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Archives for October 4, 2013

Georgia Tech Football: Q&A with State of the U

Check out my responses over at SotU!!

FTRS: In his first two seasons, Al Golden has compiled a 6-6 and 7-5 record, respectively, but the Hurricanes are 4-0 coming into this game. What is the general consensus on Golden amongst the fan base? How is he different as a coach than Randy Shannon?

SotU: Golden is, well, golden right now. He’s doing all the little – and big – things right. He relates so well to fans and media. He’s polite, energetic, and likable. Most importantly, and one of the biggest things that separates him from Shannon, is how he strengthened relationships with local high school coaches, some of which had been damaged. That was huge, and the recruiting has paid off nicely so far. And it’s hard not to pull for and respect a guy who has stood by the U through this shitstorm known as the NCAA. Beating our biggest in-state foe helped a hell of a lot too.

FTRS: Miami is not unlike Georgia Tech in having documented issues with filling the stadium. However, the Florida game in Week 2 (?) brought a full house with it. What is your assessment of the crowd issues faced by The U, and what was different about the Florida game?

SotU: It’s Florida. It’s Miami. It’s the oldest and nastiest rivalry among the state’s Big 3. And it also happens to be the last time they’re scheduled to play, barring UF’s administration getting their head out of the sand (I know firsthand that Blake James wants to keep playing the game). Florida travels as well as any school in the country. Combine all that, and you’ve got a party, which it was. However, try to fuel that same party for students/alums to make a trek literally across Dade county to the stadium for, say, Wake Forest? Therein lies the problem, especially with a 74,000+ seat stadium and 9-ish thousand student body we have. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out our problems.

FTRS: We learned the hard way last year that Duke Johnson is an absolute force as a running back AND kick returner. Where would you say he ranks nationally as a back and an all-around player? Where you he rank in Miami history at those two spots?

SotU: Well, he came close as a freshman to breaking Willis McGahee’s ridiculous 2002 record for all purpose yards, so that speaks for itself. He’s always a play away from taking it to the house. He has speed with second-level vision you want as both a ball carrier and returner. My concern is injury. He’s smaller and gets dinged up here and there. We’ve seen a nice balance in the run game with Dallas Crawford and the human dump truck Gus “Bus” Edwards. Miami doesn’t need to give Duke 20 carries/game between the tackles, but figure out a healthy mix of inside carries with touches in space.

FTRS: QB Stephen Morris has seemed marginally better in his career than was Jacory Harris. How do the two compare, and would you agree that Morris is slightly better?

SotU: Well, Morris shattered records last year for single-game passing yards and gave Miami its best QB performance in countless years. Jacory put up numbers, but also lobbed up way, way too many 50/50 balls and ensuing turnovers. Morris is significantly higher on my totem pole, especially if he can lead this team to some postseason success.

FTRS: A lot of people claimed that Miami’s win against Florida was more of a Gator loss than a Cane win, given that Florida turned the ball over 6 times. However, I see it more as Miami’s defense being extremely opportunistic, and taking absolutely everything that the opponent is willing to give them…to the point that carelessly carrying the ball WILL result in a fumble, and throwing into traffic WILL result in an interception. Do you think that Miami got lucky in winning that game, or did they truly deserve it?

SotU: I think Miami certainly deserved to win the game (you don’t stay on the field defensively for 38-plus minutes and show no sign of slowing/tiring late without good conditioning and strength, which deserves massive praise for UM’s coaching and training staff), but were both good and fortunate to some degree. The first forced fumble? Hat on the ball. Great play. First INT? Pressure, which led to a Driskel making a bad throw. A miscommunication from Driskel and a WR leads to a later pick. A sack-fumble where the LT was abused by DE Tyriq McCord. Miami had plenty to do with the result. And I say that too because Miami actually CAUGHT those interceptions. How many games have you seen a team lose because they dropped a potential game-winning pick, only to allow the winning score on the next play? Miami didn’t, but no one seems to care enough to give credit to that.

FTRS: By nature, Miami has a ton of talent all across the field on both sides of the ball, and this year they’re looking far better than the last two years. I actually expect that this is the first year that the Coastal is represented in Charlotte by someone without the word “Tech” in the name. However, every team has a chink in the armor. If someone is to beat Miami this year, how will it be done?

