Mid-Atlantic

September, 2001
Regional Report

Give Amaryllis a Rest

It\'s nap time for amaryllis that have been growing all summer. They need to rest, completely dry, for eight to ten weeks in a cool dry location before being put back into active growth. Once they are repotted and returned to growth, allow four to six weeks for the blooms to appear.

Harvest Brussels Sprouts


These little cabbage relatives are ready at between one and two inches in diameter but before they turn yellow. Use a knife to cut them off cleanly close to the stem. Start harvesting at the bottom of the stem and work your way up the plant over the coming weeks. Surprisingly, the taste is sweeter after frost.

Stockpile Compost


Fall is a wonderful time to start a compost pile using lawn clippings and fallen leaves. Chopped materials will break down faster, so shredding leaves before adding them can be worthwhile. While the composting action will stop during freezing cold weather, it will start up again just fine next spring.

Move Peonies


Healthy peonies are best left undisturbed, but can be planted, transplanted or divided in early fall. Anticipate a three foot spread and plant at the same depth the plant grew before. Position bare rooted peony buds or "eyes" only about two inches below soil level. Allow several years recovery time before expecting blooms.

Frost Protection


Continue harvesting peppers and tomatoes and be prepared to cover the plants in case of an early light frost. Spun-bonded row covers or frost blankets are designed for this purpose but in a pinch you can also improvise with cardboard boxes, bushel baskets or even laundry baskets to do the job.

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