Do I need to wait until after the first frost to pick grapes? This year my grape vines are loaded. I’ve tasted a few and they are semi-sweet, but still somewhat tart. They are concord. We are to have weather around 37 degrees, maybe a little lower, Thursday night. Fortunately, the birds have ignored them so far, so I don’t want to lose what has turned out to be a bumper crop, but I’ve also been told that the first frost adds to their sweetness. Would appreciate your opinion.
It depends on how hard the frost is. A light frost will sweeten the grapes, but a hard one will soften them so you have to really hurry to juice them before they go bad. I’d pick ’em while they’re still good, if it were me. — Jackie
Usually when I can, I remove the ring after the lid is sealed. I just ordered some Tattler reusable lids to try. Can I remove the rings on those one the lids are sealed?
Casselton, North Dakota
Yes. You can. I’ve done it and they are happily sitting on my pantry shelves, nicely sealed after a year! — Jackie
Choosing a garden location
After 30 years of military service my husband and I just bought our dream forevermore homestead. Our question has to do with the spot we have decided on for our garden. Can’t seem to see that there was ever one on the place and well, we have red clay. We have an abundance of moving boxes. If we lay these out over the area and top them with dried leaves and manure and whatever else we come across, do you think the boxes will decompose by next spring and can be tilled in and help kill the grass etc. that is growing there now? Or if you have a better suggestion. We wanted to do whatever work we could now, to help us be more successful next spring.
The moving boxes and leaves will probably work fine, but to be sure, why don’t you cover the whole works with a black plastic, after you water the leaves/boxes well. Weight the edges down and toss a few boards on top to keep it from billowing in the wind. The plastic will help “cook” the grass/weeds/seeds and speed up decomposition of your boxes. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. How exciting! — Jackie