Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2006
Regional Report

Plant Fall Crops

Plant fall crops early in the month. Plant carrots, beets, broccoli and cabbage plants, kale, swiss chard, and lettuce. If the weather is extremely hot, plant them under row covers to shade the sun. Keep well watered and harvest often for the most tender fall vegetables.

Plant Bush Beans

There's still time to plant bush green beans for a fall crop. Pole beans don't have time to mature, but bush beans should come along well. Using a purple-podded variety makes picking much easier since you can easily see the beans. They also produce pink flowers, an attractive addition to the garden.

Hunt for Hornworms

Watch for tomato and tobacco hornworms. They are quite large but amazingly well camouflaged. Look for little balls of green "frass," and you will find the caterpillars nearby. They can strip a tomato plant in less than a day. Handpick and destroy unless they are adorned with the white cocoons of parasitic wasps.

Water!

Water, water, water. This is the driest month for most of us, so continue to irrigate well into fall. An inch of water each week is necessary for most plants. If your lawn has gone dormant, give it about 1/4 inch of water every two weeks to keep the crowns alive.

Care for Raspberries

Raspberries may be coming in by now. Harvest daily to keep pests off the berries. Keep them well watered to finish out the harvest, and when the plants are finished bearing, cut the canes to the ground to avoid disease and virus problems.

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