Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall Lawn Care

Once the worst of the summer heat has passed, you will want to be sure you implement your fall lawn care regiment. We will go over a few tasks to get you started here, but depending on you location, type of grass, etc, you may need to do more to keep your lawn at its healthiest. But here are the first steps to take this fall in caring for your lawn:

Get out your garden sprayer, clean it (to be sure no residue from past uses is left in it) and spray herbicide on any weeds that have crept up in your lawn. Be sure to clean your sprayer well before put it up for storage during the winter.

Fall is also an ideal time to aerate your lawn. This will encourage your grass to uptake oxygen and nutrients and it helps to combat all the compaction that typically takes place on the lawn during the traffic that lawns see during summer months.

Be sure to get leaves up off of your lawn as they begin to fall. When your grass is covered by leaves it is unable to receive the nutrients it needs to store from the sun during the winter. Also leaves are a great addition to the compost pile. (Read more about composting.)

If your fall is a hot dry one, then you will want to water your lawn.

Also, fall is a great time to fertilize your lawn if it needs extra nutrients.

If you are seeing bare patches in your lawn, reseed now.

What fall lawn care tips do you want to share? Please leave your tips in the comments below.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Top 5 Posts from July - August 2012

In the past month we have had a huge amount of traffic to our blog! We are so happy to welcome new readers to our blog. We want to do a recap of the top 5 blogs on our site that you guys have been visiting so much this month.
  1. How to Help Stressed Tomatoes: This blog gives some tips on how to help your tomatoes and what the signs of stress for a tomato plant are.
  2. What is Lasagna Gardening? This is a guide on what a lasagna garden entail and a how to on how to create your own.
  3. How to Freeze Your Peppers. This blog tells you how to best freeze your peppers. This is great for those with extra peppers from their harvest and need to know how to keep them for the winter months.
  4. July Gardening Tasks. Be sure to bookmark this blog so you know what to do next July in your garden.
  5. Uses for Summer Squash. Squash is as very versatile vegetable. It goes in so many dishes that it is amazing all the different things you can do with this summer veggie.
We hope you enjoy rereading these blogs, and we would love to hear from you about what information you would like for us to go over in future blogs!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to Freeze Your Peppers

Have a lot of peppers from your harvest? Freezing is a great way to store your peppers for use in winter soups, chilis, and other recipes.

The process of freezing your peppers is quite simple:
  1. Wash peppers.
  2. Core peppers.
  3. Remove seeds & white membranes.
  4. Pat dry.
Options for freezing:

Option 1: Divide peppers into small batches (just enough for certain recipes) and freeze in containers. This makes it easier to use the peppers than having to defrost a huge amount of them at once.

Option 2: Pre-freeze your pepper halves on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once fully frozen place in freezer bags and put back into the freezer. This is easier to get and choose what amount you need as the pre-frozen peppers are less likely to stick together. 

A great way to store your frozen peppers after they have finished freezing is to use a vacuum sealer. This will help save space and keep them from getting freezer burn.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tips on Preserving your Produce from the Garden

Need some tips on how to preserve your garden harvest to keep it from spoiling before it can be shared or eaten? Then you have come to the right place.

First step: Choosing Produce: Be sure to choose the nearest to ripe and most unblemished produce that you can. If there are blemishes in an otherwise good piece of vegetable or fruit, be sure to thoroughly cut out the damaged areas before storing.

Tips on preservation methods:

Dehydration: You can dehydrate certain fruits and vegetables either using a dehydrator or using a handmade drying rack. (you can find a tutorial on a DIY Solar Dehydrator on Follow the instructions that come with your dehydrator for the best outcome of your dried preserving methods. Some of the best fruits and vegetables for dehydration are: apples, grapes, peaches, pears, tomatoes, apricots, bananas, berries, figs, melons, plums, (okay most fruits are great for dehydrating), green beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, onions, peas, peppers, zucchini, squash, garlic, and more.

Canning: Canning is a vast world of different recipes, types of produce, etc. The main tip is to be sure you know the acid level of your foods. This will determine whether the food needs to be canned using a water bath canner or a pressure canner. A great guide that will help you in any canning endeavors you will undertake is the Ball Blue Book.

Freezing: The National Center for Home Preservation has a list of some awesome links to guides on how to freeze a huge variety of produce, since each fruit and vegetable is a bit different in the method of how it should be frozen you should look into their info at:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What to do with Harvested Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a staple in most people's diets, they are found in salsas, pasta sauces, pizza sauce, sandwiches, salads, some breakfast recipes, and much much more. But still there are many who find themselves stumped when they are harvesting their tomatoes as to what to do with them to store them for the winter, or just to enjoy them now.

There are ways to make your own tomato sauces, you can either go with a mix that will help you such as Mrs. Wages Tomato Sauce Mixes or you can create your own from scratch. (Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe)

If you create a lot of tomato sauce, you will be able to can the extra to use throughout the winter. There are other things that can be made from tomatoes that can be preserved and put up for the cooler months.

For an easy salsa for putting up, you can use the Ball Fiesta Salsa Mix. There's also a huge variety of salsa recipes online and in canning books. Just be sure to keep track of if your salsa will be acidic enough for waterbath canning, or if you should look into adding lemon juice to be sure that the acid is high enough. Tipnut has some salsa recipes and canning tips at her Homemade Salsa blog.

For the fresh tomatoes that you want to enjoy now, Southern Living has an article called 24 Recipes for Fresh Tomatoes.

You can also dehydrate your tomatoes, for ideas on using dehydrated tomatoes in recipes etc, visit: Tomatoes Coming Out of Your Ears.

What is your favorite way to eat, store, or just enjoy your tomato harvest?

photo credit: S@Z via photo pin cc

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