Bilt Vortex 2690 3-stage technology

Single-stage snow blowers / throwers have augers that churn up light, powdery snow and drive it up through a discharge chute.  There are electric snow blowers – both corded and cordless – and gas-powered snow blowers in this category.

2-stage snow throwers have an impeller that sucks up the snow chomped up by the augers – giving it more power to tackle heavier, wetter, and deeper snow than their single-stage counterparts.

3-stage snow throwers add one more part – the accelerator – to the impeller and augers of the 2-stage machines.  The accelerator’s advanced technology will grind up the toughest, most compacted ice and snow – and clear just about any surface of that icy slippery stuff.


This answer is found in Snow Thrower Reviews.



Answer to Question #10

The question was: Even if you choose the right snow blower for the job, and are able to clear all the snow and ice from your driveway and sidewalks, you still need to add some rock salt or ice melt to the surfaces. A) True or B) False.

The correct answer is:

A) True

Safe Pet Snow and Ice Melter

It really is a good idea to throw some ice melt down BEFORE it snows – to minimize any ice that might form during the snow storm.  But, if that isn’t possible, then the next best thing is – after clearing away the snow – to sprinkle it anywhere on the sidewalks, porch steps, driveway, etc., where someone may slip and fall.  But, make sure you use a pet and plant friendly ice melt – to keep them both from getting sick.


This answer is found in Snow Thrower Reviews.




The question was: Up at the North Pole, Santa Claus finds that 4 elves can make a total of 16 train sets in 60 minutes.  Getting out his calculator, Santa wants to know how long it would take 100 elves to make 100 train sets.  Do you know the answer?

The correct answer is:

100 elves can make 100 train sets in 15 minutes.
Santa's elves

How did I reach that conclusion?

Well, it boils down to the fact that each elf can make 4 train sets in 60 minutes.  Thus, each elf can make 1 train set in 15 minutes – and 100 elves, therefore, can make 100 train sets in 15 minutes.


Do you think these questions and answers are more difficult than previous months?  Did you have to come to this answer page very often while taking the December quiz?

Please comment below or email me.  I am anxious to hear what you have to say about what I’m doing in The Perfect Vegetable Garden.


Jim, the Lifelong Gardener


14 thoughts on “Jim’s December 2018 Garden Quiz Answers

  1. Joseph Smith Reply

    Very interesting article. I know very little about this topic but I love the way you format this article. I like how you are answering questions that are being asked. More times than not, when someone is surfing the internet, they are looking for the answer to a specific question they have. You do a great job at answering some of these questions. Keep up the great work!

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Joseph,

      Thanks, for your encouragement and I’m overjoyed that you were impressed with my December questions and answers.

      Come back soon for more of the same.


  2. Lok Which Reply

    Wow, I love sites like this. Especially when you give a place to see the answers to the quiz. This is really informative and educational.

    I will tell my friends to check out your website.  Because we have argued many, many times about some of these things – like question 5.  Now that I have proof that broccolini is not actually broccoli, my friends must also see it for themselves.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Jim Reply

      A lot of folks think the same way as your friends – that broccolini and broccoli are the same thing.  They are very surprised to learn that it is actually a very different vegetable that is the same thing as “tenderstem broccoli” or brokali.


  3. Riaz Shah Reply

    Omg I was so close to getting it wrong on the assassin bug!

    I thought something was a bit off – calling that bug an assassin.  A lot of bugs eat plants but they aren’t called assassins.  Why not?  You know – like assassin caterpillar, assassin grasshopper, assassin ladybug.

    Love these quizzes.  They are very fun and educational.

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Riaz,

      The quizzes are definitely fun – especially, when they have an answer page that can help you get to the right answer.

      The term, assassin, is normally reserved for a living, mobile creature that decimates another living, mobile creature.  A human being who is a hired killer would be rightly called an “assassin.”  But, If I mashed up and destroyed a plant, I don’t think I would qualify for that same moniker, do you?

      The same s true with bugs – all those you mentioned are plant destroyers only.  So, they don’t deserve such a label.  The word we choose for them is – PESTS!  An apt description.


  4. Nicole Stiles Reply

    Those assassin bugs look pretty sweet. Growing up, my grandmother kept a big garden. She definitely had bug problems. Where do they live in the world?

    And I can speak to what’s in a baby’s diaper! If it’s green, they’re probably sick. But the green manure sounds like it’s great for gardens. A nice natural way to fertilize.

    And I think I’m going to have to read and save your post on making chips. That sounds delicious!

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Nicole,

      Yep.  Gotta watch out for them there assassin bugs.  They are common throughout the Americas – North, Central, and South.

      Green manure works wonders for prepping a garden over the winter to get it ready for spring planting.  I’ve got my grains and legumes working the ground and it’s the only area in my yard that stays green.  Everything else is a winter brown.

      The chips are especially delicious if you use the Yukon Gold potatoes.  Red potatoes are almost as good – and, the brown Russets deserve honorable mention.  Oh well, who am I kidding?  They ALL make great potato chips – if it is done right!



  5. Michelle Reply

    Oh my, what a great and interesting article, Jim. I enjoyed it. I learnt a few things too – about the assassin bug…never knew there was such a thing. The ‘concept’ is indeed a great one in the animal world…lol.

    I enjoyed your article on the home-made potato chips. It is so nice to make the time to eat healthy and not be ‘tied’ to the manufactured/processed food. I have shared your article with a friend of mine who LOVES anything ‘potato chips’.

    The bonus ‘elf’ question was a hoot…thanks for the info and the humor.

    I will come again.


    • Jim Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      Glad you enjoyed the December questions and answers.

      Nature has a way to bring things full circle – and, it shows a lot when you look at those gardener-friendly assassin bugs, don’t you think?

      I just recently turned about 20 spuds into some more potato chips.  I just can’t get enough of them.  Though, Marty says I shouldn’t be munching on them so much.

      I had to sneak in a Christmas type of bonus question.  It’s been pretty well received by many followers.  Everyone likes elves.

      Look forward to seeing you on the flip side!


  6. Olatoye Dolapo Reply

    The December 2018 garden quiz and answers are quite educational.  It’s fun to find out just what we know about different gardening aspects.

    And, I just got another name for Broccolini.

    I can see that this is another place I can get information about growing my garden vegetables.

    I know that I will really love to keep visiting to see what else there is in store for me.

    • Jim Reply

      The quizzes and answers are an excellent way to gauge your knowledge about gardening – that’s for sure.

      Look around The Perfect Vegetable Garden and you’ll find a lot more tips, tricks, and tidbits that will interest you, too!


  7. Feedback on article Reply

    Hi Jim,

    I just wanted to say I enjoyed the December Quiz and Answers. I learned something new here and there! For instance, I’ve never heard of Mesclun before.

    And to cook your own potato chips is something I’d never even considered – but am considering now. As you said, it’s a lot healthier that way!

    All in all, a very diverse set of questions that made it a fun challenge. Thanks for sharing!

    And best of luck with your site, I read a lot of insightful articles!



    • Jim Reply

      Hi Raoul,

      I’m happy that you enjoyed the December quiz and the December answers page.

      Mesclun is a great diverse source for growing a variety of lettuce greens at the same time.  I love it, myself.

      Speaking of potato chips – I just microwaved a new batch of them the other day.  Mmmmmm…good!

      Stay tuned for the January quiz and answers – coming soon!


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