Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

August, 2009
Regional Report

Bulb Planting Time

Get ready for bulb planting. Don't forget about more obscure bulbs such as autumn crocus and surprise lilies. They will be blooming soon, so will act as a reminder to order more. Make note of where your holes are in the perennial garden and add some lilies for mid-summer.

Let Lawn Go Dormant

Allow lawn to go dormant for the end of the summer. Provide only a 1/4 inch of water every two weeks to keep the crowns alive, and don't fertilize, kill weeds, or mow. Fall rains will bring the lawn back and you can then resume regular lawn care.

Harvest Onions

Dig onions when the tops fall over. Lift them gently with a spading fork and lay them on the grass to dry. However, if hot sun is predicted, move them into a shady spot and put them on a window screen to dry. When the tops are dry, snip them off and move the onions indoors for the winter.

Dearhead Annuals

Keep deadheading annuals such as calendula, marigolds, larkspur, and verbena. They will continue to give you beautiful color until after the first frost. Toward the end of the season, allow some blossoms to set seed and then scatter the seeds. Many will overwinter and start by themselves next spring.

Shear Herbs

Shear back herbs so they will produce a flush of growth to dry for winter. Especially if herbs such as oregano and basil are blooming, cut off the blooms to force side shoots. Snip and dry until frost by washing, wrapping stems with rubber bands and storing in paper bags.


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