Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2010
Regional Report

Water Trees, Shrubs, Evergreens

Supplement fall rains with irrigation on trees and shrubs and particularly evergreens. They need to go into winter well-hydrated and should receive at least an inch of water a week. Long, slow watering is much better than daily sprinkling as it causes the roots to go deep.

Core Aerate Your Lawn

Core aerate lawn if there is any evidence of compaction or thatch. Coring the lawn opens the roots to air and water and will rejuvenate a lawn in need of some help. Leave the cores on the lawn where they will disintegrate and add a light topdressing of organics and soil.

Pot Herbs for the Windowsill

Pot chives, oregano, basil and rosemary for winter use indoors. Dig the plant, pot it up and cut it back substantially. Leave the newly potted plant outdoors for a few weeks to adjust to its pot. Then bring indoors gradually. Place on a sunny windowsill on a drip tray and snip frequently as the new leaves form.

Control Diseases

Fall is the best time to begin controlling vegetable and fruit diseases. As you clean up the garden, make note of the problems you had this year in order to plan for next year. Clean up and dispose of all leaves and debris in order to prevent giving disease organisms a place to spend the winter and wait to infect plants in spring.

Bring Geraniums Indoors

Bring geraniums indoors for the winter. Cut back severely, place in a sunny cool window and water and fertilize regularly. Alternatively, cut the plants back hard and leave them in their pots. Place in a cool, dry basement and allow the soil to dry. Do not water for the winter. This latter method is less successful than the former.

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