Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How To Make A Composter Tumbler From A Plastic Trash Can (In Less Than 30 Minutes)

You can buy a decent medium to large composter/tumbler for around $100 or more from your local hardware store or an online retailer such as on Amazon.Or, for less than $20, you can easily make one yourself today!

To start and complete your composter tumbler, all you need are the following:

  • Less than 30 minutes of your time.
  • Any size ROUND plastic trash can with a SECURE lid ("round" and "secure lids" are important because in order to mix contents, you will need to roll the container on the ground without having the top pop off).
  • A decent drill with a 1/4" to 1" size drill bit (I do not recommend holes larger than 1" - especially if you're adding kitchen waste - since debris may fall out of the holes).

Steps 1,2 and 3 - Drilling Holes

Drill holes on the top, side, and bottom of your trash can (in any order). This is actually fast and effortless work. I was surprised how easily the drill poked through the plastic - just like a hot knife through butter.

Making your own composter tumbler is not rocket science, so there is no "right" amount of holes - just use your best judgement & don't be bashful (airflow is essential, so you can't go wrong with too many holes). NOTE: The larger the size of your drill bit, fewer holes are necessary.

That's it. Your composter is finished.

Steps 4 and 5 - Adding and Maintaining Your Compost

In a future post, I will explain in more detail the basics of composting (in the meantime you can read this guide). For now, simply add your yard or kitchen debris, always making sure your compost never gets too dry or too wet.

From time-to-time, mix your compostables by laying the composter on its side and rolling it around on the ground a bit.

Congratulations. In several weeks or a few months you'll have the perfect garden food.

If all of this sounds like too much work, or you don't have a drill etc..., you can always buy one. Composting tumblers, such as these,are amazingly cheap and practical.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Loved & Hated Parsley Worm, Otherwise Known As The Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Side view of the parsley worm (Black Swallowtail Caterpillar)
With the first frost on the horizon, I went out for my final parsley harvest of the season - and much to my visual delight, I found two of these beautiful caterpillars resting on the stems of the plants.

Turns out they are actually the Black Swallowtail Butterfly in caterpillar form, appropriately called the Parsley Worm.

The caterpillars I photographed here are in their last stages of growth, shortly before starting their 9 to 11 day chrysalis stage.
Frequently found resting & munching on parsley, they also enjoy the leaves of carrots, dill, celery & parsnips. Signs of their presence include chunks of leaves missing along the edges.

While just a few of these caterpillars pose no major threat to your herbs, many of them can simultaneously eat your plants down to their nubs. Take action when 25% of your plant is damaged.
Range map of the Black Swallowtail & a picture in butterfly stage.
Eliminating parsley worms can be done by using chemical pesticides or picking them off by hand. However, do not use chemicals if you plan on eating your herbs or vegetables. In these cases, you must remove them physically by hand.

Keep in mind that when threatened, these Parsley Worms reveal a forked snake-like small tongue. Though the tongue itself is not harmful, this gland emits a foul odor so you may want to consider handling these insects using gloves.
Close up view of the head & neck area.
If these little critters are doing no major harm, get up and close and enjoy your time with the beautiful Parsley Worm.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Eastern Carpenter Bee (Macro Photos + Education)

I started taking pictures of Bumblebees today when I realized these weren't bumblebees at all.

Though these bees look similar to a Bumblebee from a distance (or with eyes blurred), this is in fact a Carpenter Bee -- more specifically the Eastern Carpenter Bee.

As you see in the image below, the Carpenter Bee has a shiny abdomen while the Bumblebee is slightly wider with more fur.
The Eastern Carpenter Bee

Just one of over 500 species of Carpenter Bees in the world, the Eastern Carpenter Bee is the most common such bee in the Eastern United States.

A very docile insect, stings are rare and accidental (such as stepping on one with bare feet). They're made even more remote since the males do not have a stinger, therefore unable to inflict wounds.

While some insects are difficult to sex with human eyes, Eastern Carpenter Bee Males have a noticeable white cuticle area on their face, while the face of a female is completely black.
Original image from Map by Mike Boone.
Habits and characteristics

While males only visit flowers to keep themselves fed (or wait for "willing" females), the females gather pollen and nectar from flowers to help build and maintain their nests.

