New England

August, 2008
Regional Report

Freeze Fresh Corn

Preserve the fresh-picked (well, almost) flavor of corn on the cob for winter meals. Cook the cobs as usual, then using a special corn scraper or a sharp knife, cut off the kernels and freeze them in freezer bags. They will be much tastier than any store-bought frozen or canned corn.

Freeze Berries

Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are easy to flash freeze for winter smoothies. Rinse the berries and let them dry on paper towels. Spread them in a single layer in cake pans or whatever size pans will fit in your freezer. When frozen, pour them into labeled freezer bags or plastic containers, and pop them back in the freezer.

Remove Debris Under Roses

Begin removing the old mulch under roses and raking up all leaves and debris. While this organic matter may seem beneficial, there are many rose disease organisms and insects that overwinter there, and you can reduce the damage to your plants next year by getting rid of it all.

Take Advantage of Plant Sales

Trees, shrubs, and perennials are on sale, and fall is a great time to plant. Get new plants in the ground asap so they can begin expanding their root systems. If you don't have the final spot ready, sink the pots or rootballs temporarily in an empty area in the veggie garden. Water them if nature doesn't provide enough.

Stop Pruning Trees and Shrubs

Stop pruning most trees and shrubs now, and allow roses to form hips. Pruning stimulates new growth that may not have time to harden off before the first cold snap of autumn. Leaving spent rose flowers so they form hips signals roses that they, too, should begin winding down.

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