SotU: Probably force Miami to be one dimensional and have the athletes in the secondary to stay with Dorsett, Waters, Hurns, etc, which is a tall task. That would require an athletic, meat-grinding front seven that could stuff the run and get Morris out of the pocket. UF game was Exhibit A. Or…Miami could just lay an egg one game. No team is free of missed assignments, penalties, and bad decisions/turnovers, especially on the road.

FTRS: I gotta ask, what is the difference between Coral Gables and Miami, both geographically and culturally? I have certain media-provoked ideas about what Miami would look like…is Coral Gables similar, or wildly different?

SotU: For my first year of law school, I lived right on the edge between Miami and Coral Gables. CG is lined with beautiful streets, with gorgeous landscaping and a country club feel for the most part. If you drive off UM’s gorgeous campus, you’ll likely wind up on a scenic residential street owned by university professors and local professionals. Miami is such a mix it’s hard to describe in few words. Brickell/Coconut Grove has beautiful high rise waterfront condos. So to the beaches. There are certainly bad parts. And they are all a few minutes from each other. The culture of the City of Miami is strongly Cuban, but the city really is a melting pot of a number of different people and cultures. So…..if you haven’t made the trip to experience it for yourself, it’s a trip you should make at some point!

FTRS: What are your thoughts and expectations for this game? Who wins? Is it close? More or less emotionally taxing than last year?

SotU: Miami wins 27-13. I think we’re seeing a more physical and athletic Miami front seven, with the emergence of Denzel Perryman as a true superstar, Alex Figueroa and Tyriq McCord as rising stars, Curtis Porter as a plug in the middle, and plenty of athletes behind them. And as mentioned before, this defense is well-conditioned. And after blasting two weak opponents the past two weeks, they are pretty well-rested. Offensively, Miami is just too hot to slow right now, with a three-headed rushing attack, setting up the threat of play action to a set of fast WRs.

A big thanks to Craig Smith and his crew over at State of the U for taking the time to answer our questions! Check them out for more perspective from behind enemy lines, and follow them on Twitter!.

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How to Make Room for Redecorating in Your Budget

After living in apartments with white walls for most of my adult life, I was excited to become a homeowner when my husband and I got married. Paint options! Landscaping! Curtains! My house was a blank canvas, just waiting for me to decorate it. Well, the decorating buzz wore off quickly after I found out how expensive everything was. I thought, naively, that asking my mother-in-law to sew some curtains for me would be a cheap alternative…until I priced the fabric.

And that trend continued. Landscaping plants? Yee-ow! New flooring? My wallet felt pinched again. Despite the sticker shock, we have accomplished a lot in the six years since we’ve moved to our current home.

The first check I always need is a reality check

I love reading DIY blogs and magazines, though their ideas of inexpensive kitchen remodels are usually different than mine. But I have to be careful: When I flood my brain with picture after picture of fantastic home makeovers, my house with lots of character seems in need of a major face lift.

For instance, when we moved in six years ago, the kitchen was my least favorite room in the house. Dark, peeling cabinets, atrocious drawer pulls that caught every bit of flour that drifted off the counter, chartreuse counter tops, lots of very shallow drawers, and more unpleasantness welcomed me every morning. Such a room practically begged for some TLC, and I had ideas of how everything, even the layout of the appliances, could be improved. But I didn’t want to do anything at all, until we had saved enough money to do things exactly the way I wanted to do them.

We planned to do most of the work ourselves which would have saved a bundle. But with the average kitchen remodels nearing $20,000 (and I think that’s kind of conservative), it would have been expensive.

Anyway, somewhere between adopting our children and quitting my full-time job, we decided that a full kitchen remodel was not a responsible use of our money. Instead, I allowed my husband to do what he had wanted to all along: paint the cabinets and walls and replace the drawer pulls and handles.

For less than $400, we went from dark to for-$400-this-is-a-major-improvement. It’s not really impressive, but we saved a lot of money. Even though we still deal with shallow drawers and no range hood, I don’t even think of making other improvements. I am also happy we don’t have tens of thousands of dollars wrapped up in a kitchen. I think I will cook here happily for another decade or two, beating eggs on my formica chartreuse counter top. (If you spent money on a kitchen remodel, don’t read this as a condemnation. We just did what was best for us.)

