New England

September, 2001
Regional Report

Harvest Pears


Harvest pears when they are full size and before they ripen on the trees. If you wait until they mature on the tree, the pears will be rotten inside. When harvested green, the fruit texture will be less gritty and mealy.

Cut Back Fuchsia


Fuchsia baskets that have been hanging on your porch can be cut back to 8 inches from the soil and brought indoors for winter. Hang the baskets in a sunny window, water only when dry and keep the shoots cut back when leggy. Watch for insects such as aphids and spray insecticidal soap when necessary.

Make Compost

As you clean out vegetable and flower gardens, pile the disease- and insect-free organic matter in the compost pile. For best results, add the brown (hay, dead leaves) and green (green leaves, grass clippings) in alternate layers until the pile is 3 feet high and wide. Water and cover. Keep mixing the ingredients and keep the pile moist to speed the breakdown of the organic matter.

Plant Bulbs


Spring flowering bulbs such as crocus, daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths should be planted now. Plant them in groups in beds, naturalized in woodlands, or in lawns. Add a high phosphorous fertilizer such as Bulb Booster to the planting area and dig holes 3 to 4 times deep as the height of the bulb.

Plant Garlic

October is prime garlic planting time. Create a raised bed in a sunny location in your garden. Amend the soil with compost. Choose Northeastern-adapted varieties, such as \'Russian Red\', and plant individual cloves 4 to 6 inches apart in the bed. Keep well watered. Wait until November to cover the bed with a 6-inch-thick layer of straw for winter protection.

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