Mid-Atlantic

August, 2007
Regional Report

Enjoy Your Alliums

Harvest onions, shallots, and garlic to eat fresh or for storage. These tasty alliums are ready when the leaves turn brown and papery and start to bend. After pulling or digging them up, lay these bulbs out in the sun for skins to ripen, then store in nets in a cool, airy location.

Remove Dead Leaves Under Roses and Rhodies

Leaves dropped from roses and rhododendrons may be diseased and carry fungi. So rake those yellowed or brown leaves out from under the shrubs, then dispose of them in the trash, not the compost pile. Black spot is all too common on rose leaves, especially due to humid conditions, poor air circulation, or water on the leaves. Rhododendrons also drop diseased leaves -- some with leaf spots and/or dieback or from root rot. All will carry fungi spores that will spread disease and overwinter unless removed.

Tag Plants With Bulb Planting in Mind

While the foliage and flowers are still visible, mark your perennials with permanent tags or sketch a map showing their locations. When you plant bulbs this fall, the tags or map will help you avoid digging up a plant you want to keep.

Refresh Containers with New Annuals or Extra Plants

Early-planted yellow and white snapdragons and orange calendulas in my hayrack have dried out so many times this summer, they wouldn't revive no matter how much I water. Calendulas prefer spring's cool weather anyway. Several red-plumed elosia in 4-inch pots are still looking quite good. I pulled out the crispy plants, popped in the elosia next to thriving red-pink-green leafed cordyline. Voila! Easy, bright new look. Feel free to experiment!

Pick Ripe Remaining Veggies

Green beans, yellow beans, eggplant, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, cabbages, summer squash, tomatoes, cantalope, and watermelon will soon slow production as days shorten, nights lengthen, and temperatures dip. Pick and enjoy the ripe veggies ASAP. Those remaining but not quite ready will ripen sooner.

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