Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Pacific Northwest

September, 2001
Regional Report

Stockpile Leaves

As leaves begin to fall, rake them up and stockpile in an open bin for use later in the season. Leaves can be added to the compost pile or used as mulch around shrubs or over perennial beds. If you need more, be a hero--offer to take bagged leaves off your neighbor's hands.

Make Some Potpourri

Now is the time to harvest blooms for potpourri. Rose petals are a favorite, but don't forget to save the blooms of colorful annuals such as zinnias, black-eyed Susan, and blue salvia for your potpourris. While the blooms of these plants are not fragrant, the petals add wonderful color and needed bulk to potpourri blends. Harvest the flowers at their peak, loosen the petals and dry them flat on screens in a dark, airy place.

Fall Vegetable Garden Care

Vegetable growth is slowing as the days shorten. To help remaining vegetables mature faster, remove any flowers and fruits of tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, and pumpkins that are too small to ripen before frost. This will direct the plants' energy into ripening the remaining vegetables.

Press Fall Leaves

Collect brightly colored leaves and press them for holiday decorations. Lay them flat between folds of newspaper or slip them into a telephone book until they're dry. (It takes about 2 weeks for them to dry completely.) Then take them out, mount them on paper, and frame, or add to dried arrangements for a glorious reminder of autumn.

Plant Fall Crops

While the ground is still warm, you can plant quick crops of radishes, lettuces, peas, or green onions. Warm days and cool nights will prevail until mid-November, providing plenty of time for them to grow and mature. Hedge your bet by investing in transplants instead of directly sowing seeds in the ground.


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