While all good things must come to an end,
in this case, thankfully, the end is really quite temporary and can be the start of an entirely new and exciting gardening experience. As we all begin to wrap up our gardens, taking a look at what did well where, there are some things to keep in mind that can greatly enhance next year’s gardening season!
Saving the seeds from your plants has a number of rewards. Not only will you ensure a lower amount of money spent on seeds and seedlings in the Spring, you can take some really cool steps toward customizing your produce! See a tomato plant ripen unusually early with fatter, juicier fruits this year? Find some cucumbers that dwarfed all the others? The traits of taste, appearance and growth habit can be passed on through the fruits into the seeds, and by saving the seeds of your prized and most unusual harvests, you will have a better chance of repeating the same great qualities next year. Seeds saved from produce grown in your yard year after year will begin to develop a strain of fruits that have evolved to survive optimally in your exact growing conditions.
Here are some quick seed saving tips!
-your tomato seeds want to stay in the “goop” from the tomato for a week or so, once removed from the bulk of the fruit. The seeds need the acids for a fermentation process that will allow them to become fully ripe. Once the goo-ey gel has dried to the seeds, they can be cleaned and stored.
-let your beans dry completely on their vines. Voila!, the seeds can easily be broken from their shells
-as squashes and cucumbers begin to overripen, their seeds will be really easy to dig from within the meaty fruits. Each fruit yields a LOT of seeds, so you don’t need to sacrifice too many fruits for the cause.
Start to Clean your gardens now!
Removing plants that are essentially spent is an effective way of making your job a lot easier once these last days of warmth have left. There may be a big job ahead of you when it comes to assessing and doing the final fall preparation of your beds, so getting a good chunk of the work out of the way now is a scientifically proven way to relax more in the future.
**Tomatoes affected by blight should be removed from the garden with great care. An effective way to protect next year’s soil from these pathogens is to pull a garbage bag over the plant before removing it in order to keep leaves from falling into the dirt. Unfortunately, all this vegetation will have to go to the garbage, rather than the compost, in order to avoid contamination of otherwise great dirt.
Eco-Lawn is a perfect answer for all those who love lawn, but tire of the weeding, cutting, watering, and feeding. A special blend of 7 fescues chosen to thrive in all environments, WIldflower Farm’s Eco Lawn is known for its ultra slow-growing “wind-swept” look. Its root system grows quite deep, allowing the lawn to go incredible periods of time without water, as well as being known to suppress weed growth. Due to the careful selection of these fescues, this turf is also completely satisfied with most soil conditions’ nutrient levels, meaning you’ll never really have to feed.Tired of Lawn-care?
Run for the hills!
Many of your plants could be prized gems to you, and you may intend to dig them up and bring them to safe ground – indoors. We suggest not leaving them in the ground any longer than now! There is frost on the near horizon! By digging them up now, you can ensure that they still have healthy foliage before starting to panic about winter and store all their lifeblood in their roots in an attempt to survive. Wash off most of the root system and hose down the leaves, re-pot in a comfortable mix of peat/coir and compost, wet, and leave somewhere cool and shady for a few days to make sure that the plant is not in shock. Then get those puppies inside now and we can help you with your overwintering options – whether it be dormancy, lights, or just a good window
If you have potted plants that you intend to bring in, wait no longer. Hose off the leaves to avoid transferring pests inside. We also like to recommend re-potting; rinse off the roots, gently, and re-pot in a porous and light-weight potting medium. Bring them inside now!
|We can help you get your plants ready for indoor survival, let us can help!|
Urban Eatin cold frames have arrived!
The perfect season extender for small spaces, our cold frame offers 4 square feet of growing area, perfect for fall crops like chard, mustard greens and radishes. Just as useful again, come spring time to direct sow early crops, and for hardening off seedlings.
Our cold frames are made from recylced windows and lumber. Custom sizes are available, always dependent on the windows available to us.
Our current batch of cold frames sell for $65 + gst.
Bulb Planting season is now! Plan your tulips, daffodils and crocuses, but most importantly, focus on the tasty world of garlic. In our zone, we are blessed to have such an amazingly useful plant as a hardy option for sowing in the fall.
Let us help you plan and plant your bulbs!
Zippy Zucchini Relish
3lb (1.4 kg) zucchini, cut_into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
3 onions, chopped
2 sweet red peppers, diced
1/4 cup (50 mL) pickling salt
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cider vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) dry mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) celery seeds
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground ginger
1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric
1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot pepper flakes
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch1 tbsp (15 mL) water
In food processor, pulse zucchini, a few pieces at a time, until size of rice with a few larger pieces. Transfer to large stainless-steel or glass bowl. Add onions, red peppers and salt to bowl; stir to blend. Let stand for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain well; rinse and drain again, pressing out moisture.
In large heavy shallow saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery seeds, ginger, turmeric and hot pepper flakes; bring to boil. Add drained vegetables; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Mix cornstarch with water and stir into relish; simmer, stirring, until spoon pulled across bottom leaves trail that fills in slowly, about 5 minutes.
Pack into four 2-cup (500 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) headspace. Remove any air bubbles, readjusting headspace if necessary. (See “Canning Basics.” ) If necessary, wipe rims. Cover with prepared lids. Screw on bands until resistance is met; increase to fingertip tight. Boil in boiling water canner for 15 minutes.
1 1/2 pounds kale, chard, collards or beet greens
2 cups chopped canned tomatoes and juice
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 cup diced onions
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco or Franks)
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1. Wash greens, remove large stems and discolored leaves.
2. Stack leaves and cut crosswise, into 1/4″ strips
3. Combine remaining ingredients, except pepper in large saucepan. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
4. Add greens, cover and gently simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, until greens are tender.
5. Season with pepper.
Wonderful served over brown rice or quinoa
Fall can be such a busy time, call us to help take a load off your mind!
The folks at Urban Eatin’ Gardeners’ Co-Op