My best money-saving tip may actually prevent you from spending money at all. Figure out what you really like and what fits your house. For instance, our house feels cottage-like. Even though I think granite counter tops and stainless appliances and gorgeous cabinets are, well, gorgeous, it wouldn’t fit in our simple house. It would make the rest of our rooms look shabby by comparison.

Look for unexpected sources of inexpensive materials

1. Paint. Two rooms in our house were painted with leftover paint from my sister’s house. I think I paid her some money for the paint, but I know it was below market value. I was happy to get the colors I was looking for, and my sister was glad to declutter.

Many paint manufacturers are now selling small sample jars. As someone who can’t pick colors well, those sample jars have saved me several times. Even when I’ve picked the wrong hue, I have taken the paint back in and had the color changed slightly (this can be tricky, but I have a favorite paint guy who can usually handle my color-changing quirks).

2. Fabric. As I mentioned, I couldn’t believe (and still can’t) how expensive fabric is. But look beyond fabric stores. For instance, I found two king-sized duvet covers made of cool fabric at a thrift store for $3. While I plan to use one as a duvet cover, the other will eventually be made into curtains. What about bed sheets? Vintage bed sheets may have really fresh prints, despite their age. While I haven’t done this, I would consider making pillows out of old clothes, if I found a pattern I liked.

3. Floors. Before we sold our first house, we wanted to put new linoleum in the bathroom. It just so happened that friends of ours had just put new linoleum in their bathroom and wanted to get rid of the extra. We had to make one extra seam, but it looked good.

And our new house had a similar story. Again I didn’t want to do anything with one of our bathrooms until I had enough saved to do things exactly as I wanted them. Well, I decided that time was further off than I originally imagined, so we bought some paint (full price this time) and I stopped by our flooring place. “Do you have any remnants that are this big and in this color family?” They did. For $25, we put new flooring in our bathroom. Again, this was a major improvement with a minor effect on our wallet.

Don’t underestimate the power of small improvements. And don’t forget to let your family and friends know what you’re looking for. Maybe they have just what you need for free or at low cost.

I spend a lot of time at home now. When I look around, I want to see reflections of our family and experience chaos-free living (or at least as much as Legos underfoot will allow — I never knew the pain of stepping on one until this year!). And it’s best for my family if I can make our house a home as cheaply as possible.

Do you have any tips on how to find inexpensive materials for your living quarters?

The original article can be found at
How to make room for redecorating in your budget

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Tour Open Houses this Weekend in Cockeysville

It’s that season again: The one where it’s pleasant to stroll through Cockeysville neighborhoods, exploring homes for sale.

This home at 1501 Applecroft Lane in Cockeysville, is for sale, and an open house is set for 1-3 p.m. Oct. 6. Credit: MRIS/

Touring homes for sale isn’t just for buyers, it’s also a great way to get ideas for your own home—from decorating tips to landscaping ideas.

Here’s a list of open houses in Hunt Valley and Cockeysville this weekend, from our partners at

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Prudential Global Volunteer Day at Hillside School in Montclair

Prudential Global Volunteer Day at Hillside School in Montclair

BY  |  Wednesday, Oct 02, 2013 5:00pm  | 

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A call out to all members of the community large and small! Go out and help get Hillside School’s outdoor classroom be ready for planting and help plant bulbs and shrubs this Saturday, October 5, at its Prudential Global Volunteer Day.

Last year Hillside school held a plant sale sponsored by the Montclair Garden Club to raise funds for the garden and landscaping. Combined with grant money from the District Initiative Gardens (DIGS) program,  the school a great start. Prudential gives grant money for  schools who meet their criteria and having enough volunteers is part of this process.

Holly Korus is the Hillside Garden/Grounds chair. She explains:

Our goal is to refurbish garden beds created years ago by parents. Sadly the beds have not been maintained and have become wild as well as overgrown. We are working to create a sustainable fenced in outdoor classroom where the children can learn and experience everything from planting, understanding compost, measuring volume, community giving, etymology and kitchen science. Our biggest challenge is move the beds around, remove struggling plants and create a space that can be sustainable for years to come. We are staying away from plants that are in their prime from July-August when the school is empty. Swapping Should be tomatoes for squash and lilies for lilyturf.

This project has been a labor of love and I have had a wonderful dedicated group of volunteers who have given their time and their muscle countless hours this past spring and this fall. I have also had great support from both the Hillside staff, PTA as well as Building and Grounds.

