Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2011
Regional Report

Water New Plants First

When drought arrives, be sure to water all newly planted trees and shrubs first. Allow lawn to go dormant, only giving it about 1/4 inch of water every two weeks. Make sure the vegetable garden is heavily mulched, and if necessary, water deeply once a week.

Care for Brussels Sprouts

As Brussels sprouts begin to form their tiny heads, remove the lower leaves. This will produce taller plants with more "sprouts." Side dress with compost, and consider covering with lightweight row covers to prevent their being feasted on by cabbage moths.

Plant Fall Crops

Plant fall crops such as green beans, broccoli and cauliflower (transplants), carrots, mustard greens, spinach, lettuce, kale and radishes. For lettuces and greens, plant in shaded areas since the weather is still hot. You can seed them behind or under crops that will be finished by the end of September.

Transplant Peonies, Iris, Poppies

This is the month for transplanting peonies, bearded iris, and Oriental poppies. Dig peonies and separate into clumps with at least two "eyes" each. Replant so the eyes are between one and two inches below ground. Deeper or more shallow planting may cause poor blooming.

Do Research on Grass Types

Late August is the time to seed new lawns or renovate existing lawns. Do your research now to find out which grass seed is best for your area. Consider some of the new no-mow turf mixtures to reduce your water and mowing. You may have to purchase these by mail order so get your order in now.

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