Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2011
Regional Report

Divide Bearded Iris

If your iris are not blooming well, right after bloom time is a good time to divide them. Dig the rhizomes and rinse them in a bucket of water. Cut five to seven inch pieces of healthy rhizomes with one fan of leaves and two or more buds. Plant twelve inches apart.

Don't Fret about Mushrooms in Mulch

You may find mushrooms in your organic mulch a few days after a rain. This is a natural outgrowth of decaying organic matter. It's nothing to worry about. If they bother you, you can simply rake the mulch a bit and they will go away.

Set Out Fall Transplants

Even though we are in the height of summer, it's time to think about the fall garden. Set out broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower transplants for the fall garden. Try to transplant on a cloudy day and protect for a few days by shading with row covers. Monitor water carefully.

Keep Pests off Cucumbers and Squash

Cucumber beetles and squash bugs can be hindered by covering your plants with lightweight floating row covers. Lay them gently on the plants and tuck the ends under the soil. As soon as the plants begin to bloom, remove the covers so pollinators can get to the blossoms.

Avoid Blossom-end Rot

Blossom-end rot of tomato and peppers occurs when soil moisture is uneven. It appears as blackened, sometimes rotten areas on the undersides of the fruit. Monitor moisture carefully and water before the soil dries out considerably. Maintain a two to three inch layer of organic mulch.

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