Jim’s February 2019 Garden Answers

February 2019 Garden Answers

Find all the solutions here for the February 2019 Quiz.  Capture more detailed information by clicking the links for each answer and go directly to the articles – or, just travel around The Perfect Vegetable Garden for an exciting adventure!


Answer to Question #1

The question was: The Old Farmer’s Almanac is the best selling garden book – ever!  It has been in publication for how long?  A) 20 years, B) 50 years, C) 100 years, or D) More than 2 centuries.

The correct answer is:

D) More than 2 centuriesOld Farmer’s Almanac 2019, Trade Edition

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is chock full of information not only for gardeners – but, also for anyone who truly loves being outdoors.  It contains planting charts, planting schedules, weather forecasts, times for sunrise and sunset, phases of the moon, and, for dwellers on the east, west, and gulf coasts, there are tide tables showing high and low tides.

In the 2019 edition, you will also find some folklore wisdom, common sense home remedies, and a smattering of humor!


This answer is found in Gardener Gift Ideas For Your Favorite Gardening Enthusiast.


Answer to Question #2

The question was: My electrical power only goes out once or twice a year – but, it can last several days or more.  So, I want to buy a portable generator to keep my refrigerator going when I have power outages.  My fridge uses up about 700 watts of power when running – thus, I think that a 1,000 watt generator is more than enough for my needs.  A) True or B) False

The correct answer is:

B) False

In addition to the 700 running (rated) watts the refrigerator is using, the portable generator must be able to supply the additional power to start up the fridge.  This is called starting (surge) watts – and, in this case, it is 2,200 watts – over 3 times the running (rated) watts that’s needed to keep it going.  With a 1,000 watt generator, the refrigerator would not be able to start – and, the out-of-range power demand could kill the generator.

For this application, I need a portable generator that would supply 700 running (rated) watts PLUS 2,200 starting (surge) watts – which equals 2,900 total watts.  Hence, the minimum size generator I should purchase is one rated for a total of 3,000 watts.


This answer is found in Generator Reviews.


Answer to Question #3

The question was: One of my friends recently purchased a DuroMax XP10000EH dual fuel generator.  This puppy puts out 10kW of surge (starting) power and 8kW of running (rated) power.  He says it pretty much runs everything in his house.  However, the other day, he told me that both his computer and his TV quit working after being powered by the generator.  What do you think happened?  A) Something must be wrong with the generator for this to happen.  B) It is a coincidence that his computer and TV broke while being powered by the generator.  They were old and ready to break at any time anyway.  C) The generator killed his computer and TV.

The correct answer is:

C) The generator killed his computer and TV.

 DuroMax XP10000EHThe chances that a brand new generator, especially, a DuroMax, would be faulty are slim to none.  The care and quality that goes into these machines is beyond reproach.  I suppose there could always be a “lemon” in the bunch.  But, I highly doubt it.

I don’t believe in such a far fetching coincidence that, even though the computer and TV were getting old, they just happened to break at exactly the same time – while powered by the portable generator.  This exceeds the scope of my imagination.

Though the XP10000EH is a great generator, it doesn’t put out the “pure sine wave” necessary to safely power sensitive electronics like my neighbor’s computer and TV.  It is likely that there were some extra sharp electrical spikes during a recent storm that shot straight into these appliances and sent them to their death.  To safely power sensitive electronics with this generator, a few added components – like a line conditioner and / or a surge protector – are necessary.


This answer is found in The DuroMax XP10000EH Dual Fuel Generator Review.


Answer to Question #4

The question was: The Generac 7043 22kW Generator is one of the best home standby generators on the market today.  But, one drawback is that an external propane tank must be installed to fuel it.  A) True or B) False

The correct answer is:

B) FalseGenerac 7043 22kW home installation

Besides being able to run on propane, the Generac 7043 can also be hooked up to the home’s natural gas – making it a very versatile answer to whole house power needs in the event of a power blackout.

In my opinion, the only real drawback is the cost of installation – which could run almost as much as the generator itself.  It is prudent to place the generator on a solid, concrete pad – and, have a certified electrician experienced with standby generator installations to set it up.

In all actuality, generators don’t get much better than this Generac model.


This answer is found in Generac 7043 22kW Home Standby Generator Review.


Answer to Question #5

The question was: Mary Washington is the name of:  A) George Washington’s wife, B) A variety of apple tree, C) A variety of asparagus, D) A university in Fredericksburg, VA, E) Both “A” and “B”, F) Both “C” and “D”, G) All of the above, H) None of the above.

