New England

July, 2001
Regional Report

Continue Planting

It\'s time to think of the fall garden. Continue planting vegetables such as beets, carrots, and lettuce so that you\'ll have a continual supply of these vegetables into the fall. Seeds will germinate quickly in the warm soils, but so will the weeds. Be diligent about weeding, watering, and thinning your new seedlings.

Cut Back Petunias

Summer annuals such as petunias will benefit from a midseason cutting back. By pinching back the plants by as much as 1/3rd, you\'ll sacrifice blossoms for a week or so, but the plant will put on new growth and produce more and better flowers going into the end of summer.

Vacation Container Care

If you\'re going on vacation and are concerned about your container plants, here are some tips for keeping them healthy. Water containers thoroughly before leaving and move them into a shady location where they won\'t dry out as fast. Place smaller containers in basins with a few inches of water that will slowly be absorbed by the plants while you\'re gone.

Protect Cherry Fruit From Birds

Protect cherry trees and blueberry bushes from hungry birds. As these fruits ripen, the birds will be attracted to them. Place bird netting over the trees and bushes, propping it up with poles or stakes so the netting doesn\'t lay on the plants. Check plants daily for any birds that have slipped under the net.

Harvest Basil

It\'s pesto time. When harvesting basil, insted of just removing individual leaves, cut back whole stems. This will create a bushier plant that will produce more leaves and less flowers and scraggily growth. Pick basil in the morning for the best flavor. This is when the oil content in the leaves is highest.

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