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Karenne
September 16th, 2006, 01:49 AM
Well, it is time to start looking around your garden, harvesting your crop, and preparing your garden area for the fall/winter. There is an extensive list of preparation that needs to be done in the fall in preparation for the cold winter months.

So, what do you do? First, find out when your freeze date is in your area. There are several things you can do, but I find this to be the easiest:

http://www.weather.com/outlook/homeandgarden/garden/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USMA0046?locid=USMA0046

Fill in your location and Wal Law! You have the historical information freeze information in your area. Print this off and put it in your gardening folder. This is something you will use time and time again. Also, make notes on the side of your paper so that you can note the actual freeze date in your actual yard.

Next thing to do...get a GOOD temperature gage.

Karenne
September 16th, 2006, 01:57 AM
It is time to fill up containers with late-summer annuals (like zinnias). Time to plant your lilies, and bulbs that you would like to have show up and make your garden beautiful in the spring.

Time to plant new trees, shrubs, and ground covers. Fertilize lawns.

It is also time to divinde and replant perennials.

Karenne
September 17th, 2006, 02:16 AM
It is time to work on planting some of your coll weather vegetable seeds. Popular cool weather vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, beets, spinach, lettuce, peas, garlic, carrots, parsnips, and chard.

If you are starting things in flats to transplant later, it is time to start celery, leeks, lettuce, and onions.

Also it is time to put in your herb seeds or transplants. Remember to watch where you plant your herbs because in the spring they will grow and spread.

If you are going to do companion gardening, make sure you work out a garden layout plan. There are several ways to do this and planning will really pay off.

Here is a neat place to play with some software on line to help you arrange your garden. http://www.plangarden.com/

Don't forget to think about rotation of crops when putting in your herbs!:yes:

Karenne
September 19th, 2006, 12:04 PM
Fresh herbs add pizzazz to any meal. You can enjoy your garden-fresh herbs all year with one of several easy techniques.

Freezing

Freezing preserves essential oils, and it's the oils that give herbs their flavor. Freezing herbs is easy. There's no need to blanch them; just rinse, remove the leaves from the stems and let them dry on a flat tray. You can then put a bunch of these leaves together in a bag and freeze them. You'll end up with a clump of herbs that you can cut up and add to sauces, soups, etc. Or you can freeze the leaves individually first on a flat tray (like a cookie sheet) and then place them in a plastic bag; when you open the bag later, you can pick out as many individual leaves as you like.


Another great method is to blend the herbs with oil to make a paste, which you can then freeze in a plastic container, bag or in ice cube trays. You can freeze just one kind of herb, such as basil, or make your own blend, such as oregano, thyme, parsley and sage.


Drying

Some herbs, such as oregano, sage and thyme, can be air-dried. Just hang small bunches in a well-ventilated room, away from light. When leaves are dry, remove them from their stems and store in an airtight jar.


Unless you live in a very arid climate, herbs such as basil and parsley, which have thick, succulent leaves, are better dried in a dehydrator. Once dry, store them in an airtight container.

Whatever method you choose, be sure to harvest herbs after the flower buds appear but before they open. That way, you'll be sure to get the highest concentration of essential oils. Early morning is the best time to pick your herbs, after the morning dew has evaporated but before the sun gets too hot.

Herbs to Preserve Herbs for Freezing
Basil (retains flavor but discolors)
Chervil **
Cilantro
Chives
Dill **
Lemon balm
Lemon verbena
Lovage
Mint
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary **
Sage
Savory **
Sorrel
Sweet cicely
Sweet marjoram **
Tarragon **
Thyme **
** Can be frozen on stems

Herbs for Drying
Basil
Dill
Fennel
Lovage
Mint
Oregano
Parsley
Rosemary
Sage
Savory
Scented geraniums
Tarragon
Thyme

Karenne
September 19th, 2006, 10:53 PM
Most birds are rather particular about the types of food they’ll eat and the types of feeders they’ll visit. So it's not surprising that the more types of food and feeders you provide, the more types of birds you’ll attract. The most successful backyard birders have an assortment of different feeders, installed at different heights to simulate the way birds feed in the wild. If you want to cover the gamut, here are the three basic types of feeders:

Clinging Feeders – for Clingers. Some birds, including woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees, prefer to grab right onto their food. Some of the feeders that suit these “clingers” include suet feeders, mesh bags filled with thistle seed, compressed seed balls held together with non-toxic glue, seed-covered pinecones, and seed-covered structures that look like birdhouses.

