Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2001
Regional Report

Take Begonia Cuttings


Take cuttings of annual flowers such as impatiens, geraniums, and begonias to be grown indoors and kept over winter. Take cuttings before the first frost for the best success. Take a 3 to 5 inch long cutting, remove all but two leaves, dip in rooting powder, and stick in moist, sterile potting soil.

Aerate the Lawn


Now is a good time to core aerate your lawn, especially if you have a thatch (dead grass buildup) problem. A core aerator pulls plugs or cores of soil and sod from the turf and drops them on the lawn. The hole left in the lawn will fill with healthy grass roots, water and fertilizer. After a few weeks, the plugs decompose.


Protect Plants from Frost


If a frost is imminent and you expect good weather to follow, it's worth the time and effort to protect plants by covering them. Blankets, tarps, boxes, or anything the garage yields will work to protect them from a light frost.

Harvest Brussels Sprouts


Wait to harvest collards, kale, and Brussels sprouts until after the first freeze. Their carbohydrates are turned into sugars with the start of cold weather, making them taste even more delicious. Chinese cabbage, however, will be damaged by frost so pick or cover them.

Bring in Vegetables


If you harvested onion, garlic, dried bean, squash or any other vegetables outside for good circulation, bring them in before the temperatures drop at night. If they get touched by frost they're more likely to rot in storage.

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