In This Edition | October 4, 2019
- 2nd Annual Best Garden Book Giveaway | Enter to win
- The Great Watermelon Question | Is it ripe?
- Reducing Plastic Waste | Start with the kitchen
- How to Ripen Tomatoes Indoors | Green to red
- Fall Garden Ideas | Sign up for the special email series
- Listen | Have you heard Two Minutes in the Garden?
- Resources | Resources and recommendations
- In My Empire of Dirt | Behind the scenes
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Fresh From Empress of Dirt
This giveaway was huge last year and Quarto Publishing is kindly sponsoring it again.
- STEP 1: Visit the 10 Best Gardening Books of 2019 | Enter to win the whole lot!
One entry per person. Tell your garden club or horticultural society to have everyone enter for more chances to win!
And that’s not all.
Quarto has also provided a discount code for Empress of Dirt readers. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping or treat yourself.
- STEP 2: Visit the book shop here at Quarto and use the code EMPRESS30 at checkout for 30% off. Woot! Thank you, Quarto!
No purchase necessary to enter the giveaway.
Giveaway Note: Two winners of the recent Gilmour Prize Pack giveaway have not claimed their prizes.
- Marianna (Michigan)
- Douglas R. (WI)
Please reply to this newsletter so I can get your prizes to you!
Giveaway winners are contacted by email and listed here.
How Can You Tell if a Watermelon is Ripe for Picking?
Here’s the problem: once you harvest watermelon, it stops ripening.
So, you want to be sure it’s good for picking: there are no second chances!
We know the folklore tips—knock on it, smell it, shake it—and so on, but which tips are reliable?
We investigated and here’s what we learned:
Smart tips to Reduce Plastic Waste in the Kitchen
We’ve all seen the images: landfills overflowing with masses of plastic waste. Miles of plastics floating in the oceans. Microplastics shortening the lives of wildlife. It’s overwhelming and heartbreaking. But together we can turn this around.
All efforts help—changing how we shop, what we buy, and making those in power aware we want a better way.
Here’s some ideas:
How to Ripen Tomatoes Indoors
If you have a bunch of green tomatoes in your garden, you may be able to win the race against time and get them ripe.
But first, you need mature fruit. Here’s how it works:
Fall Garden Ideas Special Email Series
Have you signed up yet? If not, join us!
How does it work? Sign up and every few days you will receive an email (10 total) packed with creative and practical ideas for the fall garden and harvest.
We’ll get the summer garden put away, do fall sowing, get ready for winter, and get a jump start on spring. Plus, there are recommended plant, tool, book, and gift ideas.
As always, it’s free and, if it’s not your cup of tea, you can unsubscribe using the buttons on the top of any message.
I hope it will lift your fall spirits and provide lots of ideas!
Listen to Our Garden Podcast
“It’s the potato chip of garden podcasts. Bet you can’t listen to just one!”
Here are some recent topics from our audio show, Two Minutes in the Garden, featuring Mr. Empress, my husband Gary.
Each episode is a bite-size (3 minutes or less) look at interesting garden and nature-related topics.
CLICK PLAY TO LISTEN
- See my curated lists of treasures just for gardeners.
- There are plenty of ideas in the photo (above) including the Harvest sign.
Garden Tasks & Creative Ideas
- What to grow and make in October | Based on my growing zone 6b (Ontario, Canada).
In My Empire of Dirt
“Solitude has its own very strange beauty to it.”
Every September, when the masses head back to work and school, we take a day to go to the beach.
Ontario has many gorgeous beaches and, with the crowds gone, it is our time to enjoy them.
It’s been a good year for monarchs and butterflies in general—in some regions, including ours—and it proved true at the beach as well.
There were dozens of butterflies sunning in the sand and flitting in the breeze.
And what a welcome sight. They are one of many canaries in the coal mine in these times of environmental change.
But one good season does not leave room for complacency. We need the whole circle of life—and food chain—to survive and thrive.
You probably heard recent reports about the drastic decline in wild birds in North America over the past 50 years.
Between pollution, emissions, and habitat loss, we have much to protect and change.
Never assume your voice is too small. How we vote, spend our money, and grow our gardens can all help.
I hope you’ll join us for the Fall Garden Ideas email series.
See you again in two weeks.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
PS: Want to know what’s popular on the Empress of Dirt website this week? Here you go!