Mid-Atlantic

August, 2011
Regional Report

Take Care of Your Garden Hose

A garden hose is an investment that should last many years. Do your part to keep it in good condition. Don't toss the hose end on the ground, driveway, patio, sidewalk. That can damage the metal hose end, bending, breaking, or crimping the metal coupling. A damaged coupling won't properly screw onto a watering device or hose. Result -- leaking or simply being unable to connect what you want, when you want it.

Check Walnut Trees for Thousand Cankers Disease

Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) has been detected recently in Pennsylvania. In response, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has quarantined wood in Bucks County; that is, no walnut and hardwood firewood may be removed from Bucks County. There is no cure for TCD. Walnut twig beetles, which carry a fungus, tunnel beneath the walnut tree bark, causing small cankers. Damage kills the tree within 10 years. Homeowners are encouraged to report sightings by calling 866-253-7189. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania State University, and state and federal agencies are surveying and monitoring to slow the spread of TCD. Other states reporting TCD include Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington.

Sow Cool Weather Veggie Crops

Sowing cool-weather veggie and herb seeds now will extend the harvest season by two months. Kale, Swiss chard, beets, spinach, pok choy, lettuces, radishes, carrots, peas, calendula, cilantro, spring mix, beets, and Brussels sprouts thrive in cooler temperatures. Follow seed packet directions for best success. Allow an extra two weeks for harvest to compensate for fall's shorter days and cooler temperatures.

Plant Veggie Seedlings for Quick Harvest

For an earlier harvest, plant seedlings now of cauliflower, broccoli, green and red cabbage, Chinese kale, lettuces, chard, and spinach. Seedlings will mature to edible size within three to five weeks. They'll provide a tasty transition until seed-sown plants are ready to harvest.

Feed Perennials with Compost and Slow-Release Mineral Fertilizer

Top dress perennials with compost, vermicompost, or slow-release mineral fertilizer for spring bloom and foliage. Microbes will break down these organic materials through autumn and winter. Come spring, nutrients will be available to plant roots.

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