New England

July, 2007
Regional Report

Washing Fresh-Picked Produce

Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, and other fresh, very perishable fruit should be kept refrigerated and not washed until serving time. Green vegetables, however, such as broccoli, peas, and beans, as well as beets and carrots, should be washed before storing in the frig.

Leave Vegetable Scraps in the Garden

Take a harvest basket and a compost bucket out to the garden with you, so you can immediately begin cleaning the produce you harvest. Remove outer lettuce and cabbage leaves, trim carrot and beet tops, and otherwise tidy up produce and toss them in the compost bucket. Or leave them on the ground to decompose and nourish the soil or dig them in.

Rejuvenate Annuals

Any fertilizer you've applied to annuals in containers has probably washed out of the soil in all the rain, so give them a dose. Clip off spent blooms and cut some stems way back to encourage lots of new growth. Do this every couple of weeks.

Cutting Lilies

Just like spring-flowering bulbs, lilies need their foliage to make food for next year's flowers. Unlike spring bulbs, the flowers bloom on the same stems as the leaves. So when you cut lily flowers, don't cut long stems and remove too many leaves.

Prune Strawberry Runners

Strawberry plants are in very active growth these days, and new runners will proliferate. Remove runners to keep plants spaced according to the method you're using so plants will put their energy into producing future fruit instead of new runners. Left alone, a bed will turn into a mass of foliage and few berries.

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