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 A fresh shipment of beautiful white pumpkins has hit the farm. What used to be a novelty, white or ivory pumpkins are becoming more common and we are so glad they are. There isn’t anything wrong with these albino pumpkins. The seeds can actually be purchased and grown just like any other pumpkin and come in different varieties, such as Lumina, Cotton Candy, Full Moon, Polar Bear or miniature Baby Boo. White pumpkins take about 90 days to grow and the seeds must be planted prior to the first frost. Be sure to pick them from the vine once they mature or they may discolor.

What can you use a white pumpkin for? Other than the beautiful fall decorations they provide on a front porch, centerpiece, or around a fireplace they can be carved into jack-o-lanterns just as any other. Their skin isn’t quite as thick as the orange pumpkins making it easier to carve. The insides are actually orange making a cool contrast. White pumpkins make great painting pallets as well if you prefer paint brushes over carving knives.

White pumpkins can be used for more than decorating. Like their orange and yellow siblings, these ivory gourds can be substituted and used to make pies and soups. Bake, puree, and freeze just the same. We recommend the Lumina variety of the white pumpkins for its flavor and texture. The seeds can be eaten just like the amber gourds. Using the hollowed white pumpkin makes for a beautiful and festive bowl as well.

Come to Farrand Farms today and pick out yours. Currently available in a multitude of sizes.

 

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stop squirrels from eating your pumpkins

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stop squirrels from eating your pumpkinsFall is here and pumpkins of all types and colors are at the farm and ready for your front porch. You have your hay bails, pumpkins, scarecrows and corn stalks placed in their distinct positions just as Pinterest showed you. The next day you go outside to admire your work and there’s a hole in your pumpkin! A squirrel made a meal out of your masterpiece last night. Keep squirrels off your pumpkins by following these simple tips can help maintain your design and the beauty of your decorations.

1.) Keep Squirrels Off Your Pumpkins with Repellant

Commercial squirrel repellent can be sprayed thoroughly on your pumpkin according to the product instructions. Most are non-toxic and meant only to keep them away – not kill them. If you’re unable to find a non-toxic squirrel repellant then deer repellent should have the same effect. The two tend to dislike the same scents. The most effective sprays will have the main ingredient of putrescent whole egg solids. Essentially, your pumpkin will smell like rotten eggs. You may need to keep the pumpkin away from your house until the spray dries as you’ll be able to smell the repellent at first.

2.) Place Your Pumpkin on Dog Hair

Squirrels hate dogs as much as dogs hate squirrels so placing your pumpkin on dog hair will help keep the rodents off of them as the smell of the hair keeps them away. Cat hair could work as squirrels seem to hate big cats as much as dogs, but dog hair is more efficient. Refrain from using cat urine due to the toxins. Dog hair keeps the deer away as well.

3.) Apply Pepper or Hot Sauce

As much as you may not like a large amount of pepper or hot sauce on your food, squirrels definitely don’t either.  Applying hot sauce or cayenne pepper onto your pumpkins will keep these pests at bay with one sniff or bite. You may also create a pepper barrier around your pumpkins with the cayenne pepper. You may need to apply each a few days after application if it rains. However, the hot sauce is prone to work its way into the skin. A third option is to create a homemade pepper spray by blending hot peppers and then combining them with a drop of dish soap and vegetable oil. Place the solution into a spray bottle and then apply to the pumpkin every few days.  Don’t forget to wash your hands after handling the pepper, sauce, or spray as it could irritate your skin and eyes.

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September gardening

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September gardeningFeel that crisp early morning air? Yes, it’s quickly replaced by muggy heat, but that small amount means the weather is changing soon and so should your garden or flower beds. Here is your September gardening checklist. September is all about preparing for next spring: sowing, planting, and separating. Let’s start with your current garden. What do you have that is getting too large? Hastas, grasses and other perennials can now be dug up, separated, and replanted. Take a look at your lawn and grass. Do you see any

Let’s start with what you have currently:

1.) What do you have that is getting too large? Hastas, grasses and other perennials can now be dug up, separated, and replanted to fill in your beds.
2.) While you’re enjoying the evening temperatures take a look at your lawn and grass. Do you see any bare spots? Now is a good time to aerate, verticut and/or seed depending on your lawn. If you add grass seed cover it lightly with compost to keep it moist and protected.
3.) As mowing becomes less frequent and plants begin to hibernate use the lawn clippings, leaves and spent plants to prepare your fall compost.
4.) Lastly, save your tenders (dahlias, cannas, gladiolus, etc.) and warm weather plants by digging them up before frost hits. Store your bulbs and tubers in a cool, dry place.

