Planting for a Fall Harvest

Late summer is a time for harvesting and enjoying a lot of the vegetables you planted in the spring. Now is a great time to plant some new crops that you can have for a fall harvest. Many root and leafy vegetables grow well in late summer and fall, right up till the first frost and beyond. So keep your garden growing and enjoy more wonderful fresh vegetables.

Beets, radishes and lettuces are among the list of vegetables will grow nicely in the fall. It’s best to know the average when the first frost date average is  your area, in order to calculate when to plant these late vegetables so they’ll mature before being killed by cold weather.

Vegetables for midsummer planting

Crop Days to maturity Cold hardiness Crop Days to maturity Cold hardiness
Basil 30-60 Killed by frost Green onion 60-70 Survives high 20s
Beets 50-60 Survives high 20s Kale 40-65 The hardiest – down to 20°
Bush beans 45-65 Killed by frost Kohlrabi 50-60 Survives light frost
Broccoli 50-70 Survives light frost Leaf lettuce 40-60 Survives light frost
Brussels sprouts 90-100 The hardiest – down to 20 ° Mustard greens 30-40 Survives light frost
Cabbage 50-90 The hardiest – down to 20° Peas 70-80 (longer than if planted in spring) Survives high 20s
Cauliflower 60-80 Survives light frost Radishes 30-60 Dig until soil freezes
Cilantro 60-70 Survives light frost Spinach 35-45 Survives light frost; may overwinter
Collard greens 40-65 The hardiest – down to 20° Swiss chard 40-60 Survives light frost
Garlic Harvest the following July Winters over in ground Turnips 50-60 Survives light frost

Leafy vegetables, such as Swiss chard, kale and mustard greens can be harvested before the leaves reach full size. Often these small leaves are more tender and tasty than mature ones. These crops can be planted in succession every few weeks over the course of the spring and summer, to provide a steady supply of young leaves. Lettuce tends to bolt and taste bitter when grown in the heat of summer, so just enjoy it in spring or wait until temperatures cool to plant a late crop. Shade from taller plants may help improve the quality of summer-grown lettuce, as will selecting varieties suited for warm weather.

Basil and cilantro are fast-growing herbs that are ready for harvest about a month after sowing the seed. Garlic planted in September produces the biggest bulbs the following July, so after harvesting a late-maturing crop, you can plant garlic in that space.

Thanks to the University of Minnesota for these tips

Herbs Right From Your Window

Adding a flower window box outside your kitchen window is an awesome idea. But instead of flowers, plant your favorite herbs to pick fresh when you want to add them to the meal or sauce you are putting together.

Just about any herb, Dill, Thyme, Sage, Basil, you name it, will grow nicely in a window box, where they will be less likely to be bothered by insects or animals and be easy to take care of.

At Amazon there are all different shapes and sizes of window boxes you can get to fit your needs.

You can even add strawberries to your planter for a little extra enjoyment.



Fake Rocks and Boulders for Your Garden

Rocks and Boulders can add charm to any landscape, when nestled around plants and flowers they will make your garden a show piece to wow all of your fiends and neighbors. Purchasing then for your garden can be expensive and even if you have them on you property, moving them to where you want them can be heavy hard work.

Consider making your own fake rocks and boulders for your garden, they can save the expense and hard work of real ones, with  just a few tools and ingredients you can make your own rocks and add some beauty to your garden.


In a sheltered spot away from breezes, mix together portland cement, perlite and peat moss with the hand trowel in the wheelbarrow.

Add water, mixing with the hand trowel, until the mixture is damp but not crumbly.

Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes.

Push the chicken wire into a rock or boulder shape. Stuff plastic grocery bags in the chicken wire holes.

Use the hand trowel to begin applying hypertufa mixture to the chicken wire. Completely cover the chicken wire and use the trowel to make a realistic design. Use the sea sponge to add texture.

Cover the completed rock or boulder with black plastic sheeting and let the hypertufa cure in a sunny spot for two to four days. Check under the plastic several times a day and mist the entire hypertufa rock or boulder with water each time. When it is completely cured and firm, apply the concrete sealer with a paintbrush.

