Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2011
Regional Report

Wait to Transplant Deciduous Trees and Shrubs

Don't be in a hurry to transplant trees and shrubs. Wait until their leaves change color, which indicates they are going into dormancy. Transplanting earlier may still send the plant into shock. After planting, mulch well and provide an inch of water a week until the ground freezes.

Platn Evergreens by October 1

If you are planting evergreens, do it now. They should be in the ground by October 1st in order for the fine root system to reestablish itself before the plant goes into partial dormancy for the winter. Mulch and provide an inch of water a week until the ground freezes.

Buy Bulbs Now!

Purchase bulbs as soon as they hit the shelves. Look for large, plump bulbs that have no odor (except fritillaria, which will smell like skunk). Buy the largest bulb you can afford in order to get larger and more flowers than with smaller bulbs.

Core Aerate your Lawn

Fall is a great time to core aerate your lawn. Coring removes cores of soil and grass, opening holes for vigorous root growth on compacted or thatch-ridden turf. Make sure the aerator your lawn care professional uses takes out cores rather than merely punching holes, which can just compact soil further. Cores will decompose on the lawn in a couple of weeks.

Prune Raspberries Properly

Everbearing raspberries produce a fall crop on the top half of the canes. After harvest, cut out the top of the canes, leaving the bottom half to produce a crop next summer. They should then be pruned to the ground. The new canes that develop over summer will again produce fruit on the top half.

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