New England

August, 2000
Regional Report

Planting Kale


Now is the time to plant a fall crop of kale. I like the 'Red Russian' and 'Lacinata' varieties, but any will do. Choose a sunny location in well drained soil amended with compost. If you live in a cold area sow the seeds in a cold frame to get them growing quicker.

Stop Pruning


Any pruning of fruit trees, shade trees and evergreen trees and shrubs should stop. Pruning these plants now will force them to send out new growth just when they are wanting to get ready for winter. If the plant has new growth going into winter, they are more likely to be injured by the cold.

Harvest Potatoes

Once the tops starting dying back, you can start harvesting potatoes. With a iron fork or shovel, carefully dig around the plant to uncover the tubers. Eat any damaged tubers first and store the rest in a cool, dark basement for winter use.

Patch Up the Lawn

Temperatures will start to cool as we enter fall soon, making it a good time to sow grass seed. Rake up any bare areas, removing old grass. Add a layer of topsoil and sprinkle grass seed mix on the soil. Choose a mix of bluegrass for sunny areas and fescue for partly shady spots. Cover the patch with hay mulch and water well. The grass will be up in one or two weeks.

Plant Chrysanthemums


The garden centers are filled with chysanthemums for fall planting. Choose a healthy specimen and plant it in a sunny ,well drained soil location. After the flowers fade this fall, cut the plant to the ground and mulch it with bark mulch to protect it through the winter. In most areas it will return next spring and flower again in fall.

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