Northern & Central Midwest

July, 2008
Regional Report

Stop Pruning

Pruning should stop now and not resume until the leaves drop. Since pruning stimulates new growth, continuing to prune at this point in the growing season will push growth that may not have a chance to harden off before winter. Put your energy into deadheading perennials and annual flowers.

Weed, Weed, Weed

Keep after your weeds. Steel yourself against the mosquitoes and get out there and weed so they won't compete with developing vegetables. They take away moisture and nutrients that vegetables need.

Deadhead Lilies

As soon as lily flowers (true lilies, not daylilies) are finished blooming, cut the lily stalk back by about one-third. This allows enough leaves to remain for plant health, but takes away the awkward stalk that usually sticks above everything else.

Harvest Herbs

Don't forget to harvest and dry herbs through the summer instead of waiting until fall. Most herbs taste best if picked before they bloom, but if they are flowering now, simply cut off the flower heads and dry the leaves. A cool oven, paper bag in the closet, or food dehydrator works quite well.

Look for Japanese Beetles

Watch out for the siege from metallic green-bronze Japanese beetles. You will usually see them in clusters or pairs on the upper sides of leaves on plants in the sun. They chew leaves until they are lacy so they are hard to miss. Control them by handpicking and dropping into a container of soapy water.

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