Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2011
Regional Report

Deadhead Perennials

Deadhead phlox as soon as the flower heads begin to look scruffy and brown. This will force side shoots into producing flower heads and you will have beautiful color throughout the fall. It will also prevent plants from producing hundreds of fuchsia seedlings for next year.

Pick off Blighted Leaves

If early blight appears on tomatoes, you can keep the disease at bay for awhile by carefully removing all diseased leaves -- those that are spotted and yellowing. Destroy the leaves by sending to the local compost facility or burying them deeply. Don't put them on your home compost pile.

Pick off Diseased Vegetables

As soon as you see any signs of disease or deterioration on peppers, eggplants, or tomatoes, pull the fruits and discard to avoid spreading the problem. Blossom end rot on the bottoms of fruits indicates uneven moisture, so be sure to pull mulch around the plants to avoid more problems.

Mow Daylilies

As daylilies finish blooming and begin to look ragged, cut or mow the foliage. The plants are sturdy enough to produce new foliage that looks fresh and clean throughout the fall season. Perennial geraniums also benefit from a haircut in late summer to produce some bloom and new foliage.

Butterfly Time

Enjoy the butterflies in your garden. This is peak time for them, and a diverse planting of flowers, shrubs, and trees will assure a bounty in your yard. A birdbath of wet sand is ideal for watering them, and providing plenty of shelter for roosting at night will keep them in your landscape.

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