Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Farmer's Market

Each and every morning I wake up to Ian and Margery on FM107 where I hear Margery talk about the St. Paul Farmer’s Market and how much she loves shopping there. Ian occasionally chimes in with his ten cents worth about what he likes about the Farmer’s Market. A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had not made it to the St. Paul Farmer’s Market yet this year. So, bright and early for the last two Sunday’s off I go. I have been to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market many times this summer and I stopped at the roadside stand located between my house and work at least three times a week this summer.

If you have not made it to a Farmer’s Market this year, I encourage you to do so. There is so much great produce there, but the clock is ticking and it will soon be too late.

This past Sunday, I picked up some of the last sweet corn, red beets, pears, apples and a big bushel basket of Roma tomatoes. I spread the tomatoes on my kitchen table to let them ripen a bit more. Last night and tonight I made slow roasted tomatoes in garlic herbed oil. I got this recipe a few years ago and have made several batches every summer since. OK, it’s not technically summer any more but better late then never. I'll be enjoying these all winter long.

Here is the recipe. If you are not going to make these this year, print it and save for next summer.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Karl Forester

This morning as I looked out of my kitchen window, I noticed as I do almost every morning the graceful Karl Forester grass planted in front of the white picket fence on the hill adjoining my neighbors property. Karl Forester is one of my personal favorites, but there are any number of ornamental grasses that perform well here in zone 4.

Most people only think of ornamental grasses in the fall. This plant looks great all summer, during the fall and I really like how it looks during the winter. The tufts of grass buried in the snow adds lots of interest to the landscape during those long winter months.

The grasses are one of the few perennials that in my opinion look equally good in a perennial garden as well as used in a landscape mixed with shrubs and evergreens.

It’s not too late to add some ornamental grasses to your yard, garden or landscape. Just make sure you keep them well watered until the ground freezes.

Make it a great day!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Protect Your Plants

Wow - I thought this seemed early and after doing a little research, I found the median dates of low temperature chart from the University of Minnesota. I was right, this is a bit early, the average frost in Minneapolis is October 7.

If you are going to protect your plants keep these tips in mind.
-Use a fabric such as a bed sheet - it breaths letting moisture out.

-Don’t use plastic - it does not give much protection and does not breathe.
-Use stakes to make a tent - it's best not to have the fabric right on the plants.
-Use rocks or weights to hold the fabric down so it does not blow away.
-Keep the fabric over the plants in the morning until the temps are at least in the mid 30’s.

Also, tropical plants such as hibiscus should be brought indoors. It does not have to get in the low 30s to cause damage on these warm weather loving plants. Even temps as low at 40 degrees can cause them to look pretty rough.

Make your day a good one - I’ll be covering plants tonight.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


There are lots of great reasons to garden - being outdoors, the exercise or maybe the beauty of watching something bloom and grow.

Tonight there was only one reason for me and that was my quest for the bacon, lettuce and fresh from the garden tomato sandwich. For those of you that have been reading this since spring, you know this is why I grow tomatoes. During tomato season, I could eat this every night. But don’t worry, I don’t. I have to admit, I cheated a bit on this one. I threw in some avocado and cilantro too - it was darn good!

This Sunday night, make yourself one of these for a late night snack and tune in to On the Road with Jason Davis at 10:35 p.m. This week it should be called In the Garden with Jason Davis. It’s a half-hour of fun and interesting gardening stories with the best storyteller in town.

Jason will be visiting an award winning rain garden, following some blue ribbon vegetable growers from early summer all the way to the State Fair. (I wonder if they grow tomatoes.) He then heads north to the Duluth Rose Garden and the Brainerd Arboretum.

With Jason’s excellent story telling and all the great photography that goes with it, this should be a treat to watch.

Make your day a good one and don’t forget the mayo on that BLT.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Fall is for Planting

Fall is for planting – this saying has been around for years and yes, it’s true!

There is still ample time to plant trees, shrubs and evergreens. Why is fall so good? One reason being is that the soil temperatures are warm. In the spring, we have warm air temps, but cool soil. At this time of year, the air and soil are warm so the plants are able to establish themselves faster. The most important thing to keep in mind when planting in the fall is to make sure that the plants are kept well watered until the ground freezes. This is true for any plants. Well watered plants will not dehydrate as easily during the long winter months.

Another good reason to plant now – you can find lots of plants on sale.

I have a couple of boxwood I want to plant yet this year and tonight will be perfect to get it done.

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Where Did Summer Go?

Where did the warm weather go?
Just a week ago it was shorts and short sleeves….today I grabbed a sweater.

Speaking of cooler weather, if your tomatoes are not ripening or you want them to ripen faster before the cold weather sets in, you can use a technique that “shocks” them into ripening faster.

Take a garden fork and push in the soil about 18-24” from the stem. Give the fork a wiggle back and forth, pull the shovel out and repeat a couple more times around the plant. The plant will react to this by ripening the fruit faster. A little effort gives big results and I’ll do almost anything at this time of year for a few more garden fresh bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.

Have a great day

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Back to Reality

…..and that’s a wrap. Wow! The twelve days of the Fair are over. Thanks to everyone who came out and said hello. It was great meeting all of you during the run of the Fair.

Now, it’s back to reality. Tonight it is mowing the lawn. It was (and I hate to say this) almost two weeks since it got mowed last. Yikes, it’s long.

Speaking of lawns, if yours needs re seeding, you better get at it now. Ideally grass seed should be put down by mid September to get it growing and to give the root system time to establish before the ground freezes. If you need to get some seed down, get that project on your weekend to do list.

This is also a perfect time of year to start peas, lettuce and radish. Just like during the spring, these plants thrive on cooler temperatures. They grow even faster at this time of year because they are being seeded in warm soil versus the cold spring soil. It’s one last chance to grow some garden fresh vegetables.

Enjoy your day.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

At the Fair with Phil Brecount

It was another perfect night at the Fair yesterday. I was there for EYEWITNESS NEWS at 4. This time I was interviewing Phil Brecount from Creative Carving, Etc. Phil can be found at Andreas Watermelon on the corner of Underwood and Carnes creating flower arrangements out vegetables, carving watermelons as well as other fruits and vegetables. His work was nothing short of amazing.

If you are out at the Fair on Monday, stop by FM107 from 3-4 p.m. I’ll be there, with those crazy and fun ladies - Lori and Julia. It is always a good time with the two of them. I never know where the conversation will go.

Enjoy your day.