New England

June, 2004
Regional Report

Thin Lettuce

As lettuce continues to grow, thin out the largest heads to eat. This will create space for the younger heads to fill out. After harvesting, water the lettuce bed with a solution of seaweed mix and water to stimulate more leafy growth.

Deadhead Peonies

As your peony blooms fade, snip off the dead blossoms. Removing the dead blossoms will not only make the bush more attractive, it will allow the plant to send more energy to the leaves and roots and less to producing seed. Keep plants well watered through the summer.

Remove Moldy Strawberries

If you have a strawberry bed, harvest frequently and remove any berries that show signs of grey mold or rot diseases. These berries not only are inedible, they quickly spread the diseases to other ripening fruits. Pick and remove the rotten berries and mulch under plants with straw to reduce contact with the ground where the disease spores reside.

Control Roseslugs

Roseslugs are pale green caterpillars that skeletonize rose leaves. If you see dried patches on rose foliage, examine the undersides of the leaves. Roseslugs are the larvae of a sawfly. To control them, hose off foliage in the morning, concentrating on the undersides of the leaves. (Don't wet foliage at night, or you'll encourage disease problems.) Natural enemies often keep them in check, but if infestation is severe, spray the undersides of the leaves with insecticidal soap.

Fertilize With Epsom Salts

There\'s evidence that fruiting of tomatoes and peppers is improved by applying Epsom salts, which contains sulfur and magnesium. Apply 1 tablespoon of granules around each transplant, or spray a solution of 1 tablespoon Epsom salts per gallon of water at transplanting, first flowering, and fruit set. You can find it at drug and grocery stores.

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