Gardener to Gardener

Short Season Crops for Fall

Depending on where you live, you may have a few empty spaces in your vegetable garden right about now. If you've already harvested your tender spring crops, you might be wondering what to plant in the holes they've left behind...

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Helpful Harvesting Hints

Follow these helpful hints for the best flavors and yields from your harvest in late summer and fall...

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Lettuce Grow Fall Salad Greens

Summer's end is no reason to stop enjoying garden fresh salads. Many kinds of greens grow well in the cooler days of fall and are less likely to bolt, or go to seed, giving you an extended harvest...

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Vegetable Gardening Q & A

How to Preserve Herbs
Q: What's the best way to preserve the herbs from my garden?

A: One of the easiest ways to preserve herbs such as chives, parsley, tarragon, and dill is to freeze them in ice cube trays. Chop the leaves of your favorite herbs, pack into the trays, cover with water, and freeze. Store cubes in plastic bags in the freezer and pop them into soups this winter. Drying is the traditional way to preserve many herbs. Make small bundles of herbs tied with twine and hang them upside down in a warm spot out of direct sun with good air circulation, or spread them out on a tray made of window screening. Dry plants until they are brittle and crumble easily.

Yellow Leaves on Eggplant
Q: The leaves of my eggplants are covered with yellowish speckles and some are drying out and dropping. What's wrong?

A: Your eggplants are infested with tiny pests called spider mites. Related to spiders, they feed on the leaf undersides by sucking out the plant's juices, resulting in the yellowish stippling you've noticed on the leaves. You may also see fine webbing on the leaf undersides and where the leaf stalks join the stem. Hold a piece of white paper under a leaf and tap the leaf sharply. If you see tiny specks on the paper that begin to crawl around, you'll know you're dealing with mites.

Spider mites thrive in hot, dry weather and can have a midsummer population explosion if conditions are right. A light infestation can be controlled by spraying the undersides of the leaves daily with a strong stream of water from a hose to dislodge the mites. Heavy infestations can be controlled with sprays of insecticidal soap or neem. Catalog

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