The Eastern Carpenter Bee is a clumsy flyer, often crashing into objects - only to harmlessly bounce off. This is most likely because of their "Jumbo-like" physical structure. They can, however, fly several miles from their nests daily.
This has been a busy bee. Notice the pollen dust on its back.
Similar but very different than Bumblebees

Like Bumblebees, these bees are excellent and noteworthy pollinators. Unlike Bumblebees, Carpenter Bees reside year-round in nests bored into wooden structures - thus earning the name "carpenter."

Though damage from Carpenter Bee's boring habits are not considered extensive (such as that occuring with Termites), it is enough to label them "pests" in many people's eyes. This is because more structural damage occurs when woodpeckers seek out larva from within these nests.

Year-round nesting habits

These bees are crafty woodcutters, however they do not ingest the wood - rather, the females use them to build walls inside their nest tunnels, where they lay their eggs and eventually overwinter.

When the following Spring arrives, the male Eastern Carpenter emerges to look for a mate while the female spends much of its time enlarging its existing nest, or boring a new tunnel nearby. Often the same nest is used year-round for many years.

Though they are neither considered a social or non-social insect, females do appear to form some long-standing bond with their sisters of daughters - frequently living in the same nest, or in one close by.
Male Eastern Carpenter Bee taking off from flower.
Final word

If your home (or any other prized possession around your yard) is not made from wood, there is really no reason at all to hate or discourage these wonderful pollinators.

The Eastern Carpenter Bee is not aggressive and cannot or usually won't sting, plus they encourage growth of any vegetation around your yard.

Do you like or dislike Carpenter Bees? Got a story to tell? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

P.S. Read this touching story about the Carpenter Bee and Her Mate

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Funny Harvest: Mouse Doll Potato

I was harvesting my Red Norland potatoes the other day when I came across this hilarious looking potato.

It looks like 4 potatoes that were conjoined during the growth process.

There's a fat torso with a head and big ears attached. There's even a little tail where the stem was attached!

Trust me, there was no glue or tricks involved here - this is truly the way it came out of the ground.

My first thought was that it reminded me of Mr. Bean's teddy bear, but upon further review, it looks more like a mouse doll.
I think my potato (right) looks more like the mouse in the middle, rather than Mr. Bean's Teddy (left)
Seems like every year I pull something funny out of my garden. Last year it was this odd looking tomato.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Helping Caged Tomato Plants Survive A Tropical Storm Or Hurricane


With a Hurricane & Tropical Storm bearing upon millions of USA residents, it is sure to bring devastating winds and torrential rains to gardens across the region.

Any plant with a high center of gravity and dense vegetation will be vulnerable to severe damage. Tomato plants fit that description.

Damage to caged tomato plants can be minimized or completely avoided by taking the following steps today:

1. Cut off excess tomato plant growth above the top of the cage (as pictured above). If not removed, rain will make these branches and leaves top heavy and flop around in the wind - increasing the chances of plant collapse. NOTE: I realize this may mean sacrificing a bunch of young green tomatoes, but it's better to take one step back now in order to take two steps forward later.

1b. (Not pictured) Also trim any dead or dying leaves or other excess growth in the middle of the plant. Any extra weight must be reduced.

2. Using appropriate wood for wedges (I'll let you determine what's appropriate), hammer at least two wedges inside the tomato cage (each opposite side from one another) so as to hold and stabilize the cage firmly in place. NOTES: Try to use 4 foot (or longer) pieces of wood and hammer them into the ground at least 2 feet if possible. Also don't worry too much about killing your tomato roots. You're actually only affecting a small percentage of roots.

These are not foolproof methods of protecting your tomato plants from storm damage, but will increase your odds for survival. Much depends on your location, path of the storm, amount of rain and intensity of wind.

Good luck.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vivid Garden Sunset After Tumultuous Weather Day & Week

What a week ... Tuesday was the earthquake and this afternoon we had the worst thunderstorm of the year.

Close encounter

Being 35 miles from the epicenter of Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude Mineral, Virginia earthquake - we were shook up real good here in Fredericksburg.

It was quite the experience. It started rather slowly - feeling like the ground next to a passing train. Then it got really violent for about 10-20 seconds before quickly subsiding.

