Mid-Atlantic

June, 2007
Regional Report

Recycle Plant Pots

The man I bought tomato and eggplant seedlings from this season carefully labels his pots. He also plants in the lower half of plastic milk jugs. His thrifty reuse makes me want to return the pots to him, and to bring my box of excess white, black, and green containers. This year, several nurseries in the Philadelphia area are recycling used containers. Find out which nurseries near you will take them.

Reapply Natural Bug Repellents

Bug repellents with natural ingredients such as lavender, geranium, citronella oil, lemongrass, cedarwood oil, mint, rosemary, or pennyroyal may not replace DEET in effectiveness and some work better than others, of course. All work better when reapplied often -- every 15, 20 minutes.

Fertilize Roses

Roses have been blooming beautifully this season, much to our delight. They can use a midseason boost to keep those blossoms coming. Apply a commercial rose food or general purpose fertilizer according to manufacturer instructions. Scratch dry fertilizers into the soil beneath the leaves (but not touching the canes or bud union) and water well.

Switch Out Cool-Weather Veggies

Cool-weather veggies such as lettuce, spinach, radishes, Swiss Chard, and bok choy, are flowering, then going to seed (that is, bolting). They grow best when temperatures range from 55 to 75 degrees. Clip and enjoy eating the leafy greens unless they're too bitter and tough. Toss roots in the compost pile. Pull and munch the radishes. Plant warm-weather crops such as beans in their place.

Deadhead Annuals, Perennials, and Lilacs

Keep the blooms coming by removing the dead flower heads. Shear coreopsis just enough to clip off those dead, brown flower tops. Cut off spent lilac clusters. Removing those dead flower heads stops seed production and encourages more blooming!

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