Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2008
Regional Report

Plant Bulbs

This is the ideal time for bulb planting. Add bouquets of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses to your perennial garden and even lawn. Don't forget that garlic is a bulb and should be planted now. Plant 2 inches apart in rows a foot apart and mulch all bulbs well.

Leave Seedheads for Winter Interest

As the season wanes, be sure to leave on seedheads of perennial and annual flowers to add winter interest, hold mulch in place, and provide seeds for the birds. Good candidates are coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, zinnias, and sunflowers. The seedheads will catch snow and give you something to look at this winter.

Have Your Soil Tested

Have your soil tested. Labs are in down time right now so you should get results fast. Dig a trowel full of soil from 6 to 8 areas, mix in a bucket, and put about a cup in a sample bag, available from your local Extension office. Send off with your check.

Start a Compost Pile

Clean up remnants from plants as they die and start a compost pile with the debris and leaves that will begin coming down soon. Be sure to layer green materials like kitchen waste and brown materials like leaves. Add soil and moisture to the pile to start it heating up.

Ready the Garden for Sleep

Get ready to put the garden to bed. Take the opportunity to reflect on the season and make notes of what did well, what didn't, and what you want to repeat in next spring's garden. Enjoy the fruits of your cold frame as cold weather comes on.

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