Things You’ll Need

  • 30 lbs. portland cement
  • 1.5 cubic feet perlite
  • 1 cubic foot compressed peat moss
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Water
  • Hand trowel
  • Chicken wire
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Black plastic sheeting
  • Large sea sponge
  • Concrete sealer
  • Paint brush

Complete directions thanks to


Making fake rocks and boulders can be done by any handy homeowner willing to get their hands dirty. Always use extreme caution when working with any cement product, as it contains lime, it can be poison our.

Conserve Water with Cactus and Succulents

Adding cactus and succulents to your garden will make it look awesome and help conserve water as the plant require less water to survive. They can be mixed in among other plants and you can also mix in rocks like Lava and others that also help hold water in your garden allowing you to use less water.

While all cactus are succulents, not everyone knows this and thinks of them as different plant types.

Succulents will add charm to any garden, whether they are flowering plants or not they will help you garden look great and conserve water.

Check out some of the many species available to add to your garden.


portulaca, the “forgiving” annual

Pleasing Portulaca
One of the best-loved succulents is portulaca, the “forgiving” annual that won’t shrivel up and die if you go on vacation during a dry spell. Its bright flowers, which open to the sun and close at twilight, appear all summer.


Euphorbia rigida

Euphoria over Euphorbia
With literally thousands of species, Euphorbia offers a plethora of options for gardeners. Interesting in habit as well as foliage (as seen with this upright Euphorbia rigida), many species also boast colorful flower structures.



Scaevola is great for crevice planting

Sprawling Scaevola
Cheerfully rambling over these rocks, Scaevola is another forgiving annual. Its short height (typically 6 to 18 inches tall) and sprawling habit (up to 5 feet, depending on cultivar) makes it a natural for crevice planting. The lilac- to purple-colored flowers go nonstop.


‘Neon’ sedum add an energetic burst of color

Neon Jungle
For an energetic burst of color that can’t be missed, ‘Neon’ sedum delivers. The bright flowers last for weeks, and the lightly variegated leaf edges are a bonus during the rest of the season.


small succulents in a portable container

Portable Charm
Bring smaller succulents, such as these hens and chicks, closer to eye level in a portable container. This old wooden packing box is all the more charming when filled with these tiny delights. And the fact that you’ll have to water sparingly should actually increase the lifespan of the box.




Mix plant textures and colors in several containers

Group for Effect
For a pleasing vignette, put several containers together. Link them visually by using pots in similar colors or materials. As for the plants, place tallest in back and stairstep down. Mixing up plant textures and colors helps, too.

Thanks to Lowe’s for these great pics

Enjoy your garden this summer knowing you are making it more environmentally friendly.













The Right Fence For The Job

Home owners all have their own reasoning for installing a fence on their property. Some will want privacy, while others need a fence to children and pets safe on the property or out of a pool area.

Adding a fence can add to the charm of your home and also to it’s value. Choosing the right fence for the job and the correct material can be a tough process as there are so many choices to go with.

Before you choose the type of fence you want to install, check with your local building or zoning dept, as many towns or counties have regulations on what type of fence and where you can place it on your property.

 This simple guide will help you choose the right type of fencing material, no matter what purpose you have in mind.


The first thing you need to consider is the function of the fence. Fences come in a wide range of materials, from metal to wood to vinyl, and the type you pick largely depends on the function of the fence. If you want privacy, then choose a material that is large in height and offers plenty of concealment. If you want security, then you have a little more flexibility in terms of materials, though you still need to select a material that is both strong and long lasting.


Wood is a versatile material that can be painted to match any kind of outdoor decor. It’s great for privacy because of its height and concealment properties, but it can also add a lot of aesthetic value to your yard. The downside of wood is its high maintenance and inability to offer proper security. A wood fence that is properly maintained can typically last from 10 – 20 years, though composite wood can last much longer.


