Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2003
Regional Report

Deter Garden Thiefs

A couple of pests that might be helping themselves to your garden produce, birdseed, and pet food are the eastern chipmunk and thirteen-lined ground squirrel. Their burrows are shallow, about 2 inches across, and have no soil piled near the entrance. Put out cracked corn to keep them away from your garden!

Divide Perennials

Mid August to mid September is the best time to dig and divide perennials that need to be moved or have grown too large for their spots. Most, like daylilies, can be lifted as soon as they finish blooming. It's also the best time to move peonies and iris which don't recover well if moved in spring.

Clean up for fall display
Cut back faded bleeding heart foliage which is already dying back. Remove the last of the bulb foliage. Continue deadheading phlox, perennial bachelor’s button, mallow, gaillardia, beebalm and other summer bloomers to get a flush of fall blossoms to accompany asters, goldenrod, boltonia and fall anemone.

It’s time to tackle lawn renovation. Late summer and early fall are perfect times to do some reseeding and core areating Coring (not punching holes, but actually removing soil cores) will do wonders to renovate a lawn, especially if there’s a thatch problem. After coring, seed bare spots and keep well watered.

Be sure to pick up windfalls beneath fruit trees. These fruits often contain insect larvae, and removing the fruit will prevent the larvae from moving into and overwintering in the soil. It’s best to dispose of the windfalls in other ways than just tossing on the compost pile unless you have a pile that is very hot.

Clean Up for Fall Display

Cut back faded bleeding heart foliage that's already dying back. Remove the last of the bulb foliage. Continue deadheading phlox, perennial bachelor's buttons, mallow, gaillardia, bee balm, and other summer bloomers to get a flush of fall blossoms to accompany asters, goldenrod, boltonia, and fall anemones.

Time to Renovate Lawns!

It's time to tackle lawn renovation. Late summer and early fall are perfect times to do some reseeding and core aerating. Coring (not punching holes, but actually removing soil cores) will do wonders to renovate a lawn, especially if there's a thatch problem. After coring, seed bare spots and keep the seed well watered.

Clean Up Fruit

Be sure to pick up fallen fruit (windfalls) beneath fruit trees. These fruits often contain insect larvae, so removing the fruit will prevent the larvae from moving into and overwintering in the soil. It's best to dispose of the windfalls in other ways than just tossing them on the compost pile unless you have a pile that is very hot.

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