Mid-Atlantic

July, 2003
Regional Report

Mow Higher

Taller grass withstands dry spells better so remember to raise your mower blade a little now that the weather is turning hot and most likely drier as well. At the same time, make sure the blade is still sharp. With all the extra rain we've had, we've done plenty of extra mowing this season.

Harvest Time

Homegrown vegetables allow us to enjoy the freshest produce -- and pick it at its absolute prime. Many vegetables, including zucchini, greens, and beans, may be picked at a younger, smaller size for a sweeter, more tender and delicious taste. Overgrown produce may turn pithy, stringy, woody or bitter.

Save the Berries

To prevent birds stealing berries, grow your plants inside a wire mesh cage. Or, try scaring them with flash tape, scare eye balloons, or a giant fake owl from the garden center. Try discouraging birds with a network of fishing line strung horizontally a few inches above the bed, or hang glittery CDs and aluminum pie pans.

Water Lily Care

Water lilies and lotus need fertilizing more often during the summer to keep up with their fast growth and to promote prolonged blooming. Use water lily tabs every other week or as indicated on the label instructions. Deadhead and tidy foliage often to keep everything looking fresh and help maintain good water quality.

Seed Savers Alert

If you plan to save seeds from favorite plants, mark your best specimens and keep careful watch on them so you can collect their seeds as soon as they ripen. The flowers will have turned papery or the petals will have fallen and what remains will be dried out. Most seeds will rattle when dry enough to harvest.

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