Northern & Central Midwest

May, 2012
Regional Report

Walk Through the Garden Daily

With warmer weather, keep an eye out for pests in all areas of the garden. Do a walk-through every day or so. Check under leaves and on tender plant tips for anything that looks out of the ordinary. Frequency in the garden goes a long way to preventing pest outbreaks.

Prevent Mildew

Continue to use this Cornell fungicide mixture to keep powdery mildew off of roses. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one teaspoon of liquid detergent or insecticidal soap in a gallon of water. Spray every four or five days as a preventive for mildew.

Pinch Mums

Pinch mums June 1 and July 1 to make them branch out and stay shrubby. Stop pinching after July 1 so the plants will produce flowers. If you are pinching to produce a single large blossom, continue to pinch out side flower shoots for the rest of the summer.

Pinch Strawberry Blossoms

Continue pinching blossoms off of newly-planted strawberries. They need to put all their energy into developing healthy root systems to survive winter. Mulch well with straw mulch and train any runners into the row to keep space between rows. Don't fertilize until next year.

Plant Summer Squash

Zucchini, pattypan, and yellow crookneck squash can be planted now. Plant three or four seeds per "hill", whether a vining or bush type. Water well and mulch. Keep an eye out for squash borers as the plants develop. Harvest when fruits are quite young and tender and the rinds are still soft.

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