Northern & Central Midwest

July, 2009
Regional Report

Keep Deadheading

Continue deadheading flowers. This will keep annuals blooming throughout the growing season and will help clean up perennials and allow them to channel the energy that would have been spent on seed production into root growth. Remember to remove the whole flower, not just the faded petals.

Keep Watering

Don't let watering fall behind, especially in the heat of summer. Fruits and vegetables need water to develop their crops properly. Even mature trees can use supplemental water in dry times. For most plants, a good rule of thumb is 1 inch of water per week. Remember to water infrequently and deeply; avoid shallow watering.

Move Irises and Peonies

Remember to transplant iris and peonies during August. These plants perform best when moved in late August. If moved later in fall or in spring, you risk no blossoms this year. Plant peonies with their eyes between one and two inches deep. Plant iris with the top half of their rhizomes above the soil level.

Pick off Japanese Beetles

Monitor for Japanese beetle damage. These iridescent insects skeletonize foliage but will finish feeding by the second week in August. Favorite host plants include roses, grapevines, and linden, maple, elm, birch and crab apple trees. They are often found feeding on the tops of plants. Hand-pick them and drop them into soapy water.

Watch Moisture on Tomatoes and Peppers

Watch fluctuating moisture levels on tomatoes and peppers. Blossom end rot appears as brown to light brown rotting areas and is caused by calcium deficiency in the plant. Limited soil moisture slows uptake and then when water becomes available again, the plant begins to grow rapidly but the uptake of calcium lags behind.

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