The correct answer is:

F) Both “C” and “D”

“A)” – George Washington, the first president of the U.S.A. and the “father of the country” was married to Martha Washington.  His mother was named Mary, though.

“B)” – To my recollection, there isn’t an apple tree variety named “Mary Washington.”  However, there is an excellent drink called, the “Washington Apple.”  The drink is composed of equal portions of Crown Royal whiskey, apple schnapps, and cranberry juice – and it has a deliciously sweet and sour fruity flavor.Asparagus - Mary Washington

“C)” – One of the most grown varieties of asparagus is Mary Washington.  The plant produces juicy spears and, even after harvesting, it is still beautiful to behold.

“D)” – The University of Mary Washington is a public liberal arts and sciences university located on College Avenue, in Fredericksburg, VA.

Thus, both “C)” and “D)” are correct.  But, as long as you got the fact that this is a variety of asparagus, mark your answer correct – because, after all, this is a gardening website and we really don’t care about the names of colleges now, do we?


This answer is found in The Best Organic Vegetable Seeds – For All Your Veggie Growing Needs.


Answer to Question #6

The question was: What is the total harmonic distortion of the A-iPower SUA15000EC portable generator?  A) 50%, B) 15%, C) 10%, or D) Less than 5%.

The correct answer is:

D) Less than 5%.A-iPower SUA15000EC Pure Sine Wave Generator

This is a tough question – unless you’ve at least read the review for this generator.  Since the A-iPower SUA15000EC is a “pure sine wave” generator, it produces less than 5% total harmonic distortion (THD) – which makes it a safe bet to supply power to sensitive electronics like computers, laptops, TVs, etc. – anything with printed circuit boards and semiconductors.

For this reason, this generator costs a little more than less expensive choices.

Cheaper generators have much higher THD – in the neighborhood of 10% to 15% – which means additional equipment must be used to protect sensitive electronics that are hooked up to them.


This answer is found in A-iPower SUA15000EC Pure Sine Wave Generator Review.


Answer to Question #7

The question was: The Briggs and Stratton Model 40396 Generator is a good source of electrical power when the main power goes off.  I guess you could say it is:  A) An inexpensive portable generator, B) A dual fuel generator, C) A pure sine wave generator, D) A home standby generator, E) All but “A)”, or F) None of the above.

The correct answer is:

D) A home standby generatorBriggs and Stratton 40396 homeowner comments

If ever there might be a better home standby generator than the Generac 7043, it would be the Briggs and Stratton 40396 Home Standby Generator.

Though this generator is a little pricey, you’ll have to admit that, along with it, you get all the bells and whistles of a high quality package that will give you total peace of mind during any power outage.

I guess you could also call it a “dual fuel” generator, too – since it can operate using either the home’s natural gas lines or an external liquid propane tank.  Although, it is not advertised as “dual fuel” – since that nomenclature usually points to using gasoline as one of the fuels.

And, even though, it’s not touted as a “pure sine wave” generator, it does produce less than 5% total harmonic distortion (THD) – meaning it will safely power all sensitive electronics – like computers and TVs.


This answer is found in Briggs and Stratton Home Generators – The Briggs and Stratton 40396.


Answer to Question #8

The question was: The Snow Joe iON8024 XRP Snow Blower is one mean foe to any pile of snow that has the audacity to pile up on your driveway and sidewalks!  What fuel does it use?  A) Unleaded gasoline, B) K-1 grade undyed kerosene, C) It plugs in to the home’s electrical outlet, D) It is battery powered, E) It is a revolutionary solar powered machine, or F) None of the above.

The correct answer is:

D) It is battery powered.Snow Joe iON8024-XRP customer compliments.

Though most of the really powerful snow blowers / throwers run on gas, the Snow Joe iON8024 XRP does not.  However, with its 2-stage design, it is a pretty good match up with other 2-stage gas-powered machines.

I’ve never heard of a snow blower powered by kerosene.  If anyone else has, please let me know – that would be something!

No long extensions cords are needed with this baby.

The lithium-ion batteries supply all the power needed for this monster machine!  Did the model number, “iON8024″, give it away?

I would highly doubt the ability and effectiveness of a solar powered snow blower.  There just ain’t such an animal!  At least yet – to my knowledge.  But, I’m sure, that one day – in the not too distant future – one will grace this earth!


