Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2001
Regional Report

Prune Everbearing Raspberries

Harvest everbearing raspberries daily until they are finished. When harvest is complete, either prune all canes at ground level or prune out the tips of stems that fruited. The lower portions of these canes will bear the June crop next year. Destroy all pruned canes to prevent virus spread.

Harvest Winter Squash

Begin to harvest winter squash and pumpkins in late September and early October, usually after a light frost. The rinds should be tough enough so that you can't puncture with a thumbnail. Harvest with about an inch of stem if possible. This will help them keep better. Wash gently and store in dark, cool spot.

Help Flowering Houseplants Set Buds

Keep gardenia, Christmas cactus and azalea plants outdoors until night temperatures fall below 40 degrees to initiate flower bud formation. When temperatures are predicted to fall below 40 degrees, bring the plants indoors, especially if there is danger of a frost. Don't be tempted to take them outside again in nice weather.

Bring in Tender Houseplants

Start bringing in houseplants that have spent the summer outdoors. Clean the foliage and container carefully and remove any visible insects. Immerse the soil ball in a bucket of water to force out soil insects, and spray the plant with a light spray of horticultural oil or insecticidal soap before bringing inside.

Force Bulbs for Winter Bloom

Begin potting hardy bulbs to force into blooming indoors. Soak clay pots in water before filling, using a container that is twice as wide as high for the best display. Plant bulbs shoulder-to-shoulder; add enough potting soil so that most of the bulb is buried, with just the tip poking above the soil.

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