Northern & Central Midwest
Give Away Vegetables
As vegetables begin to come in and you are inundated by more than you can eat or "put by," consider giving the extras to local food pantries. They are usually grateful for clean, ripe produce. Be sure to call first to avoid inundating them with zucchini!
Keep birdbaths full and clean. Birds need water, especially in dry times, and a clean birdbath will keep them coming back. Put the birdbath in a somewhat protected spot (from sun and cats) with cover and some shade. If you feed birds in summer, put it near the feeder so they can have a little nip with their seeds.
Plant a Fall Garden
There's still plenty of time to put in a fall garden. Sow carrots, beets, even bush beans for a late harvest. Save cool-weather crops such as spinach and lettuce for sowing later in the month. Plan on buying extra straw for covering root crops so they can stay in the ground into winter.
Save Tomato Seeds
Save seeds from your favorite, non-hybrid tomatoes. Pick the tomatoes when the fruit is perfectly ripe, mash them, and put them in a pail of water. After a few days of fermenting, separate the seeds from the pulp and spread them on a screen to dry. Once dry, store them in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
Buy Potting Supplies
Now is a great time to stock up on potting supplies for next year. Many garden centers are already clearing their shelves. Get potting soil (more than you think you'll need), flats and pots, labels, and anything else you need for potting up seedlings in late winter.