Last year, more than 28,000 people participated in 750 Global Volunteer Day projects in the United States and 10 other countries where Prudential has a business presence. Check out the slideshow from  last year’s Hillside School Prudential Global Volunteer Day.

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Favorite space Favorite Space: Rediscovering a garden at 160-year-old home

The owners: Architect Dan Erdman and Natalie Erdman, executive director of the Madison Community Development Authority.

The home: A 160-year-old stone house in Shorewood Hills.

Favorite home feature: When they first looked at the house, said Dan Erdman, it seemed like it had somehow been frozen in time amongst a neighborhood of homes built mostly in the 1950s. “It was incredibly charming and picturesque,” he said. “Unfortunately, the interior appeared as it too had been frozen in time, and it would require a considerable amount of work. But what I discovered only after buying the house was the extent and unique character of the informal gardens and landscaping.”

The home had been occupied by the same family for nearly 80 years, but in recent years, the lot had been badly neglected. “Uncovering paths, bridges, stone walls, sculptures, I felt like an archaeologist on a dig site. There’s even what appears to be an old winding stream bed that ends in a little concrete pool. An elderly neighbor stopped by one day and asked if the spring was still flowing. Wow, I thought, now that must have been neat.”

How they did it: The couple replaced retaining walls in the garden and cleaned the growth. “But I just basically uncovered it,” Dan Erdman said.

The house itself had to be renovated to make it livable by today’s standards. That meant, among other things, adding on a new kitchen and an attached garage and driveway. The key was to do it without destroying any of its charming features. A priority was to not change the character of the front of the house. The couple kept most of the rustic interior doors which have these old-fashioned iron door latches. Even though none of them lock, they are a part of what makes the house special.

Why it’s a special place: The fact that the house is 100 years older than most everything else around it makes it pretty special.

Advice to other homeowners: “You really have to have a love and respect for old things,” Dan Erdman said. “While modernizing a house is necessary, keeping as much of the old unique features as possible will ultimately be rewarding.”

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Get expert lawn and landscaping advice at Fall Garden Day

Fall is the ideal time to start a garden or improve an existing landscape. Get advice at Fall Garden Day, 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 12 at Harris County Texas AgriLife Extension Service office and gardens, 3033 Bear Creek Drive.

Extension horticulturist and Master Gardeners will offer presentations on a range of topics, including drought- and disease-damaged lawns. See the schedule under special events at

Registration, which includes an information booklet, is $15 in advance or $20 (at 8:30 a.m.) at the door. Call 281-855-5600.

Extension horticulturist Skip Richter shares his advice on greening grass.

Fall lawn care:

1. Water deeply, infrequently and only as needed. Watering too often results in soggy conditions that discourage deep root development and promote disease. With the heat giving way to cooler temperatures, applying ½ to 1 inch of water every seven to 10 days is plenty, Richter says.

2. Mow often. Frequent mowing promotes a denser, better-looking lawn. Infrequent mowing is more stressful to the grass and can open areas that allow light to reach the soil surface and allow weed seeds to germinate.

3. Fertilize mid to late October. Choose a product with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. To calculate: Divide the first number (nitrogen) on the fertilizer bag into 100 to determine how many pounds of the product are needed to apply 1 pound of nitrogen.

4. Stop weeds before they’re a problem. Cool-season weeds begin germinating late September to mid October. Preventative products must be applied before the weeds sprout. Apply a half inch of finely screened mulch to help cover the soil surface and deter some weed germination while feeding the turf over the coming months. A dense, healthy turf is the best weed control.

5. Don’t overseed a St. Augustine lawn in fall. Green winter rye lawns are pretty, but that means more fertilizing, mowing and sometimes watering through the winter. It also results in a stressful spring transition when St. Augustine attempts to begin growing but is shaded by winter turf that also competes for water and nutrients.

6. Identify the trouble before purchasing and applying control products. Your extension office can diagnose lawn problems and identify weeds to help you make the best choice.

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Catching pesky caterpillars and other gardening tips

From catching pesky caterpillars to pruning goosberries, here are this week’s top gardening tips:

– Plant new climbers, shrubs and trees while the soil is still warm.

– Take cuttings or save tender plants when you clear out summer containers if you have space to overwinter them.

– Check the greenhouse heating and insulate to save heat.

– Make sure bowls of bulbs being forced for indoor flowering don’t dry out.

