New England

August, 2013
Regional Report

Prepare a New Lawn

If you're creating a new lawn, start now by tilling the area adding compost and topsoil. Based on a soil test add lime to adjust the pH and fertilizer. Rake smooth and sprinkle a lawn grass seed mix. Water well and mulch with straw.

Spray for Cabbageworms

Fall crops of cabbage, broccoli, and kale can become infested with cabbageworms. If you sprayed the microbial insecticide B.t. (Bacillus thuringiensis)early in the season to kill the first generation, it's time to spray it again to kill the second generation. Add a drop of liquid soap to the mix to help it stick to leaves.

Plant Pansies

Pansy and viola flowers grow well in our cool fall weather. Check garden centers for transplants and place them out now in beds, containers, or window boxes. Violas in particular will survive light frosts and may even overwinter depending on the setting.

Control Fall Webworms

Fall webworm caterpillars are building nests in apple, cherry, plum and many other trees. Unless severe, these infestations cause minor defoliation and damage. If you see many nests in trees, destroy them with a broom handle or stick, or spray B.t. on the leaves to kill the emerging caterpillars.

Assess Stressed Trees

Drought and high temperatures in August may cause deciduous trees to drop their leaves early. Usually it's weak trees or trees that have had their roots disturbed that suffer from these conditions. Most trees can tolerate an early defoliation and come back next year as long as the rains come. Other may not make it. Don't decide to remove any trees until you see the final result next summer.

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