I was working in my backyard-facing garage at the time and after realizing that we were having an earthquake, I quickly walked into the safety of my back yard.

My biggest memories are me thinking "I can't believe this is really happening - what if this is the BIG one?" I also remember looking at my 16 foot diameter pool and seeing ocean-like waves and the water splashing over the edges. It was an awesome sight!

No major damage to the house but the siding all around is now slightly warped like an old phonograph record.

Storm of the year

This afternoon we were pounded with a nasty thunderstorm, knocking out power for about 2 hours.

7 of my 11 tomato plants were tilted to the side or completely knocked over (see image, above right). Fortunately damage was minor with several branches snapped. I added more support and the plants are as good as new this evening.

My pears, unfortunately, suffered worse. Normally we get pears every other year (biennial) but this year I was surprised to see about 100 or so growing.

The wind from today's storm dropped several dozen of my pears to the ground (see image, above left), about one month before being perfectly ripe. All is not lost with these pears though -- I will make juice from them in my juicer.

The coast is not yet clear

Next up is Hurricane Irene, scheduled to side-swipe our area Saturday night.

If anything, this week is a real eye-opener and perhaps a blessing-in-disguise to get me prepared for possible power outages and whatever else the Hurricane may bring.

Finally, before I leave you, another picture of this evening's fine sunset...

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Morning Glory - Dew On Heavenly Blue


Dew On Wild Morning Glory (Heavenly Blue?) Growing Around The Fringes Of My Garden
I've not been an early-bird for the last half of this summer, so it's a beautiful nice surprise to wake up early and find lovely wild Morning Glory flowers smilin' at me - like I did this morning in my garden.

Appropriately named

Morning Glory is named for its ability to perk up and glow extremely early in the morning - lasting through through mid morning on sunny days (and longer when cloudy). A few rare species bloom at night.

Historically, Morning Glory was first used medicinally in China primarily for the laxative effects of its seeds. It found its way to Japanese shores during the 9th century - where it's believed it was first cultivated as an ornament.
A Nice Hearty Breakfast
There are over 1,000 species of Morning Glory. Except in colder climates, it is generally considered a perennial - coming back year after year. However a few species can tolerate winter cold, yet others are strictly annual.

Very attractive and quickly grown (2 months from seed to sprout), Morning Glory is a vining plant that grows in most types of soil and is capable of reaching 10 feet or more. Some people consider this plant to be a weed because of its tendency to spread and take over in areas where care is not given.

On trellises or fences, these plants spread and create thick summer shade. In fact, some people prefer to grow Morning Glory along the outside walls of their home to help reduce summer cooling costs.

Do you like or dislike Morning Glory plants? Got any favorite types or planting suggestions? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Habanero Harvest - The Fiery Truth About Making Your Own Hot Chili Powder


It's been a long time comin.' Last Saturday morning I finished my week long harvest of Habanero Peppers - my first of the season - and decided I'd try my hand at making habanero powder using my fairly new Nesco Food Dehydrator. So far, I've only used this machine to successfully dry herbs.

Before starting I knew what I was in for. Habaneros are the second HOTTEST chili pepper in the world (second only to the Ghost Pepper). This adds to the allure and challenge of making/eating such a potent pepper. Love it or hate it, Habaneros give me a rush unlike anything on this earth.

A little goes a long way, so this batch alone should take me through most of the winter. I will keep some in a small shaker and, like Mustard from hell, I will make mix my habanero powder into a half empty container of my favorite mustard. I might even try to sell some pure powder online.
Before placing in your dehydrator, wash and cut Habanero peppers into 1/2" slices
The dehydration process

With it's conveniently included recipe & instruction guide, I placed my cut habaneros (says to cut them in 1/2" slices) in the Nesco Food Dehydrator and turned it to 135 degrees. Though the drying time is said to be 3-20 hours for peppers, my batch was finished closer to the 20-hour range.

Harvest weight vs. dehydrated weight

Out of the 16 ounce harvest, I used about 14 ounces for dehydration (kept a few fresh ones for myself). After a day of dehydrating at 135 degrees - and then grinding into dust - I finished with just 3 ounces of powder. This means that 75 to 80 percent of my habanero pepper weight was moisture (water).

Just how much powder can one healthy habanero plant make in a season?