This answer is found in Snow Joe iON8024 XRP 2-Stage Snow Blower Review.


Answer to Question #9

The question was: Somewhere yesterday, I saw “Dragon Tongue Langerie” – and I started scratching my head – creating a nice, round bald spot.  What the heck is does it mean?  A) It’s the name of an up and coming offshoot gang of the Chinese mafia, or B) This is a dragon revered in many Asian cultures as being unstoppable, C) A technique for licking an especially delicious and sweet treat – “draggin’ tongue a long way” – or, is this pretty far fetched?, or D) A variety of rare and exotic beans.

The correct answer is:

D) A variety of rare and exotic beans.

Dragon Tongue Langerie Beans by BurpeeDragon Tongue Langerie Beans by Stonysoil









These uniquely rare and exotic beans – with their stunning yellow pods and purple veins – are heirloom French beans that are so tasty, your mouth will light you up with each bite.  They are stringless, half runner beans.  Both Burpee and Stonysoil have some great seeds for these excellent tasting, but double-ugly beans!


This answer is found in Rare Exotic Plants For The Backyard Garden – Part 1 – Beans.


Answer to Question #10

The question was: What is a great way to increase seed germination and growth rates?  A) Soak them in water, B) Heat them in an oven at low heat, C) Freeze the seeds, D) There is no successful technique to do this.

The correct answer is:

A) Soak them in water.Bowl of water to soak seeds.

A day or so before beginning the germination process, soak the seeds in room temperature water.  This will dramatically increase the germination rate and seedlings will grow a lot more rapidly.

If a few seeds still aren’t peeking out of their shells, lightly sand or scratch off some of the seed coating in a few areas – then do a re-soak.

If you heat seeds in an oven, you may as well salt them and eat them because they will be dead to the world.

Freezing is a good way to store seeds for a long period of time.  But, it’s not a good way to get them to germinate easier or quicker.


This answer is found in Rare Exotic Plants For The Backyard Garden – Part 1 – Beans.



The question was: What number would the question mark be in this series:

Number series brain teaser.

The correct answer is:



The numbers in the first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, and eleventh positions are “counting numbers”:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

  • Adding “2” to the number “1” (first position) equals 3 – or, 1 + (1 x 2) = 3.
  • Adding “2+2” to the number “2” (third position) equals 6 – or, 2 + (2 x 2) = 6.
  • Adding “2+2+2” to the number 3 (fifth position) equals 9 – or, 3 + (3 x 2) = 9.

Follow this sequence to completion and, you will be adding “2+2+2+2+2+2” to the number “6” (eleventh position) and the question mark becomes “18” – or, 6 + (6 x 2) = 18.

Taking this one step further – say that my “counting number” is 100.  What would the next number be in the sequence?

Well, it would be “100” plus 100 times 2 which equals 300 – or, 100 + (100 x 2) = 300.

Simple, isn’t it?  Hope your brain didn’t hurt as much as mine did when I obsessed over this problem!


That’s it for February, 2019.  But, it won’t be long until next month’s question and answer session.  So, stay tuned…

Email me or comment below and tell me what’s on your mind.  I can’t wait to hear from you!


Jim, the Lifelong Gardener


16 thoughts on “Jim’s February 2019 Garden Answers

  1. Louis Reply

    I like the idea you used behind this post. It’s very interactive and can help bring past articles to the memory of the audience. I must say though, I don’t think I got more than average, pardon my memory. Just on a lighter note, is there a prize for getting the correct answers? 

    Hope to hear your feedback.


    • Jim Reply

      Hi Louis,

      These monthly quizzes and answer sheets have been a hit with my gardening audience.  Most of them can answer an “average” number of questions correctly – so, you’re part of the majority.

      Your prize for correct answers?  Well it is automatic!  You have just learned some new things – and, isn’t that a prize in itself?



  2. Divine13 Reply

    I must tell you, this is a very educational write up. I learned a lot from these questions and answers.

    And following the links provided to see more about the question, I was able to learn more.

    I can’t wait to go through the ones for the other months Jim.

    Kudos and keep it up!

    • Jim Reply

      Thanks, for the kudos.  If I was able to impart some knowledge to you, I have met my goals for this month’s questions and answers!

      I’m sure you will find much more information in many of the other installments, too.  Just have a look and let me know what you think!


