Middle South

July, 2003
Regional Report

Plant Rutabagas

You won't see them in many gardens, but that doesn't mean they won't grow in yours! Plant rutabaga seeds indoors in individual containers, and set them out when they are four to five weeks old. In late fall, you should have plenty of big, sweet roots.

Start Fall Brassicas

Make room under your grow light for fall broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. The seedlings need a head start indoors, and you also will need to cover them with floating row cover when you set them out. Row covers are the best way to protect young plants from cabbageworms and other leaf-eating pests.

Sow Marigolds

Fill holes in flowerbeds with dwarf French marigolds. If too many seeds germinate, the seedlings are easy to dig and move to other areas. Planted now, marigolds will make a grand show in fall, often rivaling chrysanthemums with their vibrant colors.

Pick Blueberries

Whether wild or cultivated, the season is here for the region\'s finest native fruit. Pick blueberries in the morning if you can, because berries that are gathered when they are cool keep better than those picked hot.

Mow High

If you haven\'t raised the level of your mower blade, do it now, so that you\'re cutting a little higher than you did earlier in the season. Long blades of grass improve the drought tolerance of turf, and also help make the lawn more resistant to invasion by weed seeds.

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