Out of curiosity I will be keeping a running tally of exactly how much powder a good habanero plant can produce in a general growing season (Zone 7).

Judging by this first harvest, I would estimate that each plant may produce 8-16 ounces of powder.

Though I will not be making powder from the majority of my habaneros, I can weigh my fresh harvest and - deducting 80% from that weight - determine a minimum seasonal powder yield. At season's end, I will report my findings and add an addendum to this blog post.
What I like about the Nesco Food Dehydrator is that it does a great job drying herbs, nuts, meats, fruits and of course vegetables at precise temperatures. This is important, because it enables your food to maintain valuable nutrition otherwise lost using a microwave or oven to dry your foods. In addition, the Nesco Food Dehydrator is expandable up to 12 trays! (I only used 5 on this occasion) - perfect for large drying projects. If you're worried about small herbs or food falling through the cracks, you can buy specialized plastic screens to help minimize loss.
Cautiously painful experience

Trust me, habanero pepper juice & powder WILL get on your hands (and eventually everywhere else) throughout this whole process. At 30 times the calibur of jalapeno peppers, just touching a habanero can be enough to set off extreme bodily reactions for some folks.

Dehydrating in an open space, such as the kitchen, can bring tears to other household members.

Breathing near the dust of newly ground-up habaneros can literally take your breathe away for a few moments - or set off allergic-type reactions.

Cleaning or handling utensils/dishes etc. used to make habanero powder may leave residue on your hands - only to realize it hours later when you wipe your face (or even worse, when you use the bathroom).
Final tally - about 3 oz.
My personal recommendations for making habanero powder:

1) Wash your hands often and thoroughly when handling habaneros - this includes after harvesting, cutting, working with the dehydrator and food grinder, and cleaning afterwards. If possible, wash your hands by using concentrated dish cleaning soap or something such as heavy duty garage hand-cleaner. Do not use just plain water.

2) Since this is such cautious and delicate process, I would recommend waiting long enough to make ONE HUGE batch - rather than making several smaller batches throughout the season. This can be done by freezing peppers until you're ready. Peppers do not have to be blanched to be frozen, and while peppers lose their crunch when put in a freezer - this does not matter for dehydration purposes.

Further study: Nesco Food Dehydrator

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Farmers Markets Up 17% in the USA Last Year. 10 States Report Increases of 30% or More!


It's a great day to be alive when farmer's markets are experiencing unprecedented growth, as they are year-over-year as indicated in this new USDA government press release.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are now 7,175 farmers markets in the country, up from 6,132 just one year earlier - an increase of around 17%.

Of the total number of farmers markets reported by market managers, nearly 12 percent indicate they have the capability of accepting SNAP (formerly known as food stamp) benefits onsite. This represents a 16 percent increase in the number of markets accepting SNAP benefits since 2010.

"The remarkable growth in farmers markets is an excellent indicator of the staying power of local and regional foods," said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. "These outlets provide economic benefits for producers to grow their businesses and also to communities by providing increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other foods. In short, they are a critical ingredient in our nation's food system."
According to the report, the following states recorded the highest increase in the amount of farmers markets. The top-10 list for growth is as follows:

  • Alaska (35 markets, up 46 percent)
  • Texas (166 markets, up 38 percent)
  • Colorado (130 markets, up 38 percent)
  • New Mexico (80 markets, up 38 percent)
  • Indiana (171markets, up 37 percent)
  • Oklahoma (61 markets, up 32 percent)
  • South Dakota (29 markets, up 32 percent)
  • Pennsylvania (266 markets, up 31 percent)
  • Ohio (278 markets, up 31 percent)
  • Michigan (349 markets, up30 percent)

Reasons for the rise may include a continued depressed economy, a more health-conscious society, and a changing demographic in USA (a rise in immigrants to America over the last several years and decades).

Photo by Joe Mabel
As this National Farmers Market Week comes to a close tomorrow (Saturday, August 13th), please take time this weekend to help your local farmers and regional economy by buying local at your nearest farmers market.

If you've yet to visit one of these markets, you're in for a treat. Not only does it get you out in nature, but you'll get to mingle with lots of friendly folks, get to know some of the farmers themselves, and of course come home with great food.

