Mow, don’t rake

What would you say if I told you that the world’s leading sellers of lawn fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides suggest mowing leaves into your lawn as a way to improve nutrition, add organic material and promote disease resistance?

You can also use a power mower to collect leaves quickly and efficiently, which also reduces them to a size good for the compost or simply getting more per lawn bag.

Because, science: https://ag.umass.edu/…/yard-waste-management-in-massachuset…

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How to prepare for frost

Farewell, nasturtium. Our time together has been peppery sweet.

Frost is forecast – here is a quick list of you NEED to do and what you SHOULD do.

 

What you NEED to do:

  1. Pay your bills in order to avoid late fees.
  2. Prepare supper. I recommend soup or stew with a loaf of fresh bread for the cold weather.
  3. If a “hard freeze” is predicted (at least four consecutive hours below 25° F) then you should also turn off water at the spigot and try to empty hose and irrigation lines, or at least leave them open and empty them soon.

Now the longer list of what you probably SHOULD do:

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Saving butterflyweed seeds

Monarch butterflies aren’t the only ones that love butterflyweed.

Finding Asclepias tuberosa or Butterflyweed seed pods is relatively easy. Getting the seeds without a load of the white “silks,” however, can be a bit more difficult unless you know how to open and hold the pod for seed saving. Continue reading

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Potato bags, bins and harvests

We grow potatoes more for the fun than the quantity, since I’m the only one that eats them. This is half of this year’s crop.

This is half of our potato crop. At home we grow them in potato “bags” made of polypropylene. At schools and other places we grow them in storage containers with holes drilled in them. 

One great thing about this method is that once you run out of space in the garden you can just plunk a tub anywhere, regardless of soil quality (or any soil at all) and grow potatoes. Continue reading

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Hold onto your parsley, people!

Flat leaf parsley. You don’t need to do this much at a time.

Now is the time to harvest and quickly preserve lots of parsley for winter soups (and soup stocks).

Sure, parsley will survive much cooler weather, but as the daylight wanes and cooler daytime temps become the norm, the aesthetic appeal of the plants diminishes and eventually it becomes a bunch of limp, dangling green branches that are halfway to mush. Continue reading

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Compost volunteers in the garden

Three of the several volunteer pumpkins we’ll get this year.

Composting rarely kills off all tomato and squash seeds. This is one reason that municipal yard waste programs don’t want you to place your pumpkins in yard waste.

If you don’t want the “volunteer” tomato and squash plants that pop up, they’re easy enough to pull. Sometimes, however, they work to your advantage.

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Maple leaves have fallen and we’re all going to live

Maple Tar Spot. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

This is a follow up to the recent post “maple leaves falling and we’re all going to die.

Turns out, stories of our imminent death may have been premature. I was able to contact Professor George Hudler of Cornell for more information, and he’s got more good news. Continue reading

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Our apple harvest

Some of this year’s harvest.

Every other year we typically get a great apple harvest from our Gala tree. What you’re looking at is this year’s harvest, in a plastic bag in the trash can.

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Maple leaves are falling and we’re all going to die

Maple Tar Spot infected leaf. Image used with these permissions: Use:Saforrest, Black tar spot on sugar maple, CC BY-SA 3.0

I’ve received a lot of questions about the diseased Maple leaves falling early and whether they’re safe to compost.

I’m terrible at this whole “don’t give an answer right away in order to drag readers along” so here’s the short answer:

If you hot compost, you can compost them.
If not, send the leaves away.

More explanation and information after the jump. Continue reading

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We keep our harvest, but we don’t can

 

By this time in the season many people have pulled out their ball jars, boiled their lids and are well on their way to filling their pantry with home preserved goods.

We’re not doing any of that, and that’s by design.

 

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