New England

September, 2005
Regional Report

Order Garlic

Place orders now for garlic for planting 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. Plan to plant your garlic shortly after the first hard frost -- this will allow the garlic enough time to develop strong roots before winter.

Take Cuttings

Root cuttings of coleus, geranium, and herbs to bring indoors over the winter. Cut a 3-inch section of stem, remove the bottom half or two thirds of the leaves, and place in moist soilless mix, vermiculite, or sand. (Some gardeners dip the cut ends in rooting hormone; others find this unnecessary.) Place the entire container in a loosely tied plastic bag to maintain humidity.

Prepare New Beds the Easy Way

You'll make lots less work for yourself next spring if you begin any new garden beds now. If the area is in lawn, cut the grass low, then cover the ground with several layers of dampened newspaper topped with several inches of mulch, compost or manure. By spring the sod will have decomposed and you can dig in the organic matter, add any needed amendments, and plant.

Prepare to Move Trees and Shrubs

If you have any trees or shrubs you'd like to relocate next spring, prepare them now. With a sharp spade, slice down into the soil around the rootball. This will cut through the roots and encourage the growth of new roots, which will ease transplant shock later on.

Harvest Green Tomatoes

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

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