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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Harvesting And Storing Garden Squash

There’s something very satisfying about raising squash, potatoes, onions, carrots and other garden vegetables that keep for the winter. Maybe it’s a carryover from being raised by Depression-era parents. Having food in storage is comforting and reassuring. Gathering squash in the fall adds to the charm of autumn. Squash that store well are called “winter…
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Why The First Cucumber And Squash Blossoms Don’t Set Fruit

It’s exciting when the season’s first huge squash flowers and small cucumber blossoms begin to open because fruit can’t be far behind, right? Well, not so fast. Gardeners anxious for the first signs of harvest are often disappointed when the first blossoms drop, with no fruit formed. There’s a reason the first blossoms of squash,…
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