Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2008
Regional Report

Care for Fall Raspberries

Keep fall-bearing raspberries well watered as they begin to ripen. Make sure to pick daily to keep from attracting insects. It may also be necessary to cover with netting to keep birds out. When the crop is finished, cut stems that bore fruit to the ground to prevent virus problems inherent with raspberries.

Sow Fall Crops

Sow fall crops such as arugula, spinach, cilantro, and leaf lettuce. There is also time to put in some scallions, radishes, and even snow peas. Make sure to keep the seeds well watered during germination because even one day of drying out can kill the seeds. Shade if necessary.

Don't Worry About Mushrooms in the Lawn

A wet summer naturally produces mushrooms, and those that appear in mulch and lawns are usually harmless. They grow on decomposing matter and can be pulled, raked, or mowed. They will probably come back with wet weather, and are a fact of life in a healthy landscape. Don't eat them, though, without absolute identification.

Purchase Bulbs

Even though it's early for planting, purchase bulbs now to ensure a good selection. Be sure to put in early bulbs, such as snowdrops, winter aconite, crocuses, and squill. Mid-spring bulbs include fritillaria, early tulips, small alliums, hyacinths, and medium-cupped daffodils. For late spring, plant dutch iris, late-season daffodils and tulips, and alliums.

Spruce Up the Perennial Garden

Summer isn't over. Spruce up the perennial garden by filling in blank spots with discounted annuals. Keep soil moisture consistent, replenish mulch, and deadhead spent blossoms. Some perennials, such as daylilies, tolerate being cut back completely as they begin to look tattered, and they will respond with fresh growth for the fall.

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