New England

September, 2004
Regional Report

Move Houseplants Indoors

Ready houseplants for winter by checking them for insects, trimming off dead foliage and stems, and repotting if necessary. Gradually move them into shadier conditions to get them used to less sunlight before bringing them inside when nights dip into the 40s.

Plant Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials

As long as the soil temperature stays above 40 degrees, roots continue to grow, so there's plenty of time to plant. Take advantage of fall sales even if you don't have your new bed prepared yet. You can always bury the plants -- pots and all -- in the vegetable garden until spring when the new bed is ready.

Switch to Fall Lawn Care Regimen

If you've been leaving the grass clippings on the lawn, now's the time to start collecting them to remove the source of weed seeds. Spread a corn-gluten-based product, which inhibits emergence of new weeds and gives the grass a dose of nitrogen at the same time.

Pick Green Tomatoes

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

Order Garlic

Place orders for garlic to plant this fall. There are numerous varieties, each with subtle flavor and growth characteristics, so consider experimenting with something unusual. Don't plant garlic from the grocery store because it may have been treated to prevent sprouting, and it may not be adapted to your growing region. Plant your garlic shortly after the first hard frost to allow it enough time to develop strong roots before winter.

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