Vinyl is a material that can be used for privacy or aesthetics, depending on how it is installed. Vinyl can even mimic wood and is not predisposed to rot, weathering, or warping that typically goes hand in hand with wood fences. When it comes to color, however, homeowners are left with fewer options. While it does not require as much yearly maintenance as wood, it is susceptible to mildew in areas that have high concentrations of moisture. Vinyl can be installed as boards or as pickets


Metal comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, from aluminum fences to wrought iron, and is great for security purposes or keeping pets from escaping your yard. Steel fences are a bit stronger than aluminum, while wrought iron fences are also great for security. The best benefits of choosing metal as a fencing material is its durability and ability to last a long time. In fact, a wrought iron fence can last upwards of 50 years if properly maintained.

The guide provided by

10 Things To Make From An Old Tree

After you cut down a tree that is dying, before you hand over more funds to have the logs taken away or the stump removed, put your brain to work and see what you could make from what is left of your tree.

Wood has such an awesome look and can bring more nature into your home and garden.

We put together a bunch of ideas to get your creative juices flowing and help spruce up your home with your own stump project.


Fantastic Flower Center Piece Project to Make Your Yard More Enchanting 

A true piece of landscaping beauty, yet so simple to make.

tree flower stand


Unique Yard Path Made of Stumps 

Trying to cut and maintain the sections between the beds was a lot of work, so they created this awesome path out of log slices.



Use Your Creativity and Make Your Own Stump Fairy Garden 

Fairy’s aren’t just in you imagination. You can have your own.


Tic Tac Toe Garden Table to Make Your Yard More Inviting 

Using an old log or stump and a table top from the local unfinished furniture store and some rocks, you too can have hours of fun.


Give a New Look to Your Living Room with a Stump Coffee Table 

Not everyday you are going to see this in someones living room. Just a great look!

Head over to the Next Page to see more of these wonderful ideas.

Look at All Those Tomatoes

Is your garden thriving and have you saying, “look at all those tomatoes, what are we going to do with them all?” Well fear not, you can always “can” them. Making them in to a lot of different recipes and then use them all year long.

You can use your tomato crop to make Salsa, pasta sauce ,pizza sauce, tomato juice, ketchup or BBQ sauce and others.

Canning and Preserving The Tomatoes…

We use the first few harvests of tomatoes from the garden to make our juice and salsa  – early season tomatoes are usually more plump and juicy – and lend themselves perfectly to those recipes.

We then make our pasta sauce, pizza sauce, bbq sauce, ketchup and soups with the tomatoes harvested in mid to late summer.  The later tomatoes tend to be a little thicker walled and meaty from the late summer heat –  making them great for sauces and soups.


Nothing beats the taste of home-made tomato juice! Canned tomato juice in our canning cabinet

Canning juice is one of the most simple and delicious ways to preserve your tomatoes – and is a great way to start for those new to canning.  We make both regular juice and a hot and spicy V-8 style version to have the year around. Canned juice is a great base for chili, pasta sauce and more – making it a valuable addition to your pantry.


See the recipe to make your own Tomato Juice and others at

Patching Dead Spots in Your Lawn

Does most of your lawn look great but you have a few areas that the grass is brown or non-existent? There could be a number of causes for this and they need to be treated before you start to repair the area.

We hate to admit it but some of the damage to our lawns could be caused by us or our pets; insects can also play a big role in damage to a lawn, along with Mother Nature.

Here is a list of potential causes of your brown spots.

Human and Animal Damage

Unfortunately, it’s very easy for us (and our pets) to damage lawns. Some common causes of brown spots include:

  • Dull Mower: Dull mower blades tear your grass, causing damage and gradual death to the grass.
  • Scalping: If your mower blade is set too low or there are lumps in the lawn, it can cut the grass too short and cause damage.

  • Chemicals: Gasoline, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides can cause dead spots if spilled. If fertilizer is applied unevenly or incorrectly, it can burn the grass. Even insect repellents can burn your lawn when sprayed on the grass blades.
  • Animal Urine: Dogs are the most common culprit, but large birds and other animals can cause urine spots, too. Urine usually causes your lawn to turn yellow in spots, sometimes with a bright green ring around the edges where the diluted nitrogen in the urine acts as a fertilizer.

