Tips for Hardy Gardeners

Gardening tips for Duluth's Northern climate, hosted by Master Gardener Tom Kasper.

Tom Kasper. Used with permission.

Tom Kasper's mid-life crisis involves vegetables.

After considering himself a flower gardener (since he was seven years old), he realized that he wanted to do something in the most straightforward way possible to let people in our community know they're cared about.

This year, that meant over a ton (2200 lbs) of fresh food donated to the Damiano Center ... and now he's scheming how to produce more and better for next year.

Lisa Johnson

Aut-win: it's not just for woods-wanderers anymore.

Eventually, the glow from last week's record-breaking 70s will fade (perhaps in the wake of this evening's Winter Storm Warning with 5-7" inches of snow predicted?), and when it does, the pre-winter blues can set in.

But Tom Kasper says the same leafless landscape that gives us such a unique view of the woods can do the same for our backyards and gardens - and help jump-start the planning process for next year.

Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/Flickr

Eat a banana.

Chop up the peel into smallish pieces.

Put the pieces in some warm water and let them sit for a couple of hours.

Congratulations!  You've just made an organic fertilizer for your house plants that Tom Kasper says they'll almost immediately find ... a-peel-ing.

Arne Vainio. Used with permission.

Clean up/clean out your garden at the end of the season or leave it?

Michel Bish/Flickr

Planning ahead for next year's fresh produce from your garden, and surveying the tidy rows of canned fruits, vegetables, salsas, pestos, jams and jellies can be one of the most satisfying ends to the summer.

Haley Diem

Haley Diem was a little embarrassed this past weekend.

The One Vegetable, One Community coordinator (it's a new position this year at the Duluth Community Garden Program) had just covered every flat surface of her kitchen with home-grown produce and had only one thing left before she began her annual salsa-making operation: getting some canning jars.

Long story short, Diem returned home sans jars and had to start dumping out condiments and Mason-jar vases in order to start canning.

Tom Kasper. Used with permission.

Someday, Tom Kasper wants to find a grant that will help him build small gardens for folks who couldn't afford it otherwise.

Tom Kasper/Lisa Johnson

September is perfect for spending time in the garden.  The temperatures are lovely, the harvest is busting out all over, and it's great to find a comfortable place to sit (in or near your plot), appreciate what you've accomplished and plan a little for how you could garden for yourself - and others - next year.

flowerpatchfarmhouse.com

Fall-based gardening?  Now?  It's the middle of August!

Luckily, a couple of the things you might consider doing in the garden are all about sharing: dividing irises, for example (if they haven't been blooming, or taking a page from Tom Kasper's book and dropping off 90 pounds of produce at the Damiano Center!

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