Northern & Central Midwest
Buy Garden Tools
Watch for sales on garden tools. Stores don't want to put them in storage, so many will have good sales. Be sure to purchase the highest quality you can afford so they will last a long time. Take care of your tools by cleaning and oiling them after every few uses. Keep rust away and they will last a life time.
Check roadsides for ripening elderberries. Clip the entire head of fruit. Elderberries are not great to eat fresh (although the birds love them), so cook them, strain the juice through cheesecloth and make terrific elderberry syrup, jelly and even old-fashioned elderberry wine. Elderberries have long been known as a health tonic.
Leave seedheads in the garden to attract birds. Anything in the daisy family such as zinnia, sunflower, black-eyed Susan, coneflower and Shasta daisies have tasty seeds that can be left through the winter to feed the birds. Start now and you will establish the food source to keep them in your garden.
Treat for Late Blight
Treat preventively for late blight on tomatoes. Copper fungicide is an organic choice. Late blight can also infect eggplant, petunia, ground cherries and numerous other plants in the potato-tomato family . Common early symptoms are irregularly shaped, rapidly enlarging, water-soaked, pale green to greenish black lesions which usually start at the margins or tips of the leaves.
Visit the County Fair
Check out your local county fairs for great information on how to grow, harvest and preserve your garden produce. Visit with farmers and gardeners and find great sources for pick-your-own, as well as farm stands. Don't be shy- enter your pickles in the contest!