Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2003
Regional Report

Harvest Onions When Ready

Harvest onions as soon as the tops fall over. Harvest garlic when two-thirds of the tops have turned brown. Lay them on the grass to dry for a couple of days after digging, and then move them to an airy, dry spot to cure for a couple of weeks before bringing them indoors.

Protect Cole Transplants from Cabbage Butterflies

If you have transplants of broccoli, cauliflower, early cabbage, and collards, by all means put them in the ground. Be sure to use floating row covers to protect them from cabbage butterflies that are still abundant, and seal the edges well with soil.

Don't Let the Birds Eat All Your Fruit!

Fruits are ripening everywhere! Cover grapes and cherries with bird netting to prevent losing the crop to our feathered friends. Bird netting is usually inexpensive black nylon or plastic netting found at lawn and garden stores. Clip the edges together to keep it from blowing off in a storm or trapping birds underneath.

Prevent Wilt by Controlling Cucumber Beetles

Striped and spotted cucumber beetles may still be around, especially since cucumbers and melons are beginning to ripen. They spread bacterial wilt, so remove any wilted vines immediately. Handpick in the morning when they are sluggish, or spray with a hot pepper-garlic spray. A thick layer of mulch also is a deterrent.

Handpick Colorado Potato Beetles

The second generation of Colorado potato beetles may feast on potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. The plump, pink to orange immature beetles have black spots on the sides. The adults are yellow with black stripes. The larvae and adults are easily hand-picked, as are the bright orange eggs on the undersides of leaves.

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