Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

May, 2009
Regional Report

Watch for Aphids on New Growth

Succulent new green growth is particularly susceptible to aphid attack. Monitor newly planted shrubs, small flowering trees and perennials for signs of aphids such as curled, distorted tip growth. A strong stream of water on the damaged foliage will easily take care of the pests.

Pick Strawberries Daily

Strawberries will be bearing before we know it. Everbearing berries will produce fruit in spring, summer, and fall. Day-neutral types will produce fruit throughout the growing season. Spring bearers will bear a heavy crop in spring and then put their energy into runner production. Be sure to pick daily to prevent berries from rotting.

Plant Warm-Season Crops

Time for warm-season crops. As soon as the soil warms to about 50 degrees, plant tomatoes, eggplant, and pepper transplants. It's also time to sow seeds of cucumbers, snap beans, squash, and pumpkins, as well as collards and sweet corn.

Bring in Hummers

Hummingbirds have no sense of smell, so they are attracted to flowers with high visibility and high nectar production. Some suggestions to bring them to your garden include honeysuckle, bee balm, cardinal flower, four o'clocks, foxglove, penstemon, impatiens, fuchsia, and petunia.

Check Plant Roots When Buying

Make sure you check the roots of any plants you buy this season. Roots should be pale or white at the tips. Trees and shrubs in containers should not have roots packed in so tightly that there is no soil left. For annuals and perennials, roots peeking out the drainage holes are a good sign.


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