  3. Corey Reply

    This was very informative! I like how you took a Q&A approach to the subject matter as some of these questions I probably would not have even thought to ask. With Spring right around the corner, I was considering helping my grandmother out in her garden some this year because she has always been big into it. I feel like with the posts and the book you suggested, I can have a better idea of what I’m doing once I get out there. Usually I’m just the weed pulling grandson so I wouldn’t mind actually having an idea of how to helping and helping out. Thank you for the information!

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Corey,

      I was once my grandmother’s “weed pulling grandson”, too.  It brings back fond memories of days spent in the garden with both her and my grandfather.

      Now, when you help your grandmother in her garden, you can amaze her with your gardening knowledge!


  4. Peace Reply

    Hi Jim,

    I was completely floored by the answers to some of these questions. I feel like I’m now less of a novice to gardening related questions.

    I learned a lot, but the one that stood out for me and that I’d try not to forget, is the seed germination question. Now I know that soaking seeds before planting them, increases their germination speed and rate.

  5. Adamu2 Reply

    I absolutely loved reading this insightful article because it is full of great information.  There were many things I did not know about – including snow blowers and generators.

    I can’t wait for the next month’s questions and answers to learn more about gardening!

    Thanks for writing such an informative article!

    Best Regards

    • Jim Reply

      I try to make each month’s questions and answers unique, challenging, and informative – adding to the knowledge of even the most experienced gardener.

      March’s questions and answers should fit the mold.  And, it’s coming soon!


  6. ShaniL Reply

    Hi Jim,

    I am pleased to come across your monthly questions and answers pages on farming and agriculture.

    Firstly and most importantly, I should say that I really enjoyed reading it. It’s of a familiar format of writing that reminded me of the multiple choice questions from my school days. This format makes your content much easier to remember.

    Thanks again and Best wishes.

    • Jim Reply

      I try to make these monthly questions and answers easy to remember through a relaxed and fun presentation of a lot of interesting facts.

      Many others have commented – like you – that they retain the information much more this way.  So, I plan on keeping up the same format with each new set of quizzes.


  7. Kenechi Reply

    I have actually learned a lot from this month’s garden quiz and answer page.

    I had an argument with my friend some months ago about the best selling garden books but none of us got the right answer and I even thought I was right by my own answer. I am happy I just got the answer in your article and I am going to tell him that it is the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

    Thanks for compiling these quiz and answer pages.  I look forward to participating in the March installment!

    • Jim Reply

      It’s great that you learned some interesting things relating to gardening – and, in an entertaining way.

      Many folks have never heard how great the Old Farmer’s Almanac really is.  Now, you and your friends know it, too!


  8. Sylvia Reply

    Wow, I never had that much fun reading an article as I had with yours, this was just awesome.

    I loved the questions but I also could have gone without the Bonus question since math isn’t really my thing at all, not that kind of math anyway. lol

    However, I also have found your article not only informative but educational as well.

    Living in the countryside does has its beauty and it also has its perks. I do like using the information of the Farmers Almanac, when it comes to gardening, for a number of years and it served me well.

    Furthermore, my husband and I are considering in getting a generator since we do experience, more than we like, power outages around the year. It doesn’t have to be only due to stormy weather like rain and thunder or blizzards, nope, we also can experiencing it when the sun shines and the wind is quiet.

    I certainly will take a closer look and will read the posts from those two generators I have set my eyes on.

    Btw, I wouldn’t trust much a battery powered snow blower, not where we live anyway. However, I can see it can be useful when living in a town etc where people don’t have large properties or long driveways to clean out. Again, just my gut feeling on that. 🙂

    Thanks for all the great information and I have saved your site for further reference.


    • Jim Reply

      Hi Sylvia,

      I am happy that my February 2019 Garden Answers did what it was meant to do – be educational and informative – but, in a FUN way.  I have found that knowledge sticks with us far longer if it is gained in such a way as to not actually appear like having to “learn” something.

      The Old Farmer’s Almanac is a great read!  Many of my fellow gardeners subscribe to it and they never regret it.

      I can see that you are definitely a candidate for a reliable backup generator – especially, since you even have power outages when the weather is calm and quiet.  A lot of folks don’t think that it can happen in good weather as well as bad.

      You’re exactly right – battery powered snow throwers / blowers are able to handle the light, flurries kind of snow on small areas.  But, for most applications, a gas powered machine works best and is much more efficient.  The problem comes down to cost.

      It won’t be long until the March quizzes will be posted – so, stand by for some more great questions!


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