Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2008
Regional Report

Don't Fret Mushrooms in Mulch

Following a spate of wet weather, organic mulches may grow a flush of mushrooms. These simply grow on decomposing plant material and cause no harm to the mulch or to plants. Simply knock down the mushrooms and rake the mulch a bit to loosen and aerate it.

Control Squash Vine Borers

If squash vine borer has been a problem in your garden, cover small transplants of squash, cucumbers, and zucchini with row covers to prevent moths from laying eggs on vines. Remove row covers when plants begin to flower. If borers do appear, dust the base of the vines with Bt and bury the damaged portions.

Put Out Amaryllis Plants

Amaryllis plants are best placed in their pots in a garden spot with morning sun. Since leaves continue to grow all summer and manufacture food for the bulbs, they should be fertilized twice a month with a high-phosphorus fertilizer. Also remember to water the bulbs regularly.

Fertilize Containers

Fertilize flowers in containers, baskets, and window boxes every week or so with quarter-strength fertilizer. This will keep the blossoms coming all summer long and help the plant resist disease. Water the plants before adding fertilizer so there is no risk of damaging the foliage or roots.

Deadhead Flowers

Deadhead annuals and perennials to encourage new flower formation. If the spent blossoms are left on the plant they will begin to produce seed. Producing seed takes a lot of energy, and once seed is set, the plant has completed its life cycle and will stop producing new flowers.

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