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~Written and photographed by gardening expert
A mix of peppers, both hot and sweet, is homemade salsa.

A mix of peppers, both hot and sweet, is recommended for really good homemade salsa.

Warm, late-summer days mean lots of tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and warm-season herbs for ardent gardeners and farmers market lovers. And what do these veggies all have in common? They’re the ingredients for homemade salsa—making this the best time of year for salsa making and canning. The bigger the batches you make, the more you have to enjoy through late fall and winter when summer is nothing more than a sunny memory. READ MORE

~Written and photographed by gardening expert
Rosa 'Perfume Delight' 2 JaKMPM

Despite the high heat here in the Pacific Northwest, the roses have done well.

Perhaps we have been through the “dog days of summer” here in the Pacific Northwest with our daytime temperatures reaching 90+ degrees. Not only have those of us without air conditioning suffered, but many of our plants did as well.
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~Written and photographed by gardening expert
Bottles create a unique raised container for ruffled kale, the new "super food".

Immersed bottles create a unique raised container for fall kale, the new “super food”, and chard.

While frost strikes early in the mountain states, the rest of the West is in a state of flux.  Heat-loving summer vegetables may be past their peak with production in decline, but rather than watch this process of attrition, consider starting anew with the cool-season leaf and root crops we struggle to grow over summer.
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~Written and photographed by gardening expert

 

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Reusing cardboard can add new life to the garden, if properly applied.

Ever notice how many challenges in the garden are four-letter words? Wind, hail, rust, mold, cold, vole, mole, deer, bugs, ouch, and weed conjure up stressful garden situations, which must be immediately addressed, leading to even more work (another four-letter word). How we deal with the cursed weed that pops up here and there in our little corner of Eden usually involves back-breaking hoeing, tugging, digging, or spraying. What if there were easier, more organic ways to eliminate weeds before they even sprout? This is where using effective mulches can help clean up both your garden and your vocabulary.

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~Written and photographed by gardening expert
(c) Eddie Greenly 2011

The more you can do to make plants healthy and avoid stressful conditions, the likelier they are to thrive.

In many of these web articles, I have often stressed the importance of soil health. Whenever we plant something in the ground it offers an opportunity to amend the soil around and below the root zone. At no other time can one easily add compost or fertilizer to the soil around and below the roots. The same thing is also true when we plant something in a container, except that in a container we have more control over the actual soil.
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~Written and photographed by gardening expert
Lycopersicon esculentum 'Early Girl' JaKMPM

Scorching summer heat slows or halts tomato flowering and fruit production in the American Southwest. (Photo by Jessie Keith)

Out here in the dry western states, the growing season is far longer than most realize. We plant earlier, our plants peak earlier, and by the time the heat of late July and August rolls around, growth and yields have slowed considerably. This is partly due to temperatures flirting with 100 degrees Fahrenheit in low humidity, which halts flower production, slows fruit production, and stimulates pests, like wooly aphids and spider mites. Once the days cool at the start of September, the month of the Equinox, many summer vegetable plants like tomatoes start to flower again and will produce a secondary crop, but only under the right conditions.
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Is your potting soil made by a horticulture company?

Sun Gro is North America's largest producer of sphagnum peat, and the largest distributor of peat moss and peat- and bark-based growing media to professional greenhouse operators in the U.S. and Canada.

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