Northern & Central Midwest

July, 2005
Regional Report

Deadhead Flowers

Keep deadheading those annual and perennial flowers to keep them producing blossoms all summer. If the spent flowers are not removed and seeds are allowed to develop, the plant "thinks" it has finished its job, and it won't produce any more blossoms.

Control Squash Vine Borers the Organic Way

Squash vine borers may begin to show themselves at this time of year. If you see what looks like sawdust at the base of squash stems, there is, most likely, a larva of a squash vine borer inside. Iinsert a wire into the stem to kill the larva. Or, slit the stem until you find the developing larvae, destroy it, and then bury the slit stem under soil.

Continue Late-Summer Sowings

Sow beets, bush beans, carrots, chard, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, kohlrabi, and corn through July for fall harvest. To help prevent soil from crusting and interferring with germinating seeds, moisten the furrows before sowing seeds. Then cover the seeds with moistened potting soil mix.

Controlling Web Worms

Trees and shrubs may contain webs and larvae of the fall webworm. When you find them, cut out branches wrapped in webbing wherever possible. If this will make the plant look unsightly, consider spraying inside the web with the biological pest control, Bt. This bacteria will kill young larvae without harming other insects.

Look for Swallowtail Larvae on Carrot Family Plants

Before destroying caterpillars that appear on fennel, dill, and carrots, consider that they might be the larvae of the beautiful swallowtail butterfly. The butterflies lay their eggs on these favorite host plants where the larvae feed until they pupate. Consider planting extras just for them next year.

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