August, 2012
Regional Report

Clip, Don't Dodge

Summer growth can be overabundant. We're dodging forsythia branches reaching into sidewalks and pathways. Overgrown yew limbs snag the arms. Our gardens and landscapes should be a comfort rather than annoying. Grab the pruners and loppers. Make a sharp clip above a node to remove an impinging branch. Breathe a sigh of relief -- one small annoyance easily removed.

Plant Cool Weather Veggies for Fall

Some delicious vegetables thrive in cooler temperatures. Kale, cabbage, Swiss chard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beets are among them. Good garden centers will have the right plant selection for late-summer-into-autumn crops. Buy and plant seedlings for early harvest.

Sow Seeds for Fall Harvests

Start lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, and cilantro seeds in soilless potting mix. It's fine to keep them outdoors, well-watered and fertilized. Plant in the garden when they've developed a few sets of true leaves. Why start seeds in six-packs or a window box rather than the garden? Protection and pampering. Slugs, flea beetles, and damping-off fungus can easily take down fragile sprouts.

Remove What You Don't Want

Do you have a shrub, ornamental grass, perennial or groundcover that makes you frown? Maybe you never liked it, it's not thriving, or doesn't look the way you anticipated. It's okay to remove a plant that no longer appeals. Dig it up. Donate it to a local park or community garden or give it to a friend who's admired it.

Add More of What You Like

Are you yearning for the latest reblooming lilac or a charming, compact hydrangea? Or do you just want more long-blooming perennial geraniums? Take advantage of fall sales to add your favorites. After all, this is YOUR garden.

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