Harvest Herbs Before Frost
Before a hard freeze or frost comes to your area, harvest the stems of the annual or perennial herbs you want to use, freeze, or dry.
Clean up beds
Begin fall cleanup by gathering fallen leaves to add them to your compost pile. After the first frost, your annual herbs—such as the lovely, leafy basils—will be reduced to a slimy black mess. Pull out frost-damaged plants and add them to the compost, too. Avoid composting any leaves that show signs of disease. Empty out containers of annual herbs and compost the soil and foliage.
Move Plants Inside
Many herbs that excel outdoors can make the transition to houseplants. Although the indoor “climate” differs dramatically from the one outdoors, some herbs grow indoors with a little help. Leave annuals outdoors. For use in foods, it makes better sense to dry or freeze annual herbs. Herbs that transition to indoor conditions best include chives, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and mint.
Water Perennial Herbs
Many perennials expand their root growth during fall’s cooler weather, so watering throughout autumn is important to your herb plants’ health. Strong root systems help protect the plant through winter’s freeze-thaw cycles, which can heave weaker perennials from the soil.
Give perennial herbs an end-of-season nutrition boost by adding a thick layer of compost around the bases of the plants. After frost, cut back leafy herbs such as catmint and bee balm. Leave herbs with seed heads intact for winter interest or to feed overwintering birds. For example, poppy, yarrow, and calendula seeds are sold in commercial birdseed mixes, so why not leave them in the garden for a natural snack?
Use season extending row covers to protect hardy herbs such as parsley from frosts. Cover plants on cold nights and continue to use leafy herbs throughout fall and into winter.
In the autumn herb garden, growth slows, seedpods thicken, and the time comes to prepare the garden for the following year and completing the growing season. Here’s what needs to be done.
- Upcycled accessories
- Tree leaves (ligustrum, photinia, azaleas,crepe myrtle, laurel, holly, viburnum or a combination), flattened under a heavy book or tiles
- Mod Podge (Outdoor preferred)
- Artist’s paintbrush
- Spray sealer (optional)
- Hot glue, screws or other fasteners
Get step by step instructions by following the link below.
There is no right or wrong when creating this DIY birdhouse. So grab some leaves, some garage leftovers and have some fun.
By Daris Howard
St. Anthony, Idaho
It’s that time of year when people need to lock their cars. It’s not because there are a lot of criminals running around stealing cars.
No indeed. Rather, it’s because of goodhearted neighbors who want to share their bountiful harvest. Especially with this year’s bumper crop, leaving a car unlocked in my neighborhood is an invitation for someone to stuff it full of zucchini. Though other vegetables are apt to be included, zucchini always seems to be the worst offender.
Some neighbors, at least, have the goodness to call and leave a message informing you of their indulgence on your behalf. But others like to sneak it on a person, fearing that if they confessed, someone might reciprocate.
My sister-in-law, Sharon, recently had a good year for tomatoes. She and her family had eaten and canned so many that they’d begun to feel their skin take on a slightly reddish hue. That’s when she decided it was time to share her blessings.
But tomatoes are not something that can be abandoned in a car on a warm day. They tend to disintegrate and melt into the seat fabric, and for months a person is left with the feeling of driving around inside a ketchup bottle.
So Sharon did the only decent thing she could do under the circumstances: She started calling everyone she knew. When that failed, she began canvassing the neighborhood like a politician, eventually finding a neighbor delighted at the prospect of fresh produce. “Feel free to take whatever you want,” Sharon told her.
Later that day, when Sharon arrived home from work, she found that her garden had indeed been harvested. She felt happy that she could help someone and that the food didn’t go to waste.
A few days later, Sharon answered the door. There was the neighbor, holding a piping hot loaf of some kind of sweet bread. The warm, spicy scent made Sharon’s mouth water. The neighbor smiled pleasantly. “I wanted to thank you for all of the tomatoes, and I have to admit that I took a few other things and hoped you wouldn’t mind.”
Sharon couldn’t think of anything else in her garden that had been worth harvesting and said as much. “Oh, but you did,” the neighbor said. “You had some of the prettiest zucchini I’ve ever seen.”
Sharon was confused. Zucchini in her garden? They hadn’t even planted any zucchini. Could there have been one rogue zucchini that sprouted up in some corner of the yard? Sometimes the garden held those little surprises, but Sharon couldn’t imagine where it would be.
But her neighbor insisted that there really were bright-green zucchini in Sharon’s garden. They weren’t huge, but they were succulent and ripe, with a nice yellow tinge.
Sharon’s curiosity got the better of her and she had to go see where the zucchini had grown. The two of them walked together into the backyard and over to a vine that was growing near the tomatoes. When the neighbor pointed at the long green vegetables, Sharon smiled.
“Well, actually, those are cucumbers that we never harvested, because they got too big, soft and bitter for eating or canning.”
The neighbor looked at Sharon, shock written all over her face. She gulped a few times, and then, smiling, held out the bread, part of a batch she had shared all over the neighborhood. “I brought you a nice loaf of cucumber bread. I hope you like it.”
