Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2007
Regional Report

Remove Faded Vegetable Plants

Remove plants from the garden as soon as they fade. By getting rid of plants as they finish, you won't have the huge task at the end of the season of removing everything at once. Dispose of the tomato plants that are diseased. Tear out the cucumber vines that have no cukes on them.

Turn Over Compost Pile

Turn your compost before adding fall waste. Adding a layer of soil before the fresh garden waste is piled on will speed up the decomposition even as the air temperatures cool. Be sure to keep the pile somewhat moist so decomposition is efficient and continues into late fall.

Take Annual Cuttings

Take cuttings now of annuals you want to keep over the winter. Purchase rooting hormone powder at your local garden center for dipping the cut ends of geraniums, coleus, impatiens, petunias, dusty miller, and other sturdy annuals. When rooted, pot up and keep on sunny windowsills, pinching and fertilizing frequently.

Cut Raspberries to the Ground

As soon as raspberries are finished bearing, cut plants back to the ground. This will help keep viruses from spreading next year. Send the canes to your local composting facility for shredding and disposal. Don't keep them in your own yard or near your raspberry patch.

Take Herb Cuttings

Take cuttings of herbs to bring indoors. Uprooting perennial and annual herbs is hard on the plants, so take tip cuttings just as you would for annual flowers. This will give you culinary pinchings of basil, rosemary, savory, thyme, oregano, and sage for use through winter.

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