Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2007
Regional Report

Harvest Tomatoes From Leafless Vines

If your tomato vines are losing leaves due to disease, don't waste the fruits. Pick the tomatoes in whatever state of ripeness and let them ripen on the windowsill. Leaving them on a leafless vine will only allow them to sunburn and rot.

Let Green Peppers Ripen to Red

Green peppers will often ripen to red, even if you bought a variety grown for green fruits. Many peppers will continue to ripen on the windowsill if they have a blush of color. In the event of impending frost, pick them and bring them indoors.

Thin Lettuce and Spinach

Be sure to thin lettuce and spinach seedlings, even those for the fall garden. Thinning will allow each plant to grow to a good size for harvesting, and will eliminate the competition from plants snuggled up too close. Use the thinnings in a salad or simply pop them in your mouth.

Get Ready for Lawn Planting

Fall is lawn planting time, so if your lawn needs renovation, a little assistance, or a complete replacement, get ready now. Order your grass seed and make arrangements to have new topsoil brought in. Get your tools ready for leveling, raking, and lightly rolling as soon as the seed is down.

Water New Grass Seeds Often

When planting a new lawn, have hoses ready. Newly germinated seeds dry out in as little as an hour, so keep the soil constantly moist with mulch and frequent sprinklings. When the seedlings are up, you can reduce the watering a bit, but still keep things moist until they are up at least 6 inches.

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