New England

July, 2008
Regional Report

Divide Perennial Poppies

When Oriental poppies have died down, check around the clump for new seedlings. These can be transplanted to new locations if you give them a weed-free spot and keep them moist.

Collect Seeds

Collect seeds from early-maturing plants, such as lupines, and either replant immediately or place in tightly sealed glass jars in a cool, dark location. You can also allow the plants to drop their seeds naturally, then transplant new plants next spring.

Keep Watering Strawberry Bed

Strawberry plants need about 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water per week, even after they have finished producing. Also fertilize with nitrogen if plants seem to need a boost. Next year's crop is dependent upon the water and fertilizer the plants receive this summer, especially in August and September when the weather is still warm.

Reduce Watering of Potatoes and Onions

When the foliage begins to die, reduce watering to encourage the bulbs and tubers to harden before harvest. This helps maximize their storage life.

Tending Plants in Rainy Weather

The long stretch of rainy weather in many areas means soggy soil and plants. To avoid spreading disease, try to avoid walking among your plants when they are wet. It's not too late to spread hay as a mulch, which can help keep disease spores from splashing up onto plants. If you don't mulch, lightly hoe the surface of the soil when it dries out to break up any crust that could impede water penetration. Harvest frequently so fruit doesn't rot on the plants.

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