Mid-Atlantic

November, 2009
Regional Report

Destroy Veggies Killed by Late Blight

Late blight (Phytophthora infestans) that killed off tomatoes and potatoes this summer won't overwinter in New England except in infected potato tubers, according to UConn Home and Garden Education Center. The report on the Floriculture Greenhouse Update Web site noted the pathogen survives in living tissue and will be killed by freezing temperatures. Potatoes, etc. infected with late blight should be destroyed or buried two feet deep. Same with tomato vines.

Apply to Longwood's Graduate Program

November 15 is the deadline for applying for the Longwood (Gardens) Graduate Program in Public Horticulture. The University of Delaware's Website (http://ag.udel.edu/longwoodgrad) has information about this M.S. program. The two-year training is offered within the context of the exceptional laboratory of Longwood Gardens and the fine academic setting of the University of Delaware.

Save Ripe Seeds

Do you have a favorite rose mallow (hardy hibiscus), baptisia, or other late-blooming seed producer you'd like to propagate or share? Look for seedheads that are beginning to ripen (expanding or cracking seed capsules, lighter or darker color as they mature). Cut the stalks, secure them with a rubber band, and turn upside down in a brown paper bag, then hang the bag in a cool, dry area to allow the heads to fully open and release the seeds. Write the plant name on the bag. When seeds are completely ripe, harvest by removing everything but the seeds.

Rake Out Rose of Sharon Seedheads

Pesky rose of Sharon seedlings are a nuisance. We've been pulling them out all season. Now we're raking out the dropped seed heads in hopes of having fewer weedy intruders next summer. Where it's feasible, I pull or prune seed heads off the shrub.

Prune Away Branches in Your Path

Though autumn is not the best time to prune, it's okay to clip off a few overgrown branches. Often by late season, some taxus, hemlock, pine, rose, and holly branches have overreached their boundaries. They hang in the face, snag the shoulder, or flop into the walkway. Remove the annoyance -- which can become a safety hazard -- by cutting off the branch just above a node or where it connects with another branch or trunk.

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