New England

July, 2004
Regional Report

Sow Fall Veggies

If you have some bare spots in the garden, sow some carrots, beets, kale, and fall lettuce. You can even start snow peas and beans for a modest fall crop. Soak the pea seeds overnight to hasten germination.

Protect Blueberries

Birds love blueberries as much as we do, so protect bushes with netting. Rather than draping the netting over the bush (birds will be able to reach the berries) use stakes to suspend the netting over the shrub. Secure the netting to the ground to prevent birds from sneaking in.

Collect Seeds

Collect seeds from early-maturing plants, such as lupines, and either replant immediately or place in tightly sealed glass jars in a cool, dark location. You can also allow the plants to drop their seeds naturally, then plan to transplant new plants next spring.

Stop Pruning Trees and Shrubs

Stop pruning trees and shrubs. Any pruning done after July will stimulate new growth that might not have enough time to harden off before cold weather arrives. This can result in winter injury to the plant.

Tending Plants in Rainy Weather

The long stretch of rainy weather in many areas means soggy soil and plants. To avoid spreading disease, try to avoid walking among your plants when they are wet. It\'s not too late to spread hay as a mulch, which can help keep disease spores from splashing up onto plants. When the soil dries, lightly hoe the surface to break up any crust that could impede water penetration. Harvest frequently so fruit doesn\'t rot on the plants.

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