Cool-season vegetables can be planted in September in mild-winter regions. Plant now beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fava beans, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, both head and leaf lettuce, mustard greens, onions, parsley, peas, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnips.
Vegetable crops will begin to take longer to ripen in September. Give melons, limas, and tomatoes more time to ripen naturally. Eggplants are ready for harvest when they are shiny. Continue reading >>>
North and East and Midwest. Frost is possible in some areas before the end of September. Check the number of frost-free days left in your area by counting back from the average first frost date for your region. You may have time to sow quick maturing crops without protection. Plant fall salad greens such as spinach, winter lettuce, arugula, mâche, corn salad, mustard, and radishes. Use a cold frame or plastic tunnel if time is short. Plant next year’s garlic crop and divide multiplier onions. Continue reading>>>
You cannot rush a tomato to ripening; it will ripen in the number of days that nature requires. And, of course, the time to ripening varies by variety, for example, an Early Girl tomato requires 60 days from setting out transplants to harvest and a Brandywine tomato requires 80 days. The process of ripening is governed by temperature—a range of 65 to 75°F (18-24°C).
Sun-dry tomatoes or oven-dry tomatoes to use for seasoning in salads, soups, stews, casseroles, mixed vegetables, and snacks. You can also rehydrate dried tomatoes for use in cooking. Choose firm, ripe, full-flavored tomatoes that are heavy for their size. Tomatoes with a high acid content dry best. Excellent tomato varieties for drying are San Marzano and Principe—both flavor favorites dried, and also Roma, Viva Italia, and Early Girl. Continue reading>>>
Frost in the garden happens when the surfaces of plant leaves or fruit—or other solid objects in the garden—are colder than freezing and moisture in the air condenses on the surfaces to form ice crystals. A light frost or white frost happens when the air temperature drops to around 32°F. If you know frost is coming, you can protect plants with plant blankets, floating row covers, plastic tunnels, or even a cardboard box set over the top of plant. Continue reading>>>
Hardy is a term used to describe a plant’s ability to survive in a specific climate zone—even through the cold of winter. Commonly gardeners use the term “hardy” to describe a plant that can survive a freeze, frost, or a cold snap. Half-hardy is a term used describes plants that can survive only limited or light frost—meaning just an hour or two of frost or near freezing temperatures. Half-hardy plants must be protected from anything more than a touch of frost. Continue reading>>>
Plastic tunnels can be used to extend the vegetable growing season by 4 to 8 weeks in spring and fall. A plastic tunnel is easily made by draping plastic sheeting over a series of sturdy wire or plastic hoops to create an enclosed growing space. A plastic tunnel works much like a cold frame. The temperature inside a clear or opaque plastic tunnel can be heated by the sun 5 to 10 degrees warmer or more than the outdoor temperature during the day. The residual solar heat inside a plastic tunnel can keep plants 2 to 7 degrees warmer than the outdoor temperature at night. Continue reading>>>
Grilled and roasted corn is most flavorful when it is cooked fresh—very fresh. As soon as an ear of corn is picked, its sugars start converting to starch. As the sugars turn to starch, the sweetness of corn is lost—though it is true that some new breeds of corn will retain their sweetness for days. Choose ears that are plump and fat with husks that are tightly closed. Choose husks that are bright green with golden brown silks streaming from the tops of the ears. Look for stems that are moist and pale green. Continue reading>>>
For this recipe I picked two ears of sweet corn and red cherry tomatoes (Sweet 100s) from the garden (but plums like Roma and San Marzano or medium-sized tomatoes Early Girl or Stupice would do just fine–your fat beefsteaks might be a bit too juicy). To corn (this year I grew sugary Golden Bantam–a classic) and tomatoes you can add a bell pepper—red or green—cucumbers diced and to heat it up a chili—here I added a Serrano that was just ready. Continue reading>>>
Minestrone means big soup in Italian. You can make and serve minestrone as a meal in itself, nearly a vegetable stew. Minestrone varies from cook to cook but most commonly includes onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, and tomatoes bolstered by beans or peas and pasta or rice. Because minestrone is a thick soup, the vegetables are added in stages so that all are cooked complete at the same time. Like other vegetable soups, the flavor of your minestrone can vary from season to season, cooked with vegetables fresh from the garden or readily available at the produce market. Continue reading>>>
Anybody who wants to rule the world should try to rule a garden first.