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    Berry Harvest Quick Tips

    Berry harvest1

    Berries taste their absolute best when left to ripen on the plant, then picked and eaten immediately. Sweetness, aroma, and flavor determine ripeness; berries can reach their peak in a day or two once they begin to mature. Visit plants every day once fruit begins to deepen in color. Taste and smell to decide when […] More

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    Planting a Fall Vegetable Garden

    Vegetable garden rows

    Plant a fall and winter harvest vegetable garden in mid-to-late summer. Hardy, cool-weather crops are best suited for the fall and winter vegetable garden. Cool-weather vegetables like to get their start in warm soil and come to maturity when days and nights are cool. Cool-weather vegetables include leafy crops and root crops: beets, carrots, and […] More

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    Vegetables and Herbs for Growing in Shade

    Basil in dappled sun1

    A garden site that receives as few as two hours of direct sunlight a day can grow vegetables. A garden that gets only dappled sunlight during the day can grow vegetables. Vegetable grown for their leaves and roots are the best choices for shady gardens. Salad greens such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and celery can […] More

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    Thinning Vegetable Seedlings

    Thinning radish seedlings1

    Thin vegetable seedlings to ensure the full, healthy growth of remaining plants. Crowded seedlings can become stunted and have an increased susceptibility to diseases and pests. Here’s how to thin vegetable seedlings: Thin seedlings in the cool of the day or an hour or so after they have been watered; the seedlings will be plump […] More

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    How to Make Vegetable Stock With No Recipe

    Vegetable broth1

    Vegetable stocks draw their flavor entirely from vegetables and water and, sometimes, herbs and spices, and wine. Vegetable stock can be served alone or used to flavor soups, sauces, meats, poultry, fish, and vegetables. Use vegetable stock for light, healthy dishes. Vegetable stock—also called vegetable broth–is a clear, thin flavored liquid—the flavor is determined by […] More

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    Vegetable Garden Microclimates

    Garden beds warmed by reflected heat1

    A microclimate is a small area with slightly different temperature or climate than the surrounding larger area. Every garden has microclimates; microclimates can be created by hills and low spots, structures and fences, and even the shade of trees or tall plants. You can use the microclimates in your garden to help vegetables produce a […] More

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    Pepper Harvest Tips

    Peppers nearing harvest1

    Sweet peppers can be picked when immature or full size, green or red–as soon as they are big enough to use. Hot peppers can be picked at any time–any size or color–for fresh use; hot peppers for drying or pickling should be picked when fully ripe. Pick all peppers before the first light frost. Most […] More

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    How to Ripen Tomatoes

    Tomato ripening on vine1

    Standard-sized tomatoes take 20 to 30 days from blossom set to reach full size–commonly called “mature green”; they take another 20 to 30 days to ripen, that is begin to change color. A tomato can be picked when it begins to change color–from green to red, pink, yellow, or orange depending upon the cultivar. The […] More

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    Fall Harvest Vegetable Varieties

    Harvest in cool season1

    Fall harvest crops are planted in mid- to late-summer.  These cool-season crops get a quick start from seed or seedling in warm summer soil and come to maturity in the cool days of autumn. Choose crop varieties with shorter days to harvest; some cabbage takes 90 days to harvest; other varieties are ready sooner. Choose varieties […] More

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    Vegetable Growing in Hot Weather

    Corn in drought1

    Vegetables are sensitive to hot temperatures–just as they are sensitive to cold temperatures. Each vegetable crop grows best in its own range of temperatures. The optimal temperature range for peppers and eggplants, for example, is 70° to 85°F; pollination will not occur if the night temperature falls below 55°F, and blossoms may fall if the […] More

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    Early Summer Fruit Calendar and Maintenance

    Strawberry patch

    Most soft fruits–strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and currants–are bearing or nearing maturity by early summer. Tree fruits–apples, pears, plums, peaches and nectarines–in early summer are developing fruit. Attention should be given to thinning, pruning, and watering. Here is a fruit-by-fruit growing guide for early summer: Support fruit trees. Support heavily laden branches with stout stakes […] More

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    Small Vegetable Garden Space Savers

    Beans Growing on Strings1

    Space must be conserved in every possible way in a small vegetable garden. Here are five tips for getting the most out of a small garden: 1. Vertical Growing Garden vertically as much as you can. Use the up-and-down space in your garden and conserve your ground space. Use a single square foot of your […] More