– As land becomes vacant in the vegetable plot, start digging when ground conditions are good, leaving the ground rough to allow the frost to penetrate.

– Protect strawberries potted for forcing early next year against frost by putting them in a cold frame.

– Continue to plant biennials such as foxglove, Canterbury bells and honesty.

– Check over brassicas for caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly and pick off any you find.

– Cut back asparagus foliage and weed the bed and any self-set plants before applying a layer of organic matter.

– Once leaves have fallen, prune gooseberries.

– Mow your lawn less frequently as growth slows down, and raise the height of the cutting blades.

– Reduce the feeding of fish in ponds as any food not eaten will just decompose in the water.

– Trim conifers if necessary for the last time, but don’t cut into old wood.

– Prune tall shrubs such as lavateras and Buddleia davidii, cutting them back by about half their height to tidy them up and prevent wind rock during winter. They can then be pruned hard in the spring.

– Plant herbaceous perennials while the soil is still warm. They look best planted in groups of three or more plants.

BEST OF THE BUNCH – Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’

This medium-sized deciduous shrub which grows to around 3m (10ft) is highly valued for its stunning bright violet berries which appear in autumn and are often used in flower displays.

Also known as the beauty berry, it has eye-catching bronze young foliage in spring and clusters of pinky-purple flowers throughout summer. Callicarpa can be evergreen or deciduous with simple, opposite leaves and tiny white pink or purple flowers in clusters, followed by small, usually colourful fruits.

Several shrubs grown together ensures pollination for successful fruiting. For best results, grow them in fertile well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.

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Fall gardening tips to make the most of veggies

Fall is here and you are probably seeing changes in your garden, one of those might have to do with tomato plants.

The rain can split red tomatoes, but there are ways to use them before they go bad. You can also avoid wasting green tomatoes with a few quick tricks and recipes. Garden expert Lisa Taylor has tips for you to use in your garden.

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Garden Views: Tips for reviving and caring for your fall lawn


Does your lawn look sad? Has your grass taken a beating from all the hot dry weather we have had? Or, perhaps, you just could not get excited about the constant watering required to keep it green during the long dry spell, plus the cost of paying for all that water was too scary. Or were you concerned about the environmental wisdom of using all that water just for grass?

Many lawns have an area that the crabgrass or other weeds totally took over this year. With the wet cool spring it was difficult to figure out the timing to apply the crab grass pre-emergent and the weeds seem to have taken full advantage of the opportunity to grow “like weeds”. Good news. You can act now to improve the looks of your lawn next spring and you do not have to devote all you time and money to doing so.

When purchasing grass seed, read the package to learn what you are paying for. Avoid seed with annual ryegrass, it is cheap but is only there for one year. Look for a mix with Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue and perennial ryegrass. Note whether the mixture is for shady or sunny areas, it does matter.

Fall is a good time to plant grass seed for several reasons. Grass is a cool season crop, it likes cooler weather. During the fall, weeds tend to be much less active and so are not competing with the grass we want to grow. And if we are really lucky, we will get Mother Nature to share some natural sprinkling with us.

Prepare the area you are going to seed by removing what weeds you can and raking with a heavy garden rake to loosen the soil. Using a mower, set low, with the bagger attached may help to catch some of the weed seeds that may be in the area. Then apply the seed you’ve selected and water thoroughly. Burlap material can be used as a cover for the seed and helps retain the moisture. You will need to water daily until seeds germinate, about 10 days. Hope for rain.

With the drought still holding on this fall is probably not the time to do many of the usual lawn care chores. Sam Bauer, University of Minnesota extension educator and lawn specialist, has his advice of what we should and should not do.

Do not:

• Aerate. While aeration is a great fall practice, it places stress on the turfgrass plant and may actually cause the lawn quality to decline.

• Dethatch or vertical mow. This process tears turfgrass leaves and crowns, and should only be conducted when the lawn is healthy.

• Spray herbicides. Systemic and contact herbicides used for weed control are more effective when weeds are actively growing.

• Fertilize with quick release nitrogen. High rates of quick release nitrogen fertilizers can have negative effects on drought-stressed turf. There is also a greater potential for environmental loss of nitrogen when the lawn is not actively growing.

• Mow too often or too low. Raising the mowing height and mowing less frequently will help encourage turfgrass recovery


• Maintain soil moisture to promote turfgrass recovery.

