Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2004
Regional Report

Dig Spring Bulbs

If you plan to move bulbs, now is the time to dig them. Carefully remove them with a spading fork and put them in mesh bags to dry. You can label colors with a permanent marker so you will know where to put them. Wait until September to plant them.

Divide and Move Iris and Peonies

This is the time to divide and replant peonies and iris. If you must move peonies, dig with as large a rootball as possible and replant immediately (they don't like to be moved). You can also dig and move oriental poppies, providing you marked where they were before the foliage died back.

Plan for Fall Lawn Seeding

Begin lawn plans. The cooling weather in September is ideal for establishing a newly seeded lawn. Rototill soil down a few inches and broadcast grass seed chosen for your conditions. Cover with loose straw and keep moist until the seed begins to germinate. Avoid mowing until the grass is well established.

Produce Bigger Brussels Sprouts

Remove the lower leaves of brussels sprouts as soon as the buds form. This will make the plant increase in height and develop more buds. When the small heads are about marble-sized, sidedress the plants with a balanced fertilizer, compost, or composted manure.

Keep Tomatoes Evenly Moist

Keep careful watch on tomatoes for moisture problems. Uneven moisture can cause blossom end rot and catfacing. Keep your mulch deep and try to keep the soil beneath the mulch moist all the time so they don't suffer from alternating drought-rain cycles.

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