Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

September, 2000
Regional Report

Planting Bulbs

It's bulb planting season. First choose an area and a design for your bulb garden. Prepare the soil by adding compost and plant bulbs two times their width deep. For example, plant 2-inch-wide tulip bulbs 4 inches deep. Add a small handful of Bulb Booster fertilizer per hole and keep the soil moist if it doesn't rain.

Planting Evergreens

Plant and transplant evergreens such as pines, yews, spruce, and firs by the end of September. Any later and their fibrous root systems won't have enough time to put out new roots to survive the drying winds and cold of winter without damage. Be sure to water them well and continue watering until the ground freezes.

Vegetable Garden Cleanup

Keep harvesting squash, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, melons, and whatever else is producing in your vegetable garden. As plants finish producing, pull and dispose of them in your compost pile or city composting facility. An active compost pile will heat up and kill any overwintering disease spores and insects.

Seeding Lawns

There's still time to seed a lawn. Prepare the soil by adding topsoil or compost. Rake the seedbed smooth and broadcast an appropriate grass seed for your climate. Apply a mulch such as clean straw and keep the seeds moist. This may mean watering every day. If the seed germinates and then dries out, it dies.

Clean Up the Orchard

Keep fallen fruits cleaned up around fruit trees such as apple, pear, and plum. Rotting fruits are an excellent place for disease and insects to spend the winter and reinfest the trees next spring. Also, they provide a haven for German yellow jackets. Use the windfalls for cider and sauce (pear cider and sauce are terrific) or compost them.


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