Northern & Central Midwest

October, 2008
Regional Report

Plant Bulbs

Finish planting daffodil and tulip bulbs as soon as possible. Continue to plant other bulbs including crocuses, squill, grape hyacinths, alliums, fritillary, and hyacinths. There is no need to fertilize. Water well after planting bulbs and spread an organic mulch such as compost or finely shredded bark

Mow Your Leaves

As leaves fall, mow them and leave a light covering on the lawn. If you have excess leaves, shred them with the mower and then blow them into beds for mulch. As an alternative, pile them in an inconspicuous place and you will have lovely leaf mold on the bottom of the pile in a year.

Plant Trees and Shrubs

Plant trees and shrubs while the soil is still warm and the air is cool. Be sure to water in well even if the plants have lost their leaves to remove any air pockets in the soil. Staking is only necessary in very windy sites and can actually be detrimental if the tree is staked so tightly it can't sway, which helps build a strong root system.

Add Organic Matter

As you remove garden debris, consider amending your garden soil with organic matter. It will help the soil hold nutrients, improve aeration for roots, and improve drainage. Organic matter can be compost, rotten manure, shredded leaves, rotted sawdust, or other composted materials.

Pick Green Tomatoes

Pick green tomatoes before frost. Pick only unblemished fruits that are full sized and remove the stems. Wash gently and let air dry. Store in boxes one to two layers deep in a cool, moderately humid room. Check frequently and remove ripe fruit. Undersized fruits will not ripen and should be pickled.

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