Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Studded with annuals that produce fruit in one season, vegetables grow fast in our summer heat. People start with tomatoes and then move on to corn, peppers, and perhaps, a little basil to season it all. You can grow basil and tomatoes even in a stock tank container with a dependable water supply.
Growing your own vegetables and herbs makes good sense. If you buy herbs in the grocery store, they are cost prohibitive. A packet of seeds will yield more plants than you can use. So, choose seeds, or small bedding plants, to grow basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and other lesser known herbs like lovage and salad burnet. Some also make great additions to the ornamental garden. Many herbs like rosemary are perennial in our climate. They only need a trim each spring to look their best.
Choose heat-loving plants for the southern vegetable garden. Tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, squash and okra are classics. For pure ease, I like to grow bush-type green beans. They don’t take up much room, and are easy to pick. ‘Dragon Tongue’ is an heirloom variety with great taste. Also, try eggplant and cucumbers, I like Asian eggplant varieties like ‘Fairy Tale’ because they produce more fruit and don’t take as long to mature. You can grow produce from around the world. This year, I’m trying eggplants ‘Jade Sweet’ from Australia and ‘Fengyuan Purple’ from Taiwan. I’m also growing heirloom ‘Dragon’s Egg’ and hybrid ‘Spacemaster’ cucumbers. Cantaloupe and sweet potatoes are easy too. Just give them plenty of space to sprawl. For the advanced gardener, you can also grow pumpkins and watermelon, but I find cantaloupes (muskmelons) easier.
Still, the last couple of years have been hard on our vegetable gardens. With extreme heat and drought, what is a gardener to do?
1.Start early, but beware of late frost.
I plant my tomatoes, peppers and eggplant a bit early when temperatures warm because most will not fruit when temperatures rise over 100º F. Instead of relying on the average frost date as my marker, I watch weather forecasts for nights below 55º F. If nights are supposed to dip below that magic number, I cover the plants and uncover the next day. You can also use a row tunnel if you plant in rows. Another way to trick Mother Nature is to grow plants in containers. Wheel plants into the garage or house when unseasonable cold threatens. My plants grew and bloomed before extreme summer temperatures caused stress. Once temperatures cooled some in August, indeterminate tomatoes began to bloom again. I harvested cherry tomatoes and peppers into September, along with other produce.
Only plant what you have time and space to grow. Nothing is sadder than an overgrown vegetable garden and a frustrated new gardener. Try raised beds where you can reach to the center.
3.Have water available to make irrigation easy.
Don’t depend on a hand sprayer at the end of a hose. Instead, lay down soaker hoses or install a drip system for successful growing.
4.Watch out for pests and diseases, but don’t immediately grab the spray bottle.
Instead, go online and do a bit of research. Sometimes, a blast of water will banish some insects like aphids. Natural remedies are easier on the planet and your family too.
Use these four tips, and you’ll harvest loads of produce. How fun will it be to treat your friends with sliced tomatoes still warm from the sun? You’ll be the hit of the neighborhood. Then, you can enable others to join you. Vegetable gardening--it’s a healthy addiction.