New England

August, 2011
Regional Report

Pinch Off Squash and Pumpkin Blossoms

Pinch off blossoms on your pumpkin and winter squash vines so that the plants direct their energy into sizing up the existing fruits on the vines.

Plant Crops for Fall Harvest

Sow seeds of lettuce, spinach, kohlrabi, and turnips for fall harvest. Put spinach and lettuce seeds in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks before planting to prevent hot summer soil from inducing dormancy.

Stop Fertilizing Roses

Refrain from feeding your roses for the rest of the season. This will enable them to slow their growth and prepare to harden up for the cold winter weather ahead.

Plant Colchicums

Colchicums, also known as autumn crocuses or meadow saffron, unfurl their flowers in September and October. Plant the corms in late summer to early fall and look for their vase-shaped flowers on leafless stalks to light up the fall garden. The foliage will come next spring, when a clump of broad leaves will appear, then disappear by midsummer. Plant in full sun or part shade in very well-drained soil. Set the corms 3-4 inches deep. Colchicums are adapted to zones 4-9.

Check Lawns for Grubs

Now is the time to check lawns for grubs. Cut and lift several one foot by one foot sections of turf around your yard and inspect the roots for small (1/4-inch), white, C-shaped grubs. If you see fewer than 7-10 grubs on average in each section, you don't need to treat for them -- a healthy lawn will tolerate some grub feeding. If your lawn is heavily infested, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office for treatment recommendations. Wait until early September to fertilize your lawn.

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