New England

September, 2009
Regional Report

Be Prepared for Early Frosts

Set aside some large cardboard boxes, old blankets, and tarps to cover tender plants if an early frost threatens. These early frosts are often followed by several weeks of warm weather. Cover plants in the late afternoon and remove the coverings the next morning after temperatures have warmed up.

Stockpile Pine Needles

Keep your eyes open for neighbors who think pine needles are trash, and offer to take the debris off their hands. To preserve the color of the needles, store your cache in a shady place protected from direct sun. Then use the needles to mulch azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, and other plants that prefer acidic soil.

Bring Houseplants Indoors

Begin bringing in tender houseplants that have spent the summer outside. First, carefully examine plants for signs of insect pests. A few mealybugs or spider mites can quickly multiply into a big problem when they're brought into a warm, dry, predator-free indoor environment.

Compost Old Mulch

To interrupt the life cycles of black spot and other fungal diseases, gather up old mulch from your rose garden and compost it. Replace it with fresh compost.

Dry Petals for Potpourri

Harvest a few of the last roses of summer and dry the petals for several days, then store them in airtight containers. Combine them with other fragrant flowers and herbs for winter potpourri. Red and dark pink petals dry better than light-colored ones, which show more bruises and brown spots.

Be Prepared for Early Frosts

Set aside some large cardboard boxes, old blankets, and tarps to cover tender plants if an early frost threatens. These early frosts are often followed by several weeks of warm weather. Cover plants in the late afternoon and remove the coverings the next morning after temperatures have warmed up.

Stockpile Pine Needles

Keep your eyes open for neighbors who think pine needles are trash, and offer to take the debris off their hands. To preserve the color of the needles, store your cache in a shady place protected from direct sun. Then use the needles to mulch azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, and other plants that prefer acidic soil.

Bring Houseplants Indoors

Begin bringing in tender houseplants that have spent the summer outside. First, carefully examine plants for signs of insect pests. A few mealybugs or spider mites can quickly multiply into a big problem when they're brought into a warm, dry, predator-free indoor environment.

Compost Old Mulch

To interrupt the life cycles of black spot and other fungal diseases, gather up old mulch from your rose garden and compost it. Replace it with fresh compost.

Dry Petals for Potpourri

Harvest a few of the last roses of summer and dry the petals for several days, then store them in airtight containers. Combine them with other fragrant flowers and herbs for winter potpourri. Red and dark pink petals dry better than light-colored ones, which show more bruises and brown spots.

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