Now that you’re caught up on your current lawn and garden let’s work on next year.

1.) Plant perennials to take advantage of the temperature.
2.) Sow seed of next year’s biennial flowers. These would include your forget-me-nots, foxgloves, hollyhocks, etc.
3.) Plant your spring blooming flowers.
4.) Start planting your winter salad crops such as kale and spinach in your cold box.

These simple steps will have your yard prepped and ready to roll so you can relax through the winter knowing your garden is ready to for the spring. If you have any questions or need any products for your garden we at Farrand Farms are always here to help.

 

 

 

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Posted by & filed under Summer, Uncategorized.

japanese_beetles_eatingIf you’ve been outside lately you may have noticed a small shiny metallic green guest (or should we call it a pest). These are Japanese Beetles and outside of the summer heat, they love leaves, flowers, and wounded or overripe fruit so if you see Japanese Beetles you will most likely begin to see your plants and crops slowly disappear. Japanese Beetles tend to work in swarms and start at the top of a plant and work their way down. Plants in direct sunlight are usually the first to be devoured. This post will provide you with information on ways to get rid of Japanese Beetles.

 

What plants do Japanese Beetles Like?

If you have any of the below plants they are a Japanese Beetle favorite so keep a close eye on them.

  • Linden
  • Crabapple
  • Apple
  • Japanese maple
  • Norway maple
  • Rose
  • Crape myrtle
  • Pin oak
  • Birch
  • Cherry or other fruit trees

Ways to controlling Japanese Beetles

  1. As soon as you see any signs of Japanese Beetles or your plants being fed on spray the plants with neem oil or Japanese Beetle Killer. A pyrethrin-based insecticide is a safer product for fruits, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and roses and can help keep other types of beetles away, too.
  2. Pick off the beetles when you see them on the plants. Japanese beetles are slow, especially in the mornings. You can catch them. Once you catch them you can put them in soapy water to “get rid of them”.
  3. If you have a large yard trap the beetles using a Japanese Beetle trap. These traps or bags attract the beetles so if you have a smaller yard you are more likely doing your neighbors a favor by attracting them from their yard to yours. Leave the trap out for a day or two every few weeks.
  4. If you are ready to prevent next year’s beetles you can use a grub guard. the grubs turn into beetles so getting rid of them early will be helpful. Applying the guard in the spring is the most effective. Secondly, you can use a milky spore which works its way into your soil and is effective for up to ten years. A milky spore will also get rid of the grubs thus reducing your beetle problem.
Japanese Beetle Trap

Japanese Beetle Trap

 

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Posted by & filed under Summer, Vegetables.

It is hot and the last thing you want to do is sit in the sun with your hands in the dry dirt. However late summer planting in the heat of July or August pays off when you have a second harvest filling your kitchen with veggies for all your winter soups and salads. There are hardier vegetables that thrive in cooler temperatures, even into the 20s, and some semi-hardy vegetables that may require a bit of care during the frostier days.To find the perfect planting time for each of these vegetables you will need to find the first expected frost date for your area. Count backward the number of days to maturity for each plant to ensure the harvest of semi-hardy vegetables before the frost.

