Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

August, 2010
Regional Report

Plant Collards

Plant collards now and through the end of August by direct sowing seeds about a half inch deep and thinning seedlings to twelve to eighteen inches apart. Collards prefer well-drained, fertile soil high in organic matter. While they tolerate some drought, taste will suffer, so ensure consistent moisture whenever possible.

Get Rid of Unworthy Plants

Examine your woody ornamentals before the autumn planting season begins, removing those that are disease-plagued, pest-ridden, or otherwise fail to live up to expectations. Don't think about the time or money invested; cut your losses and move on. Life is too short for coddling and there are other plants to try.

Wet Hardened Potting Mix

If the potting mix in your outdoor containers or houseplants becomes so dry that the soil shrinks and hardens, just watering the surface will not be effective. To wet the hardened soil, put the pot in a larger container with several inches of water in the bottom, then allow several hours for the too dry soil to soak up moisture.

Choose the Right Storage Temperature for Vegetables

Many of the garden's vegetables will last longest if kept in the refrigerator just above freezing (34 to 40 degrees F), but not all. Crops from tropical or subtropical climates, such as cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes, don't like temperatures below 50 degrees F.

Get Great Flavor from Green Tomatoes

As the summer growing season winds down you many find yourself with a slew of unripe tomatoes. Don't toss these green gems, as they can be used in a wide variety of recipes. One of my favorites is stewed green tomatoes. Simply dice and saute green tomatoes and onions in a bit of butter, then add curry powder and salt to taste.


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