New England

September, 2007
Regional Report

Order Garlic

Place orders for garlic to plant this fall. There are numerous varieties, each with subtle flavor and growth characteristics, so consider experimenting with something unusual. Don't plant garlic from the grocery store because it may have been treated to prevent sprouting, and it may not be adapted to your growing region. Plant your garlic shortly after the first hard frost to allow it enough time to develop strong roots before winter.

Remove Grass Clippings

If you've been leaving the grass clippings on the lawn, now's the time to start collecting them to remove the source of weed seeds. Spread a corn gluten-based product, which inhibits emergence of new weeds and gives the grass a dose of nitrogen at the same time.

Take Advantage of Fall Sales

As long as the soil temperature stays above 40 degrees, roots continue to grow, so there's plenty of time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials. Take advantage of fall sales even if you don't have your new bed prepared yet. You can always bury the plants -- pots and all -- in the vegetable garden until spring when the new bed is ready.

Remove Diseased Rose Foliage

If your roses had signs of black spot or other foliage diseases during the summer, it's important to remove the source of the infection to prevent recurrence next year. After a hard freeze, strip all the leaves from the plants and any mulch that surrounds them, and dispose of this debris. Spread new winter mulch.

Prepare Soil for Spring Rose Planting

Roses need a well-loosened and amended soil, so prepare the soil now for spring planting. If the bed is in a low spot, add coarse sand and topsoil to raise the level. Then mix in peat moss or pine needles for a little acidity, compost or peat moss for aeration, and manure or cottonseed meal for nitrogen.

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