Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2007
Regional Report

Pick Fall-Bearing Raspberries

Fall-bearing raspberries are starting to ripen, so keep them picked to keep production up. After they've completely finished bearing, cut the canes to the ground even though they are capable of bearing on the bottoms of the canes next spring. This will help prevent viruses that are so prevalent on raspberries.

Harvest Eggplants Promptly

Keep after your eggplant harvest. Pick Italian eggplants when they are fully fleshed out but still shiny. The skin should give slightly when pushed. Japanese eggplants should be picked the same way, but they will be much smaller. Take a knife or scissors to clip the stems and avoid damaging the main stem.

Freeze Extra Tomatoes

If your tomatoes are coming in faster than you can manage, simply wash them and toss them into freezer bags. They will freeze just fine in the skins. When ready to roast or turn them into sauce, simply rinse in a colander and the skins will slip off easily.

Enjoy Asian Pears in Many Forms

Allow Asian pears to become russeted before harvesting. The skins will take on an amber hue, indicating that the fruits are ripe. Asian pears are terrific eaten fresh, but they can also be turned into wonderful pear butter or chewy dried treats for winter.

Deadhead Phlox

Clip off clusters of phlox blossoms as they fade. This will force buds further down on the stems to produce flowers, giving you a show throughout the fall, a beautiful accompaniment to the asters, mums, and goldenrod. Pull out phlox seedlings if you want your display to keep the lovely colors other than fuchsia.

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