New England

September, 2003
Regional Report

Bring Tender Plants Indoors

Move fuchsias, geraniums, and other tender plants indoors before the first frost. To save them for next year, cut stems back to the edge of the container, and wash the foliage thoroughly to remove pests. Store the pots in a cool, dark place, but check periodically during the winter to make sure the soil doesn\'t completely dry out.

Harvest Green Tomatoes

When the daytime temperatures no longer rise to above 65 degrees F, it\'s time to pick the green tomatoes. Wrap them in newspaper and let them ripen indoors.

Start New Beds Now

You'll make lots less work for yourself next spring if you begin any new garden beds now. If the area is in lawn, cut the grass low, then cover the ground with several layers of dampened newspaper topped with several inches of mulch, compost or manure. By spring the sod will have decomposed and you can dig in the organic matter, add any needed amendments, and plant.

Prepare to Move Trees and Shrubs

If you have any trees or shrubs you'd like to relocate next spring, prepare them now. With a sharp spade, slice down into the soil around the rootball. This will cut through the roots and encourage the growth of new roots, which will ease transplant shock later on.

Plant Fruiting Shrubs

Plant shrubs that hold onto their berries, such as beautyberry, bittersweet, firethorn, holly, nandina, rugosa rose, viburnum, and winterberry. Wait to prune them until after the berries have withered or been devoured by birds.

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