Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Frost is Coming, Are You Ready?

last harvest of 2009

Well, it's officially fall: gloomy, rainy and chilly. And now that the first frost is coming tomorrow night, I can no longer deny that it's the end of a another garden season as well.

If you're a noob like me, I'd like to offer some words of wisdom I learned the hard way: don't take the first frost too lightly. It doesn't take much to turn those green tomatoes, veggies and flowers to mush, so if a frost is coming to your area get ready to cover up your delicates or pick them early.

Picking the almost-ripe produce is a no brainer, but what if frost is headed your way and like me your garden is bursting with green tomatoes or other unripe produce? Don't despair, those green tomatoes need not go to waste. Just pick them and either fry them and enjoy, or wrap them in newspaper and place in a cool, dark spot and they'll still ripen. I haven't tried ripening green tomatoes indoors yet because last year I thought the first frost wouldn't hurt and I lost a LOT of tomatoes, but I'll let you know how it goes this year. I've already got some green lovelies tucked in the basement and waiting, just in case, even though the frost won't hit tonight.

Don't forget about annuals or other flowers either. If you want to cover them go ahead, but if not, cut em and bring em inside to enjoy for a little while longer. Afterall winter is coming and it will be a while before we enjoy them again.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What a Difference a Rearrange Makes!

It always bothered me that there was no room in my kitchen for my cookbooks, because afterall, what better place for cookbooks to live than in the kitchen? But with no pantry, my cabinet space was filled with food, dinnerware and other necessities.

Then, thanks to some online inspiration and a quick rearrange, I found a way to squeeze my cookbooks into the kitchenNow the corner cabinet is more than just display space, it's functional too.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Garden's Not Done Yet

This hasn't been a good summer for blogging, too much to do too little time, but it's been a great summer for my garden! I didn't want to miss yet another Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, so here's a better-late-than-never trip through my September garden.

Pic details: 1) zinnias*, 2) zinnias*, 3) roses, 4) poppies*, 5) snapdragons* 6) globe amarath* 7) lavender 8) Irish-Eyed Rudbeckia* and 9) nasturiums*.

I especially love that most of these flowers were winter-sown (everything marked with an asterisk). Winter-sowing is a super-easy way to get loads of interesting and cheap plants without having to babysit seedlings.

Want to see more blooms? Visit May Dreams Gardens every month on the 15th to see what's blooming in gardens around the world.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Note to Self, You Can Compost a Lot More!

Thanks to Apartment Therapy's link to this handy list of 75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn't on Planet Green, I can start diverting a lot more stuff from the trash to the compost pile. Which is great, because despite composting and recycling, we still produce way, way too much trash. I blame the cats (because I can).

I routinely compost coffee and coffee filters, tea bags, veggie scraps, egg shells and non-weed plant material. But I'm not sure why I never added expired grains, cereal and bread. Also, until the leaves fall I'm low on browns, a need which cardboard can fill nicely. However, I'm not too sure about composting cat food, it's full of meat so I'm afraid it would attract rodents; or used paper towels and tissues, besides being gross what about the bleach and chemicals?

But stuff in the compost, means more nutrient rich brown gold for my garden and more flowers for me, like those yummy Zinnias pictured above. It's a win, win.


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