This garden joke played out with a case of mistaken vegetable identity.
Once you learn how to hand feed hummingbirds, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is! Start by creating this simple DIY hummingbird feeder to hang in your window. Then, when the hummingbirds are used to feeding from it, turn it into a hand-held hummingbird feeder and bring the action right up close!
- 12 inches of 18-gauge copper wire
- 1/2-inch suction cup with a hole in the base
- Plastic test tube with cap
- Decorative beads (optional)
- Artificial flower without stem
- Small wire cutters
- Pliers (for twisting and spiraling wire)
Cut an 8-inch piece from the copper wire. Let the wire naturally take a half-moon shape. Lace 2 inches of the wire through the hole in the suction cup and then fold and twist the wire until secure.
Bend the longer end of the wire gently with your hands into an arc, leaving 3/4 inch at the very end for the hook that will attach to the feeder. Take your pliers and make a large loop at the very end of the arc, forming a shepherd’s hook, with the open end on the top or facing up. This will make it easier to attach the feeding tube quickly and will prevent the feeder from falling off.
Take the remaining 4 inches of copper wire and wrap it around the test tube, with one end much longer than the other. Use pliers to twist and secure the wire to the test tube. This should leave a 3/4-inch tail remaining to attach a decorative glass bead. Slide the ring you have made more than halfway up the tube, so that when full, the feeder will stay up.
Slide another bead onto the open end of the wire wrapped around the tube and use pliers to spiral the wire and close it up completely. Now the copper wire is wrapped firmly around the feeding tube and you have a loop to attach to your hook with the suction cup.
Make a small hole in the tube’s cap, place it on the tube and poke the end of the artificial flower through the center so that the hummingbirds can get at the nectar as naturally as possible. If the flower doesn’t have a hole in it, make one with a pin.
Attach the closed loop on the tube to the upward-facing shepherd’s hook with the suction cup. Make sure your window is clean so the suction cup will be secure.
Once they’ve found your feeder, you’ll want to know how to feed hummingbirds by hand. After the birds are comfortable using the feeder with you nearby, take the next step. Once the birds fly away, hold the feeder in your hand facing away from you. Stay as still as possible. Once the birds get used to you, they’ll approach you without fear!
Many people dream of learning how to hand feed hummingbirds. This DIY hand-held hummingbird feeder is the perfect way to start!
Didn’t get around to cleaning out those flower beds this fall? Now you can justify it—not only is it good for your plants, but it’s also a great food source for the birds! I’ll admit I personally use these excuses a little too often to put off autumn chores. Keep in mind that you will need to remove any diseased plants, but leaving the seed-bearing plants up actually increases the chance of the plants’ winter survival. And with snowy days and freezing nights, your feathered friends are looking for food just about anywhere they can get it, so they’ll appreciate the extra food the plants provide.
In a world of seemingly overwhelming plant and gardening product choices, it’s important to have tips, tricks, and ideas tailored to you. Find out what kind of gardener you are, and get advice to help you grow your best garden yet!
Source: What Kind of Gardener Are You?
Benefits of Building a Raised Bed:
- Filled with rich soil and valuable compost, a raised bed offers an ideal planting medium — especially where soil is poor or compacted.
- Soil drains easily, promoting healthy plants. Soil warms earlier in spring, giving the gardener a head start on planting and a longer, more productive growing season.
- Made any size and shape, raised beds typically provide a more manageable garden.
- The bed’s framework gives you a place to kneel, sit, or stand.
- The deeper the bed, the less you’ll need to bend over to work it.
- Three-foot deep beds are adaptable to a wheelchair as well as gardening while standing.
- Turn a problematic slope into terraced gardens as in the front yard-turned vegetable garden that’s shown.
- Raised beds hold soil and moisture better than sloping ground.
- Planted intensively, raised beds hold more plants and offer greater yields from edible plants.
- Raised beds offer an inexpensive option, especially if you recycle materials for bed edges, such as concrete block, or lumber.
- They provide a way to combat burrowing animals, such as moles.
- To keep critters out, staple hardware cloth across the bottom of the bed before filling it with soil.
- Minimize weeding, especially if you line the bottom of the bed with landscape fabric before filling it with soil.
- Edging prevents grass and weeds from creeping into the garden, meaning less maintenance.
- Use small raised beds to nurture young plants and get them off to a good start without competition from other plants.
- Set cold frames over the beds to extend the growing season in fall and spring.
Source: Build a Raised Bed
11 Tips for a Lush Lawn
Use these tips to have the best lawn in the neighborhood!
Here are some great tips to a better looking lawn all year round. We all love having a lush green lawn around our house. The lawn is the place the kids can play and family BBQ’s are always cooler with healthy green grass around the patio.
Knowing what to do and when to do it makes all the difference in the health and beauty of your lawn.
Check out these tips…Source: 11 Tips for a Lush Lawn | The Family Handyman