• Spot seed and fertilize thin and weak areas with a high quality turfgrass seed mixture.

• Fertilize with slow release nitrogen sources and soil test to determine fertilizer requirements of phosphorus and potassium.

Additional information on a variety of topics is available at the University of Minnesota website:

Jean Kuehn is an Anoka County Master Gardener.


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fillerGarden Views: Amaryllis – a perfect holiday plant

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October garden tips: Prune after frost, watch for plant sales

It is balmy now, but Jack Frost could be back by the end of this month.

October is a month of changes and a busy time in the garden. But what a joy it is to work outside, now that summer’s skeeters, heat and humidity are finally gone!

October is prime time to plant new landscape plants and move plants around in your yard (something that painter and passionate gardener Claude Monet is reported to have done constantly at Giverny).

Hold off on pruning, though, until after plants drop leaves and go dormant. And stay strictly away from early bloomers such as azaleas if you want spring flowers.

Be on the lookout for fall plant sales, which are great places to find the right plant to put in this autumn. Here are a couple coming up:

• UNC Charlotte Fall Plant Sale: Oct. 18-20 (Oct. 17 for members only). Excellent place to find native plants, plus much more. 704-687-0719.

• Winghaven Fall Plant Sale: Oct. 10-12. Wide variety of fine landscape plants, including herbs. 704-331-0664.

Keep your eyes open at local big-box garden centers, too. They clean out inventory in the fall, and you can sometimes find exceptional deals on worthy plants.

October can be fairly dry, so be sure your plants don’t get water-stressed, especially such shallow-rooted varieties as camellias and azaleas, container plants and fall veggies. Use the hose or irrigation system to supplement rainfall, as needed.

Clean up garden beds now, pulling out annual flowers and vegetables as they start to look ratty. Except for diseased plants, put everything in your compost piles, which will soon be expanding after leaves begin to drop.

This is a great time to plant a cover crop on vegetable beds and other areas you won’t be using over the winter. Cereal rye (different from ryegrass) is an excellent choice. So are oats, which are easier to cut and dig into the soil in the early spring (it may be a little late for clover).

Annual ryegrass will also work as a cover crop, but you’ll need to cut it before seed heads form, since it can go to seed in the spring and become weedy.

Before frost arrives, usually around the end of the month (watch the weather report; it can be unpredictable), dig your sweet potatoes and cut and clean up any squash or gourd vines. The morning after the first frost, leaves of all those plants morph into a black slimy mess.

Pick all your green tomatoes, wrap them in newspaper, and you can have tomatoes for a few more weeks. Pick peppers and okra, too.

Leave cool-season crops such as broccoli, kale, collards and cabbage in the garden, however, since they taste even better after a frost.

October is too late for home and community gardeners to start garden vegetables outside a greenhouse, with one big exception: garlic.

Plant a good variety (I like Music) around the middle of the October in a sunny place where it can grow undisturbed until next June or July. Garlic does very well here, and it’s great fun to grow your own.

Flowering bulbs, especially daffodils, are also good to plant now. Some daffodils will naturalize, meaning they reliably come back every year on their own (something not true for most types of tulips).

Daffies do great in natural areas with lots of sun, though they also do OK under hardwood trees with branches high above the ground. If you are in an anarchistic mood, grab a handful of bulbs, turn your back, and toss them over your shoulder, and plant them where they land.

The following varieties are proven performers, year after year: Ice Follies (white), Mount Hood (white), Carlton (yellow) and Tête a Tête (a small and charming yellow type).

Lawn maintenance is a worthy chore in October, including aeration with a core aerator. You can also seed whole lawns or fix patches. When you seed, keep the area evenly moist and very gently remove any fallen tree leaves daily. You can fertilize fescue this month; see for directions.

Of course, it always make sense to consider shrinking your lawn, one of the most resource-intensive and costly parts of your landscape. Try replacing part of your lawn with an edible garden in sunny spots, or with natural landscaping and native plants in the shade (where a lawn won’t thrive, anyway, no matter how many chemicals you add).

October is a good time to start the transformation by preparing the site and soil.

Halloween is coming soon, and there are some local you-picks, such as the Hodges farms on Rocky River Road just past the entrance to Reedy Creek Park, where you can select your own pumpkin out in the field. It’s fun, and a boo-tiful way to support local farmers.

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