The Quest For The Best Tomato

Tomatoes have long been America’s most-planted garden vegetable. But with a dizzying array of hundreds of named varieties, which are the best? For most of us, the top criteria for the “best” tomato is taste. And it must be decent size and ripening timely for our region. How should a tomato taste? That’s hard to…
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The Best-Tasting Squash I’ve Ever Grown

Squash and I go way back. About 50 years ago I remember helping my Mom pick Buttercup squash after fall frosts, a variety that remained her favorite, despite our trying most of the other types during my teenage gardening years. As a young college student I worked summers for the NDSU squash breeder and in…
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How To Ripen The Last Tomatoes Of The Season

Jack Frost is such a kill-joy when he brings the tomato season officially to an end. We can gather all our old bedsheets and cover plants for a few nights, but cool temperatures just don’t ripen the last of the tomatoes. There are plenty of recipes using green tomatoes for “mock apple pie” and green…
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The Importance Of Fall Tilling And Cleanup Of Vegetable Garden

At some point each fall the vegetable garden is officially finished. The squash and pumpkins are harvested. The potatoes are dug. The carrots are left in the ground as long as possible to cold-sweeten. But before the ground freezes solid, the garden should be cleaned and tilled, rather than waiting until spring. Here’s why: Much…
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Are Garden Carrots Really Sweeter After A Frost?

If we leave our carrots in the garden until after frost, is it true they become sweeter, or is that an old wives’ tale? Well, I’m never quick to dismiss old wives’ tales, because some of the best gardeners I’ve known have been old wives. Gardeners who enjoy growing carrots have long known that delaying…
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