Advantages include freshness, availability of more organic produce, affordability, and depending on the size of the farmers market - great variety and selection.

Find your local farmers market online. The USDA National Farmers Market Directory is available at

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Magnificent Monarch Butterfly

Here I go again - another installment of my 2011 butterfly series (also see my posts on the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Variegated Fritillary).

Today, it's my photos and new-found knowledge of the Monarch Butterfly - hope you enjoy :)

About the Monarch Butterfly

With an easily recognizable black and orange wing pattern (3.5-4" wingspan), the monarch butterfly is perhaps the most well known of all North American butterflies.

Though they feed on a variety of nectar plants, milkweed is the plant of choice for monarch butterflies.

In fact, adult females lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves (which hatch in 3-12 days) and after birth, milkweed becomes the exclusive diet of the monarch caterpillars.
A butterfly of distinction

What makes the monarch butterfly distinct is that - similar to birds - it's the only butterfly to make lengthy migrations north & south annually.

But, unlike birds, NO ONE monarch butterfly makes the complete trip. It takes 3 to 4 generations to complete the journey cycle.

The first three generations live just 2 to 6 weeks each while making the trek northward. The last generation lives up to nine months, and are responsible for re-migrating to the same spot every year - south to Mexico, Texas or parts of Florida.
Adapted from original Wikipedia Commons photo by authors Harald Süpfle & Wiz9999
The great unknown

The big mystery to scientists is how the species returns to the SAME spots each Fall (to overwinter).

It is believed that the flight patterns of monarch butterflies are either inherited, or the butterflies use other natural forms of navigation, such as the positioning of the sun.

Top image is Monarch Butterfly in Caterpillar stage. Bottom two images are closeups of butterfly torso area.
Love of flight

While monarch butterflies travel extraordinary lengths - up to 3,000 miles to overwinter, they have also utilized their strong flying skills to fly elsewhere.

In fact, they are one of the few insects capable of crossing the Atlantic ocean.

In Bermuda, for example, they are becoming increasingly common as humans are more and more growing milkweed as an ornamental plant in their flower gardens.

If wind conditions are just right, some years find the monarch butterflies as far away as Great Britain.
These beautiful butterflies are extremely common and far from endangered.

Staying alive

Unlike many other butterflies, the monarch butterfly is toxic (due to its milkweed diet) and distasteful to birds and other mammals - helping preserve survival of the species.

It's believed that the bright colors of both the caterpillar and the adult's wings serve as natural warning colors to predators.
Final words

Like all insects the Monarch has six legs, however it uses only four of its legs as it carries its two front legs against its body.

Adult males will frequently gather in and around damp soil or wet gravel in an activity called 'mud-puddling.'

Monday, August 8, 2011

Landscaping Using Your Own Garden Rocks

After tilling, thousands of new rocks are unearthed in my garden

If your garden is full of small (or big) rocks, don't get mad -- use them to your advantage.

This year I decided that after each ground tilling session (about once a month), that I would take time to walk through, collect and store all the newly unearthed rocks from my garden.

These will be used when the weather cools for landscaping around the yard.

With the garden freshly tilled the day before (and ready for Fall vegetable seed planting), yesterday was "rock picking-up day."

My personal method of collecting and storing rocks

If you choose, the most effective way to collect the most rocks is to get on your knees and pick up the rocks as you crawl around. Another method is to bend, stoop and pick up the rocks but this is harder on your back and joints.

However, I personally prefer to use a nabber (pictured, above right - click image for more info). This allows me to nearly effortlessly collect rocks without any bending or much bodily stress. But even this device isn't perfect -- after a while, the nabber does strain your hands and wrists a little, so I wouldn't recommend this device if you have arthritis or weak hands/wrists.
Before beginning, I place numerous empty plant containers at various points equally spaced apart (image 1, above). This ensures that all containers are merely a nabber reach away - reducing unnecessary walking around.

Decide what size rocks you want to collect. For me, the rocks have to be the size of a quarter or bigger.

Next you simply use your nabber to pick up your rocks (image 2a), and place them in the closest container you see (image 2b). Walk around and collect rocks from the entire area until you're finished.
When you're done collecting, empty each container (image 3a) into your transport of choice - in my case, a wheelbarrow (image 3b).

Transfer and dump your load (image 4) to a collection pile somewhere around your yard.

Keep repeating every time after tilling, or in places where you have used your hoe. Rocks seem to unearth all of the time.
Your rocks can be used anywhere. Here I've used them to circle plants.
If you have a fairly large garden and lots of rocks - as I do - each year should yield enough rocks for several large landscaping projects. If your garden is smaller with fewer rocks, it may take years to collect enough rocks to do anything significant. But it's all worth it.

Final words

Get in the habit of keeping a bucket for rocks near your garden at all times. Rocks have a strange way of "just appearing," and gathering them as you go expedites your collection efforts.

HINT: The best time to pick up rocks is after it rains and dries off a bit. The rain cleans the dirt off the rocks and makes the mud darker -- the resulting contrast makes seeing the rocks much easier

SUGGESTION: Got children around? Wanna get them involved around the garden? Consider offering a child some monetary or other reward to collect the rocks. You can pay them by the bucket-full, by weight, or however you choose.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

When Should You Harvest Your Sugar Baby Watermelons?

Just a few of my six Sugar Baby's currently growing from 2 plants

While an experienced melon grower has little problem determining when to harvest their sugar baby watermelons, the rest of us may need a little help to get it right.

Here are 6 ways to determine the right time to harvest and enjoy your sugar baby watermelons:
  1. Follow instructions and harvest when you're supposed to. On a calender, note and keep track of the maturity date. This is usually listed on the back of your seed packet. If you don't know your specific type of sugar baby watermelon, most are ready for harvest around 80 days (give or take a week).
  2. Check the curly tendril that attaches your sugar baby watermelon to the stem. If it is still green, then it is very much alive, healthy and growing and NOT ready for harvest. If the tendril is brown and dry, it may be prime for picking. NOTE: Start paying close attention daily as it begins turning from green to brown. This will ensure peak ripeness.
  3. Thump it with your fingers. This method works best with experience, but can give you valuable clues. When ripe, the sound will be deeper and more low-pitched than younger melons.
  4. Look at the skin color and feel it's texture. When harvest nears, the color gradually turns from bright green to a slightly duller hue and the texture starts to feel somewhat rough. These methods are also born from experience but are an excellent determining factor for ripeness.
  5. Test it with your fingernail. When ripe, the skin of the sugar baby watermelon will be more difficult to indent with your fingernails.
  6. Check the underside of your watermelon. If the belly is creamy-white (for seeded varieties) or golden yellow (for seedless), it may right for picking.

Notice the tendril attached to the stems on 2 of my melons. They are not brown and dry yet - therefore they could use more time
Final words

As your sugar baby watermelons get close to harvest, reduce or stop watering completely. This prevents hollow craters inside the melon, and promotes higher sugar content - resulting in better taste.

When brought inside, store your melons between 50 and 60 degrees.

DISCLAIMER: Before using any information contained in this blog entry, you are advised to do your own due diligence and research on the topic and/or consult with a qualified expert or professional.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Last Chance Vegetable Plants (Zone 7)

Hard to believe it's August 4th already, but if you live in USA hardiness planting zone-7, you can still plant seeds now for harvest before first frost, presumably sometime later in October.
As I explained in this post, plants listed here are based on information primarily for Zone 7 Virginia gardeners, though this reference is probably valid for MOST gardeners located in hardiness zone 7 throughout the United States.

What You Can Still Plant (the sooner the better):
Remember, just because I don't mention it here, it doesn't mean it can't be planted. Do your own research -- you may be surprise what you may still plant.

Extending the growing season

Many keen and avid gardeners can extend the growing season by utilizing plant survival techniques, allowing them to plant later and harvest later.

These include covering vegetation with tarps or other covers to prevent frost damage, watering before sunset to help trap warm air near the soil surface, or use cold frames (mini-greenhouses)

Adjacent Zone's 6 and 8

Because this post focuses specifically on Zone 7 (mid-Atlantic to be more precise), I can't speak for hardiness zones 6 (cooler) or 8 (warmer).

Common sense would say it may be getting late in zone 6 for the plants discussed here, and you may have more time in zone 8, but please do your own research.

Final Word

Do you know any other vegetable (or herb) that can still be planted in Zone 7 ? Share a comment and let me know.