New England

August, 2009
Regional Report

Watch Weeds

It's the time of year when garden weeds can get ahead of us. At the very least, If the weeds in your garden have gotten ahead of you, make your catch-up efforts count. First, pick off any weed flowers that are going to seed to prevent the next generation, then pull or smother the weed plants and top the area with mulch to keep them from coming back.

Preserve Herbs

Humid, rainy weather makes it challenging to dry herbs. Try bringing them into an air-conditioned room or dry in a warm oven. Or, if you have extra freezer space, chop herbs and place them in water in ice cube trays.

Share the Wealth

If you have more produce than you can use, consider sharing the extra with the local soup kitchen or food bank. Make sure the produce is in good condition and call ahead to arrange for drop off. Don't allow beans and summer squash to get overmature because that will signal plants to stop producing.

Shade Tender New Plants

It looks like we're in for a stretch of hot, sunny weather, so it's a good idea to provide temporary light shade for summer seedings and transplants to reduce heat stress and keep the soil moister longer. Use commercial shade cloth or scatter a thin layer of pine needles over small seedlings.

Keep Garden Clean

Don't allow produce that is past its prime or infested with pests or disease to remain in the garden. And as crops go by, remove spent plants and cover the area with mulch if you won't be replanting. Otherwise, the dying plants can act as a haven for overwintering insect and disease pests.

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