Northern & Central Midwest

May, 2012
Regional Report

Plant Cucumbers

Plant cucumbers as soon as the last frost date has passed and the soil has warmed somewhat. Plant vining cucumbers next to a sturdy trellising system. You may need to assist the plants in attaching to the bottom of the trellis, but once attached, they will climb easily by themselves.

Plant Green Beans

Plant green beans. Also called snap beans, they come in pole and bush varieties. As soon as the last frost has come and gone and the soil has warmed, sow your first seeds. With bush varieties, sow every two to four weeks for a harvest of tasty snap beans all summer.

Save on Potting Soil

If using large containers, it is expensive to fill the entire pot with soil. For annuals, you only need eight to ten inches of root room, so fill the pot with inverted plastic pots or a plastic bag filled with Styrofoam peanuts to take up the extra room. Make sure your container has drainage holes.

Assess Bulb Plantings

Assess your spring bulbs as soon as they finish blooming. If they didn't bloom well, they may need to be llifted and divided. If they Most hybrid tulips peter out after a few years and are best replaced regularly. For a longer term show, consider investing in botanical or species tulips that will thrive for years. Don't trim off tulip foliage until it begins to yellow.

Bring in Butterflies

Bring beautiful butterflies to your garden with nectar-producers such as coneflowers, Russian sage, Joe-Pye weed, butterfly weed, bee balm, catmint and zinnias. Also provide plants for larvae to munch on, and don't waste your money on butterfly houses, which they won't use. Avoid using any pesticides.

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