Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2004
Regional Report

Time to Cut Back Brambles

Remember that everbearing raspberries will bear next year's first crop on the bottoms of the canes that just finished bearing. So you only need to cut out the upper portion of the canes. However, to avoid the common virus problems inherent with raspberries, it's best to cut all the canes to the ground. This will give you only one heavier crop.

Sow a Crop of Mesclun for Fall Harvest

Lettuce seeds don't keep well for more than a year, so mix the varieties and sow on a prepared seedbed. As the lettuces come up, cut them at about 2 inches tall. They will continue to grow and provide one or two more cuttings. A portable cold frame will extend the harvest even longer.

Leave Roots Crops

Leave beets, carrots, and potatoes in the ground until frosts start to enter the soil. Then bring them in to a cool, dark basement. Carrots and beets can be shredded and frozen without blanching. This way you have them to add to soups, stews, and stir fries all winter. Potatoes, however, should never see the inside of a refrigerator!

Take Care of the Orchard

Clean up the orchard. Any fallen fruits -- aside from attracting German yellow jackets -- can harbor insects and disease. Pick up everything, including fallen leaves, and add them to the compost pile. This sanitation will go a long way toward preventing problems next season.

Plant Garlic Around October 15

Like tulips and daffodils, garlic grows from bulbs, and this is the time to plant. They provide a better crop if given time in the fall to develop roots. Plant plump cloves in trenches about 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Sprinkle with soybean meal and cover.


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