Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2001
Regional Report

Make Second Plantings

To keep the harvest coming through the summer, make second plantings of sweet corn and beans now. By succession planting your vegetables, you won't have a glut of any one vegetable followed by a drought. They will mature continually through the summer and fall.

Blanch Cauliflower

Cauliflower should begin to form heads soon. If you want the purest white heads, you have to blanch some forms by tying leaves over the developing head while the plant is still young. Tie the leaves loosely with soft twine. The cauliflower can usually be harvested between 7 and 12 days later.

Plant Fall Cole Crops

Cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage perform beautifully in Midwestern fall gardens, and the plants are rarely available in garden centers at this time of year. To plan your fall cole crop, ready your pots, seeds, and seedling mix to start seeds later this month. Set them out in July and August and harvest in September and October.

Stop Harvesting Asparagus

Stop harvesting asparagus in late June. Harvesting spears after that is detrimental to the plant. Asparagus plants need to begin storing energy into the roots for next year. Let the ferns grow, continue to keep weeds at bay, and fertilize with a side dressing of compost or aged manure.

Mulch Now

The soil has warmed up enough to put an organic mulch in the vegetable garden. The best mulch is clean, seed-free straw. Lay down a 6-inch layer for the best protection against weed growth, heat waves, soil erosion, and water evaporation.

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