Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

New England

September, 2008
Regional Report

Adjust Soil pH

If you need to raise or lower the pH of your soil, add the required amendments, such as sulfur or lime, this fall because they take some time to work. Take soil samples from different parts of your yard and garden and test them separately so you can apply what's needed for each particular use.

Water Newly Planted Perennials

Plants that are still developing new root systems need ample water in the fall before they go dormant. Roots grow until the soil temperature gets down to the low 40s, so moisten the entire root zone once a week unless you have a soaking rain.

Preparing Amaryllis for a New Bloom Cycle

After spending the summer growing foliage and replenishing the bulb, your amaryllis needs a rest. Bring it inside into a cool, dark spot and stop watering for a couple of months. When you see new growth beginning, or when you are ready to start the flowering process, bring the pot inside, refresh the top inch of soil, and begin watering. Take care not to overwater, especially if there's no growth yet. Different varieties have different bloom cycles but in general your bulb should bloom in about 10 to 12 weeks.

Get Tomato and Pepper Covers Ready

With frost likely any night now, prepare to cover plants at the last minute. Make sure the cover extends all the way to the ground to hold in the heat, and try to prop it above the foliage so the leaves don't freeze. Old shower curtains are handy for this.

Dry Tomatoes

Don't let excess tomatoes go to waste. Plum tomatoes and cherry and grape minis dry fairly easily in the oven. Slice them in half lengthwise, set them on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Roast them in a 250-degree oven until they are no longer juicy. When cool, pack them in freezer bags.


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