Hardy vegetables perfect for frosty winters reaching the 20s:

  • beets
  • broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts

    Kale - a hardy vegetable that needs little care when late summer planting

    Kale – a hardy vegetable

  • cabbage
  • collards
  • green onions
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • mustard greens
  • onions
  • parsley
  • peas
  • radishes
  • spinach
  • garlic

Light Frost Vegetables That Could Benefit From Protection:

  • cauliflower
  • cilantro
  • kohlrabi
  • leaf lettuce

    Potatoes are a semi-harder vegetable that need only a little care when late summer planting

    Potatoes are a semi-harder vegetable

  • mustard greens
  • spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • carrots
  • celery
  • Chinese cabbage
  • endives
  • parsnips
  • potatoes
  • turnips

Frost Tender Vegetables that Require More Care:

  • basil
  • snap beans
  • bush beans
  • bush lima beans

    Watermelons need extra care during the fall and winter to harvest when late summer planting

    Watermelons need extra care during the fall and winter to harvest

  • cucumbers
  • eggplants
  • muskmelon
  • New Zealand spinach
  • okra
  • peppers
  • pumpkin
  • squash
  • sweet corn
  • sweet potato
  • tomato
  • watermelon

Preparation, Care, and Frost Protection for your Late Summer Planting

Depending on the crop and the climate the preparation and care will vary. The best environment for late summer plant growth is in a raised bed or in mounded rows at least 8 inches high – preferably a hot bed or cold frame. The preparation begins in late summer when the spring-planted crops have gone to seed. At this point in the year, the dirt is usually hard and crusted and will need to be tilled. Once tilled and your seedling transplanted cover the soil with at least two inches of leaves, grass clippings, manure, or any other organic matter. Adding an all-purpose fertilizer to the top and then mixing it into the soil will also help promote growth.

Heat reaching 85 degrees or more is a germination killer for most plants so keeping your seeds cool until the fall is vital. Keep your soil below 85 degrees by covering it with mulch or vermiculite and then shade the area with burlap or newspaper. Don’t forget to remove the shade once the seeds have germinated. For the first two weeks water every few days. Continue through the Fall to provide an inch of water per week to keep your plants moist. One thing that does love heat and can put an abrupt stop to your snowy supply are bugs and insects. The summer heat causes these pests to multiply so avoiding crops such as squash and cucumbers that are commonly devoured can help keep your garden at bay. If you see any dry or damaged plants remove them immediately as pests flock to dying produce.

Once you’ve survived the summer and fall your next, and largest obstacle is the winter and its frost. For hardier plants that may harvest after the first frost or may survive until spring due to a mild winter protection will be key. Protect your plants individually with milk jugs or paper caps or protect a larger area with blankets over a staked area.

We at Farrand Farms are here to help with your late summer garden or help you prepare your garden for the winter. Contact us today or just swing by.

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Posted by & filed under Summer, What's New.

As I am busy wrapping things up here before handing things off to the new owners on July 1st, it occurred to me that having a clone would be handy. I also realized it would take “two of me” to adequately say thank you to everyone for making these past 34 years at Farrand Farms the best years of my life.
P.S. In case you are curious, I’m standing with my favorite plant of all time in front of me…the yellow shrimp plant. And now you know!

 
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Posted by & filed under Summer, Uncategorized.

So many of you come to the greenhouse hoping to pick out flowers attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Planting a butterfly/hummingbird garden is easy and fun. We carry a multitude of plants that are perfect for this purpose!

First, stop in Farrand Farms, and stop by the cashier. We have a free list available with plants ideal for this purpose. You can plant annuals, perennials, or even herbs to draw them to your yard.

Next, think bright colors. These creatures love to zero in on brightly colored blooms, especially red! The color alerts them to the blooms and the possibility of nectar.

When in doubt if a bloom is good for hummers and butterflies, look at the shape of the flower. A cup shaped or tubular bloom generally holds wonderful nectar to feed your garden friends.

Finally, sit back and enjoy your beautiful garden and watch how many different hummingbirds and butterflies stop in for a visit!

 

Lastly, we have some wonderful news to share! As we have told you, our friends, before, I am retiring on June 30th and many of you wondered about the fate of Farrand Farms. Well, we are happy to tell you that Farrand Farms has been purchased! The new owners are another family excited to run a small family business. They are ready to offer the exceptional service and product that Farrand Farms is known for. Expect to see the same excellent plants and the same smiling faces you have grown to love around the Farm!

We will see you soon!

Keith Farrand

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