Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2009
Regional Report

Protect Houseplants from Frost

Watch houseplants carefully and be ready to move them indoors with threat of frost. They should come in when night temperatures drop below 45 degrees. Hose them down, spray with horticultural oil, and repot if necessary. Don't increase the pot size to reduce trauma to the plant.

Prune Raspberries

Everbearing raspberries are producing their fall crop on the tops of canes now. If you had no problems with virus, you can simply cut out the tops of the canes after harvesting. The bottoms of the canes will produce the early crop next year. If you had disease problems, cut all canes to the ground and destroy.

Harvest Cool-Season Crops

Begin to harvest cool-season crops such as lettuce, peas, spinach, and greens as they mature. Many are tolerant of light frost, but you can begin to enjoy them now. Keep them mulched and watered to keep them producing as long as possible. Get the cold frame ready.

Leave Collards, Kale, Brussels Sprouts

Don't be too eager to harvest collards, kale, and Brussels sprouts before the first frost. A light frost definitely improves their flavor and they are all quite tolerant of freezing temperatures. You may even be able to harvest up to Thanksgiving

Harvest Winter Squash Correctly

Begin harvesting winter squash and pumpkins as the season dictates. If the rind dents with your fingernail, don't harvest yet. Leave pumpkins as long as possible to attain large size. However, don't wait until frost to harvest as the squash and pumpkins can be damaged. Leave a small portion of stem intact.


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