Take a sample of stems, roots, and soil for analysis.

Poor Growing Conditions

The conditions in your yard may be unfavorable for grass to grow:

  • Poor Soil: Soil quality can vary in your lawn, and poor soil can occur in patches, causing brown, bare areas or moss.
  • Buried Debris: I once puzzled over a brown patch for weeks before finding an old piece of buried lumber under the grass.

Compacted soil.

  • Erosion: Water tends to run off slopes, taking grass seeds and young shoots with it, and leaving bare ground or dried out areas behind.
  • Roots: Large trees or shrubs usually win the battle for water and nutrients. The area under trees is notoriously difficult for growing grass.
  • Drought: Lawns need one inch of water per week, either from rainfall or irrigation. Dry, compacted spots are more easily drought-damaged.
  • Dormancy: Cool-season lawns can go dormant during the heat of summer while warm-season lawns go dormant during the winter. If your lawn has a mix of grasses, you’ll have curious brown patches as some areas go dormant while others stay green.

Brown spots caused by dormant Bermuda grass mixed with green fescue.

Common Lawn Diseases and Pests

If you’ve eliminated all the above causes, it’s time to move on to some of the more serious diseases and pests that plague lawn grasses. Some of the most common culprits are:

  • Thatch: Thatch is a buildup of decaying grass blades that can build up so thick that it chokes out healthy grass.
  • Grubs: Grubs are a common problem in mid to late summer, and most easily identified when your sod easily pulls back from the ground like a carpet.
  • Chinch bugs: Chinch bugs are a common summer pest in warm-season lawns, especially in hot sunny patches beside driveways and sidewalks.

  • Other insects: Caterpillars and other pests can live part of their life cycle in lawns.
  • Fungal Diseases: Brown patch and other fungal diseases thrive in moist conditions, most often in midsummer (when nights and days are hot and humid) and spring (as snow melts). They may show up as circular or irregular brown spots, or you may notice a spotting or infected pattern on the blades or a generally dying/thinning out.

Once you understand the problem, here are some remedies for each situation from

Now that you have determined the issue with you lawn and fixed the cause, you need to patch the bad areas. On the next page are instructions on how to patch the dead spots in your lawn.



Keep Your Tomato Plants Healthy

With summer here, if you want a great harvest you need to keep your tomato plants healthy. There are a few maintenance things you can do to keep them growing strong and producing the best fruits they can.

Simple little things like adding some mulch and staking plants to keep them off the ground away from insects and rot.


tomato-plants-in-garden with mulchKeep Competing Weeds at Bay – Weeds are one of the biggest detriments to the overall health of tomato plants. Tomato plants need all of the nutrients and water they can get in the summer months to keep producing fruit. If your plants are smothered in weeds, they are losing those nutrients to the weeds. In addition, those weeds become a great place for pests to hang out and multiply. Last but not least, remember that if you let this year’s weeds take over and go to seed, they will only multiply next year’s problem.

Remove the Damage and Disease – Here is another big one in keeping your plants healthy! Take a few minutes a day as you walk through your garden to remove any branches that have broken off or begin to show signs of disease. In addition, be sure to prune out the bottom branches to allow light, water and circulation to your plants. Those three things are invaluable in keeping your crop healthy and producing.

Stop Fertilizing – This one surprises a few people, but is really important to stop any type of heavy fertilizing once summer sets in. Too much fertilizer can actually lower your harvest totals as the plants use the nutrients of the fertilizer to create more leaves and stems – and less fruit.

Great tips from

Better Tomato’s From Your Garden

To get better tomatoes from your garden you will need to prune the plants as they grow, so more of the nutrients gets to fruit. It is important to prune them correctly for maximum growth.

If left unpruned your plants will grow wild with less food going to the tomato’s.

Check out the video to see when and how to prune tomato plants.