Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2006
Regional Report

Watch for Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are beginning to show up in greater numbers in the Midwest. These beetles are iridescent green and brown and skeletonize the leaves of roses, grapevines, linden, maple and crabapples, to name just a few. Knock them into soapy water. Traps tend to bring more beetles into the area.

Water New Trees and Shrubs

Don't neglect watering newly planted trees and shrubs if rainfall is lacking. New foliage may scorch on the edges if the plant doesn't receive enough moisture or if we have a spate of hot, drying winds. Give the plants an inch of water each week, in one long slow watering.

Deadhead Some Perennials But Not Others

Deadhead perennials that will send up new blossoms, such as phlox, geraniums, salvia, and gaillardia. Allow later-blooming plants in the daisy family, such as coneflower, black-eyed susan, and shasta daisy to go to seed. The seedheads will be attractive through the winter and will help feed the birds.

Divide Daylilies, Peonies, Bearded Iris

Daylilies, peonies, bearded iris and oriental poppies all will be ready to divide or move in mid to late August. Lift carefully and divide. Plant again immediately for plenty of recovery time before cold weather sets in.

Keep Tomato Moisture Constant

With rainfall somewhat reduced and the tomato crop coming in, prevent blossom end rot by keeping the moisture fairly constant. Use a thick layer of mulch and water the plants deeply once a week. Make sure the water goes through the mulch -- straw can sometimes repel water.

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