Suet cakes are typically made from ground beef fat, often supplemented with seeds or berries. They are a great source of energy for insect-eating birds, such as woodpeckers, bluebirds and nuthatches. Suet cakes are usually put inside a metal grid or mesh bag. Until recently, suet was only offered during the colder months when it wouldn’t melt or spoil. But there are now no-melt suet cakes that can be offered year-round.
Compressed seed balls, peanut butter coated pinecones rolled in seed, and birdhouses covered with seed make fun and attractive feeders for birds that like to cling.


Platform Feeders – for Ground Feeders. Ground-feeding birds prefer to eat from an open platform that is either directly on the ground or is elevated by several feet. To attract field sparrows, tree sparrows and juncos, you can offer white proso millet. Black-oil sunflower seed will attract a wide variety of ground-feeding birds such as cardinals and grosbeaks. Mourning doves are another common backyard ground feeder.

Perching Feeders – for Perchers. These feeders usually have a central seed chamber and multiple feeding ports. Most common are tube feeders, which have multiple feeding ports, each with its own perch. Another popular style for perchers is the hopper feeder. This type dispenses seed from both sides of a central hopper. There’s usually one wide perch on each side of the feeder that will accommodate multiple birds.
Most tube feeders and hopper feeders can be hung or pole-mounted. Mounting feeders at a height of 5 to 6 feet will suit most species. Black-oil sunflower seed is the hands-down favorite of most perching birds, so it’s a good choice if you want to attract chickadees, cardinals, titmice and nuthatches. Thistle seed, which requires a feeder with smaller seed ports, is particularly appealing to goldfinches, pine siskins and purple finches.

Karenne
September 19th, 2006, 10:57 PM
Pea seeds germinate best at soil temperatures of 50 to 77 degrees F and will emerge in six to 14 days when sown about one inch deep and one inch apart. Standard germination rate for peas is about 80 percent. Since peas grow best in cooler temperatures, perhaps your gardening friends planted too early for a fall crop.

Peas take from 75 to 120 days to mature, depending upon variety. 'Maestro' matures in 110 days; 'Snowbird' in 58 days. You can harvest right up until frost, so count back the number of weeks from your usual first frost of the season, add about a week for germination and plant on the target date for the variety you're growing. Keep the seedbed moist until the plants emerge. Good luck with your pea garden!

MadisonChase
September 21st, 2006, 12:45 PM
Two words in response to the fall to do list: oh lord! :)

Karenne
September 21st, 2006, 06:41 PM
And I am just getting started (rubs hands together in demented glee):tt2:

Linda L Lattimer
September 22nd, 2006, 06:55 PM
One Word, - admiration
You are really great Karenne. I wish I could do some of the things you do, I know everyone has different qualities in life from others, but I admire all you do, and for all the information you give the readers

thanks so much
Linda : )

Karenne
September 23rd, 2006, 12:13 PM
:wub: (blushing) Thank you Linda. You are so sweet. Karen and I just do what we love and that is books and the peole who write them. You are so sweet and I love you.

MadisonChase
September 26th, 2006, 10:48 AM
I guess I'm going to have to get out in my veggie garden and start getting it ready for fall... you've inspired me. The cool weather has too. This is NOT a good thing when I'm on deadline!

Ok, 5000 words and I can go outside to play... 5000 words...

Karenne
September 27th, 2006, 11:05 PM
snicker...I like your planning...words..work..words..work..

let me know if this works! :tt2: