Best of the season

One of the benefits of being part of the blogging community is that we are afforded a wonderful learning opportunity. I would never be able to document the number of things I’ve learned over the years, but I thank you all.

So, here are a few of my suggestions as we wind up this year’s outdoor season here in the Northeast.

Cleaning:  Wet and Forget is the best cleaning product I’ve ever run across. A local box store has a gallon container for $29.94, but you mix it at a 1:5 ratio so it covers a lot of territory. I used it on our white PVC fence, lattice work, arbor, and house siding that are in varying amounts of shade. You spray it on, and that is it – no scrubbing. As it rains in the future, the green stuff just disappears. My sprayer died, and I even finished the job with a handheld plant sprayer which worked just fine.

Composting:  We’ve used several different compost methods over the years – none to brag about. Our current compost barrel was made out of an old rain barrel. We then built a frame out of pressure treated wood to support it and allow it to be turned over.

Once we have compost, we will be able to push the wheelbarrow right underneath it to dump. It is a winner.

Gardening-large tool:  Aubuchon Hardware sells an Ames True Temper Garden Cart that I love. I can’t imagine how I got along without it. I can pick it up and put it in the back of the car when I’m working on a Master Gardener project. It costs $89.99, which might sound pricey to some, but if you are looking for a stable, lightweight unit, this is it. You can pull or push with little effort.

Gardening-small tool:  A fellow gardener let me borrow these Hydrofarm pruners one day when we were working on potting up plants. They are so handy to snip a bloom or small branch. They come in a small plastic sleeve and can easily fit in a jacket or pant pocket. They work great and cost under $15.


Lawn chair:
We purchased two of these Adams brown resin adirondack chairs from Lowe’s this year for under $30 each. They are very comfortable and not as low as regular adirondacks which those of us with back issues can appreciate. They have a drink holder so it’s easy to hold on to a bottle of water when you take a gardening break. They also stack easily when you are ready to put them away.

Organic fertilizer: We don’t do a lot of work on our lawn because we live on four acres, and if we obsessed about it, we’d have a full-time job. But, in the fall we do put down some organic fertilizer – Milorganite. What’s so great about this particular fertilizer? The deer don’t like the smell and avoid it. Now, that is a winner in my book. It sells out fast up here. Yesterday, we had to drive south towards the MA border to find a couple of bags. Two bags were around $26.

Raised beds:  We’ve used galvanized stock tanks for three years now as raised beds. They work perfectly. We bought a couple on Craigslist and a couple at Tractor Supply. We have a total of four and grow all of our veggies in them.

Tomatoes:  Sun gold cherry tomatoes produced fruit all summer long in a quantity that I could not keep up with. I gave them away by the pint – some days even by the quart. They were the sweetest tomatoes I’ve ever grown, and I will definitely plant them again next year.

So, do you have recommendations to share for next gardening season? Well, besides hiring a landscape company. 🙂

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About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in Gardening and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Best of the season

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for these tips, Judy. My wife has tried the Sun Gold Cherry tomatoes two years in a row. Lats year, we were inundated with them. This year, she only got a few. I will take a look at Wet and Forget – I have to clean the vinyl balusters and railings. Does it work for (light) moss on a roof? Our front roof gets no sun at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I use to go out there with a bucket, cleaner, brushes, and a hose and spend hours trying to clean all the green stuff off. I’d certainly give it a try. It hasn’t bleached anything I’ve tried it on. We actually had our roof cleaned this spring to get moss and its spores off. The guy came with the big lift that took him up over the roof – looks like a new roof. It cost $800 for him to do it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dan Antion says:

        Pretty soon, $800 is going to look like money well spent. I can still get to the bad part with a ladder, but that won’t always be the case.

        I power-washed the deck and railings in the spring. I can do that again. But, there’s a difference between getting wet on a cold day in the spring and getting wet on a cold day in the fall.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Laurie Graves says:

    Great suggestions! Always so good to get tips

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laurie Graves says:

    Great suggestions! Always so good to get tips. What kind of soil do you use in the galvanized stock tanks?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Almost Iowa says:

    I built a couple of raised gardens for my wife who has back problem. They worked great – until she saw the first snake. She hates snakes to the point of phobia. That is when the garden became mine. Does anyone have ideas for keeping snakes away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tell your wife she is not alone. I’m scared to death of them. When I mention them, people start talking to me about various kinds, etc., and I’m like don’t waste the conversation. If it is long, skinny, and slithers along the ground it is a snake, and I don’t want to be anywhere in its vicinity. The drain is open, and we poked holes in the bottom for drainage, but I haven’t seen any in there (fingers crossed). I have medium sized rocks set around in the garden beds, and that is where I normally see them.

      Like

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        I was thinking those galvanized tubs looked like a great idea and even someone like me could garden in something like that.

        … then I saw the comment about snakes. Ummm … maybe I’m just not meant to be a gardener 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. quilt32 says:

    Thank you for the tips. I’m especially interested in Wet and Forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Murphy's Law says:

    Great tips. The Wet and Forget has peaked my interest. Definitely going to check that one out. You never fail to deliver something really interesting in your blogs . Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. joey says:

    Great shares!
    I have the traditional low Adirondacks, also brown. We all love them, but my MIL looks like she’s going to die every time she sits in one. :/ I should go get her a special one.
    Wet & Forget for SIDING you say?!? Like the dingy greened siding it takes days to scrub clean every single spring?!? Is that what you’re saying, Judy?!?
    My pruners were a gift, from Brookstone, and they’re too good for me, I can’t believe I haven’t lost them all these 15 years later! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, buy your MIL one of these chairs and she won’t fall towards the back and will be able to get up and out. She will love you for it. YES, you mix the Wet & Forget up and walk around in the shade wherever you see green or black. Spray it, and watch as future rains come along and it just rolls right off. I didn’t believe it, but it works. My ‘green’ fence became ‘white’ after a couple of rains. It is a wonderful product.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My favourite tip is the chair. I could sit and watch while Mr ET does all the work. 🙂 He’s already started on his summer vegetable garden, with tomatoes, lettuce, silverbeet, and rhubarb doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve got to try wet and forget. I have a “green everything” problem. Most people don’t seem to know how HUMID it is around here!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Joyce says:

    The cleaning product and the tomatoes! Those are tips I can use! Both in town daughters have sunny garden areas and I think I could get the grandkids interested in gardening if they had something good to grow! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We’re all about Sun Gold here. They’re like nutritious candy. 🙂 I’m going to look for the fertilizer. I’d love to go organic, which we were doing at our house in Cleveland after several seasons of non-organic to knock out the weeds. I was digging dandelions by hand, but each day when I’d come out, there would be more where I’d just done. Once they were under control, we went with organic lawn service and that worked well.

    This isn’t a gardening tip, but everyone should use RainX on their windshields! It really works, causing the rain to just roll up and off. We can drive along without using our wipers when others have theirs going non-stop. I’ve never tried their wipers, but can’t recommend the RainX too highly.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We don’t do much gardening, so I’m no help at all. But you’ve got some great ideas there.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. germac4 says:

    Your husband has designed the perfect compost barrel. I especially like the fact that there is room underneath for a wheelbarrow. I must post some photos of our composing barrel…in serious decline…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The big tomato winner for us this year was black cherry, literally hundreds of them off three plants!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nadezda says:

    Oh, my Gosh, I remember your compost barrel made in spring. Glad it worked well all the season, Judy. I also liked your chairs with drink holder, good idea. I will find them in IKEA. Happy closing the season!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Norm 2.0 says:

    Great suggestions Judy. I’ll have to look up those Sun Gold tomatoes and give them a try next season.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. KerryCan says:

    I just made a note in my “to do” app to find that Wet and Forget next spring! It does sound like magic. All your tips are great!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Brenda says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips, Judy. It’s wonderful what we learn from other bloggers. I’m glad that you came through the storm without too much damage.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Rose says:

    I enjoyed reading about these…we used those little pruners at work for some things…not regular pruning. One thing was when we used to pick Fuji apples, had to nip the stem back or they would roll around and puncture the other apples when going through washer, etc. Yes, the stems were that long!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Great stuff and wonderful post always want to here more gardening advice! It’s Winter here in Kentucky! Blessed day!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Annie says:

    Darn! I just bought a wheelbarrow but like yours better. Wet and Forget might help me clean our brick steps that moss seems to love. I’m even going to check out Sustainabilitea’s suggestion of RainX. Did you purchase the Sun Gold plants or the seeds?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. WOW Judy I need to check out this Wet and Forget for the kids swing out in the backyard! Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oddment says:

    Thanks for all these good ideas! The voice of experience comes through loud and clear here. (Can you use Wet and Forget on grandkids after soccer games?)

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Judy thanks for the recommendations! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Grandma Kc says:

    I will definitely remember that for next year! My grape tomatoes were crazy this year and they really do make such a healthy and tasty snack. I love tomatoes!

    Liked by 1 person

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