New England

August, 2003
Regional Report

Harvest Onions

Begin harvesting onions when about half to three quarters of the leaves have died back. Then gently dig or pull the onions and store them in a dry, shady place with good ventilation, such as an outdoor shed or barn, for 10 days to 2 weeks. After the onions have cured, put them in slatted crates or mesh bags and store them indoors in a cellar with low humidity and temperatures between 33 and 45 degrees F.

Rake Under Fruit Trees

Rake up fallen leaves under fruit trees and dispose of them. Many fruit tree diseases, including apple scab, overwinter on fallen leaves, so good sanitation can help minimize the problem. Continue to rake leaves regularly until all leaves have dropped.

Patrol for Japanese Beetles

Check roses and other plants for Japanese beetles, and when you find them (and you will find them!) knock them into a can of soapy water. The beetles are most sluggish in the morning and evening, so plan your forays then.

Repair Lawns

If your lawn has bare spots, repair them now. Dig out any weeds and loosen the soil slightly. Add a thin layer of compost and sow good quality grass seed. Covering the seed with a thin layer of straw will discourage birds from eating it. Keep the soil surface moist for the first few weeks, then water weekly into autumn to help grass plants get established.

Sow Late Crops

You still have time to sow fast-maturing vegetables for a fall crop. Lettuce and other greens, beets, and radishes are good choices. To lengthen the growing season, construct a mini hoop house. Place metal hoops over garden beds and cover with fabric row covers to extend the growing season well into fall.

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