Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2007
Regional Report

Keep Ripening Picked Fruit

Late-summer fruits are beginning to come in. Keep on top of the harvest so you don't lose ripe raspberries, blackberries, and grapes to birds and bugs or provide bait for wasps. A ripe fruit is appealing to all manner of critters, not to mention they are loved by German yellow jackets.

Continue Harvesting Herbs

Keep snipping herbs for drying or freezing. Snipping up to frost will keep you well supplied with oregano, basil, dill, and thyme. Dry herbs in a food dehydrator or in paper bags in a well-ventilated spot. Freeze herbs by blending with a seeded ripe tomato and freezing in ice cube trays.

Harvest and Freeze Swiss Chard

Blanch and freeze swiss chard. Cut younger leaves, remove the center rib and roll tightly into a roll to slice into ribbons. Blanch in boiling water in a colander for two minutes, drain, and plunge into ice water. Drain and slip into freezer bags for great additions to stir fries and soups during the winter.

Seed Lettuce and Greens into Fall

Continue seeding lettuce and other greens such as mustard, arugula, and spinach every two weeks until early fall. If you have a cold frame, continue until later in fall and then protect the young greens under the frame when frost threatens. Remember that most greens are somewhat frost tolerant.

Let Annuals Self-Seed

Let some of your annuals go to seed in the garden. Plants such as cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds, larkspur, morning glories, and moss rose will often plant their own seeds for next year. Allow the seeds to fall, and then in spring as the seedlings appear, you can move them around to where you want them

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