Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2011
Regional Report

Fix Your Lawn

This is the perfect time to fix your lawn. If you have bare spots, rake up any debris, rough up the soil and sprinkle fresh seed. Mulch with a light covering of straw or grass clippings. To renovate an entire lawn, rent a slit seeder and over seed. Water well and keep watered through the fall.

Harvest Herbs Through Fall

Keep harvesting herbs through the fall. They still have they essential oils even though growth is slowing. Dry them or freeze in ice cube trays in water and put in plastic bags for the freezer. Store dried herbs in whole leaf form in a dark, cool cabinet.

Harvest Potatoes and Onions

If you've left potatoes and onions in the ground, dig them now and prepare them for storage. Fall moisture can cause them to start rotting. Let onions air dry in the open for a few days and then bring them inside to an airy, dry, cool spot. Immediately bring potatoes indoors to a spot where they will receive no light.

Monitor Rainfall

We usually have plentiful fall rains, but don't depend on them. Keep track of exactly what falls -- an inexpensive rain gauge is a good purchase. Make sure trees and shrubs get at least an inch of irrigation every week, especially evergreens. They will suffer through winter if not well hydrated in the fall.

Harvest Tomatoes Before Damage Occurs

If you have problems with early blight on tomatoes, it's too late to do anything about it at this time. But continue to harvest tomatoes, even before they are completely ripe to avoid getting the spots on them. They are perfectly edible, but the spots will cause deterioration.

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