Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2008
Regional Report

Seed Bare Lawn

Bare spots can be overseeded this fall. The soil is warm so germination is fast. Cooler fall weather allows grass to grow rapidly with less stress than in spring. Make sure seeds come in contact with soil when sowing, and keep seeds well watered as they germinate.

Sow Cover Crops

As vegetables are harvested, make use of those bare spots to sow annual rye, winter rye, or winter wheat. Broadcast seed, lightly cover with grass clippings, and keep soil moist. Allow the crop to grow four to six weeks before a hard frost, and then turn it under to improve soil.

Move Peonies

Divide and transplant peonies, if necessary. They don't like to be moved, but if you must, do it now. Be sure to replant with the "eyes" between 1 and 2 inches below the soil surface. Plant in average soil and water well throughout fall to establish the roots.

Move Iris

Divide and transplant bearded iris. They do best if dug in August and replanted. Be sure to discard any diseased rhizomes, and replant immediately after digging, if possible. Plant them with the soil just halfway up the rhizome and the roots spread. Water in well.

Order Bulbs

Order bulbs now for planting in September. Try some new ones this year like autumn crocuses or surprise lilies. They send up lush foliage in spring and then spikes of flowers in late August and early September. Plant with other plants or ground covers to hide the dying foliage in spring.

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