Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern & Central Midwest

January, 2001
Regional Report

Plan Your Garden

Now\'s the time to start putting all your garden plans on paper. Remember to work out a rotation plan for the vegetable garden in which you change the planting spots of different families every year to interrupt pest and disease cycles. Also rotate deep- and shallow-rooted plants and heavy- and light-feeding crops.

Control Iris Borers

If a thaw melts the snow away, clean up all bits of bearded and Siberian iris foliage. Iris borers lay their eggs on the foliage in late summer for hatching in the first warm spring days. Discarding every shred of foliage now will eliminate the borer eggs.

Start Onion Seeds

To grow strong onion and leek plants for transplanting into the garden this spring, start the seeds now. As the seedlings grow, clip the tops, keeping their height about 3-4 inches. This will encourage stocky little onions that will hold up to spring cold and be easier to work with.

Ready Cold Frame

Now\'s the time to get the cold frame ready to install as soon as the ground thaws. If you have a portable cold frame, clean it and do any repairs. If you have a permanent one, clean it out and repair hinges, lids, etc. The earlier you get cold crops into the frame, the earlier you will have a spring harvest.

Order Seeds

Order flower and vegetable seeds now. Get your order in early to beat the rush and make sure you have seeds on hand when indoor sowing dates roll around. Before placing your order, make sure you have plenty of flats, pots, germinating mix, and sphagnum moss for seed starting and potting.


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