New England

July, 2009
Regional Report

Protect Blueberries

Birds love blueberries as much as we do, so protect bushes with netting. Rather than draping the netting over the bush -- birds will be able to reach the berries -- use stakes to suspend the netting over the shrub. Secure the netting to the ground to prevent birds from sneaking in.

Think Fall

Although we're in the midst of summer weather, it's time to start planning the fall garden. Plant cool-season crops now for harvest in September and October. You can still squeeze in plantings of fast-maturing crops like bush beans, too.

Rejuvenate Dry Container Gardens

If you come home to a dried-out container planting, don''t despair. Some plants will wilt dramatically, but come back once moistened. If the water you add from the top pours right through, place the entire container in a saucer or tray of water and let the water soak into the soil from below. If it's still hot and sunny out, place the plant in a shady, cool spot for a few days. Remove damaged foliage and see if the plant develops new growth.

Harvest and Freeze Berries

Even if you can''t eat them all right now, take advantage of the abundance of fresh fruits and berries. Freezer jams are surprisingly easy to make, and even regular "canned" jam is pretty straightforward and makes a great gift. At the very least, freeze some berries for later use; simply spread them out on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once they've frozen, pour them into freezer bags and seal.

Save Seeds

Store leftover seeds in tightly sealed glass jars in a cool, dark place. Collect seeds from early-maturing plants, such as columbine, and either replant immediately or place in jars for storage. You can also allow the plants to drop their seeds naturally, then plan to transplant new plants next spring.

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