Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2005
Regional Report

Start a compost pile!

With all the vegetable and flower trimmings and dead plants available at this time of year, a great way to recycle this debris is in a compost heap. Layer garden debris with grass clippings, leaves and sprinkle it with a layer of soil. Add some moisture and you're on your way to black gold for the garden.

Water woodies through the fall

Even though the drought has broken for many of us, large trees, shrubs and evergreen were still stressed considerably this summer. Continue to provide water until the ground freezes hard. Evergreens continue to lose moisture throughout winter, so make sure they enter the season well-hydrated.

Favorite annuals can be propagated by cuttings

Take cuttings from favorite annuals such as geraniums, coleus, begonias and impatiens. Dip the cuttings in rooting powder, pot them in soilless mix and bring them into a sunny windowsill. Tender container plants such as mandevilla, jasmine and citrus should come indoors before the weather turns too cool

Keep up the harvest

We will be hitting our heaviest harvests in the next six weeks, so continue to pick vegetables as soon as they ripen. Tomatoes and peppers will ripen on the windowsill as long as they are not refrigerated. If an early frost threatens, cover plants with baskets or light blankets.

Beautiful goldenrod is an asset to the garden

Add some goldenrod to your perennial garden. It is in its glory right now, and although it has a misguided association with hayfever or fall allergies, the true pollen culprit is ragweed, an unattractive plant with non-showy flowers and wind-blown pollen, unlike goldenrod pollen that is heavy and sticky and hitches rides on insects.

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