Northern & Central Midwest

July, 2009
Regional Report

Deadhead Roses

Keep roses deadheaded. Clip spent blossoms as soon as they fade. Cut blossom stem down to the first five-leaflet leaf if possible to prevent leaving a stub. Keeping them deadheaded will assure that the plant has plenty of energy to produce that lovely flush of blossoms in September.

Water Compost Pile

In times of drought, keep your compost pile watered. It should always have the feeling of a damp sponge. If it dries out, the compost process slows and stops, and some of the plant matter will begin anaerobic decomposition which can make it smell bad.

Harvest Vegetables Young

Harvest young. Get out into the vegetable garden daily to pick. Don't wait until you have huge vegetables because the plants may stop producing. A zucchini plant's goal is to finish a life cycle by setting and ripening seed. Removing the fruit before this happens keeps the plant producing. Same with beans, cucumbers, etc.

Plan For Fall Bulbs

It may seem early, but start thinking about where you'd like to plant spring-blooming bulbs this fall. Consult your garden journal or try to remember where the bare spots were this spring so you can plan to add hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, and other spring-bloomers. Planting shouldn't begin until September for most of us, but start making plans now.

Stop Fertilizing

Stop fertilizing lawn, trees, shrubs, and perennials. Don't begin fertilizing again until fall when plants begin to go dormant. An even better time is spring just as new growth begins. Most plants except annuals need fertilizing only once every year or two.

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