Â Winding Down & Bringing the Garden IndoorsÂ
By Barbara Hobens
Sept. 10, 2011Â
Q.Â Itâ€™s really not too late to plant seeds? What can I do in the garden now?
Gapes on the vine
A.Â Â Never
say never since we canâ€™t know if weâ€™ll have a true Indian summer or
not. You could save this yearâ€™s seeds until next June if you have a
lot, but I just planted more cilantro and the last sowing is already two
inches high.Â Keep an eye out for seeds that you can save to plant
next year. After all of this rain, weeding is a breeze. Walk around your
garden and property to see places that you can soon be planting bulbs
(crocus, alliums, daffodils, tulips, etc.) this fall that will flower
Â Â Â Â Â Â Yes,
fall is â€œaround the cornerâ€ and two tell-tale plants heralding the
change are grapes ready for harvest and the large heads of Autumn Joy
sedum starting to â€œcolor up.â€ It is a well-behaved perennial that
available at nurseries and easy to plop anywhere you have room. Fall is
the ideal time to plant trees and perennials.
Q.Â How can I save tomatoes for future meals?Â Herbs?
A.Â Â Count
me in as a non-fan of green tomatoes. As long as there is some color on
them, place in a paper bag on the counter and check daily for perfect
color and firmness. For a great winter night treat over pasta, just
freeze them now. Cut tomatoes into two inch pieces into a large pan on
the stovetop.Â Drizzle on olive oil and a teaspoon of sugar and fresh
or dried oregano. Simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally then let it
completely cool and spoon into good quality, small freezer bags. Check
out this easy roasted tomato recipe.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Although
this pretty plant can certainly be potted and brought inside for the
winter, it does tend to dry out and not have that same summer â€œzingâ€
that freezing can preserve. Fresh rosemary is so nice to add inside a
roasting chicken, to a pasta dish, or stick into a decorative glass
bottle of oil or vinegar.
Â Â Â Â Â Â For
rosemary and thyme, cut a bunch of the woody â€œbranchesâ€ and place
them loosely in the freezer on a paper towel.Â Once frozen, the leaves
come loose easily then saved in a plastic container in the freezer;
check out these freezing and drying techniques.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Bunches
of basil and oregano will soon be hanging by clothes pins on a string
in a spare (dark) closet to dry and then stored in marked glass jars.
Blend two cups of fresh basil with a half cup of olive oil and spoon
into ice cube trays. Pop out when solid and store in freezer bags. Fresh
chives and parsley can be chopped and placed in ice cube trays floating
in a bit of water and stored the same way.
Plants that play well (white impatience)
help but notice how nice this white impatience looks and shares space
with this Japanese Painted Fern. Â Notice what looks great in your
garden and add more next year.Â Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Although
heavy rains have taken a toll with late harvests such as string beans
and pumpkins, some plants, like these September sunflowers, are
beautiful, strong survivors.
your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.Â Barbara Hobens is a
garden and landscape consultant and designer, White-tail deer and
wildlife gardening specialist, and author of Garden Your City.
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