Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2005
Regional Report

Dig Bulbs for September Planting

Start thinking about bulb planting. If you plan to move bulbs around, now is the time to dig them. Shake off the soil and let them dry in an airy, warm spot out of the sun. They will be ready for planting in September.

Transplant Lilies

If you want to transplant your lilies, do it now, especially before cutting them back. You can tell what the sizes are so you don't mistakenly put short ones in back of tall ones. And there is no risk of misjudging where the actual bulb is if the stalk is still intact.

Plant Fall Crops

Now is the time to plant fall crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower plants, and carrot, beet, spinach, and radish seeds. It's also time to sow seed for fall lettuce, mesclun, and all those delectable greens for fall salads and stir-fries. If the weather stays hot, plant in the shade.

Harvest Potatoes Carefully

Potato harvest is in full swing by now. Be sure to cut away and discard any green portions of the potato, which contain a bitter chemical called solanine that can be toxic in large amounts. Solanine is produced when potatoes are exposed to light. Store potatoes away from light to prevent solanine formation.

Store Only the Best Apples

When storing apples, select fruits that are firm and without bruises, decayed spots, or shriveled peel. Fruits need to be ripe and well-colored in order to keep good flavor, texture, and storing ability. Keep in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag. Use edible but damaged fruit in sauce immediately.

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