Sunday, September 24, 2017

Hints Of Color

Tall or short
Great or small
Container plants
Color our fall

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Herbs For The Catch Of The Day

National Hunting and Fishing Day is celebrated on the fourth Saturday of every September. And while I've never been a fan of gunpowder and loud noises, I have had the pleasure of enjoying the relaxing activity of fishing. And as it turns out, there are several herbs that are relatively easy to grow in the garden that greatly enhance the flavor of fish.
  • As many of you may have already guessed, basil is at the top of the list. I have found that lemon basil pairs well with many different types of fish and I've even used it to enhance the flavor of my crock pot fish chowder.
  • Chives are another herb that add a nice accent to fish dishes whether they are sprinkled on top after the fish is done or cooked along with it.
  • Rosemary is a wonderful herb for fish whether it's fresh or dried. But be aware that fresh rosemary has stronger citrus notes than its dry form.
  • Sage also goes well with fish. However, its use requires care and a light hand as its intensity increases with cooking or if it is frozen before being used in dishes.
  • And although many Americans don't grow it, French tarragon, which is well suited for even a windowsill garden, adds a light, delicate flavor to fish dishes. 
So there you have it, a short list of flavor enhancers for your next fish dish. Give them each a try and see which one(s) suit your fancy.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Equinox Spectacular

On a pyramid constructed over 1000 years ago in the ancient Mayan city of Chichén Itza, at the precise time of the spring and fall  equinoxes, the sun casts its rays on the balustrade of one of  four 91 step staircases, and highlights a 120 foot feathered serpent that seems to be moving or slithering its way down the steps. 

This spectacular event is brought to you by a group of people who were allegedly unsophisticated savages that had to be cleared away in order for progress and civilization to spring forth in the Americas.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Stocking Up

On this date in 1938 patent #2,130,948 was granted for the material known as nylon. The success of this synthetic fiber led to a severe reduction in the demand for silk stockings, a ton of money for its creator, DuPont and the creation of the colloquial term nylons. But did you know that in addition to adorning the legs of millions of women past and present, nylons have a use in the garden? 

When growing melons or heavy winter squash vertically, nylons can supply much needed support(no pun intended) to make sure that your crop doesn't come crashing to the ground. And finding used nylons isn't a problem at all in most households. So give your vertical gardening efforts a lift and help delay the journey of a used item to the refuse bin.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Round 2?

It looks as though my container butterbush squash plant is trying to produce a second crop. Unfortunately, the traditional first frost date in this area is less that a month away. I don't think these squash will mature before then, but I'll hope for the best.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Some Things To Do In The Vegetable Garden In September

  • Keep harvesting crops. If you have a glut of fruit and veggies try freezing, drying, freeze drying, pickling, and storing so that you can enjoy them later on. 
  • Pull or cut off the foliage of main crop potatoes at ground level 3 weeks before lifting them to prevent blight spores infecting the tubers as you lift them. This will also help to firm the skins of the potatoes. 
  • Spread newly dug potatoes out to dry for a few hours before storing them in in a cool, dry,  dark place. Paper or hessian sacks are best for this as they will allow the crop to breathe while it is in storage. Only store undamaged, disease free potatoes - one rotten tuber can ruin your whole crop!
  • It will help your pumpkins ripen in time for Halloween if you remove any leaves which shadow the fruits.
  • Place pumpkins and squash on a piece of slate or wood to raise them off wet soil and prevent rotting.
  • Start the autumn cleanup. Remove any old crops that have finished and clear away weeds to leave your plot clean and tidy for the winter.
  • Make cuttings from herbs so you can start them rooting in water and pot them up later for overwintering on your window sills.
  • The end of this month is the perfect time to start planting garlic bulbs for next year's crop.
  • Start planting autumn onion sets.

Sunday, September 17, 2017