Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association


October, 2001
Regional Report

Use Pond Netting

Water gardeners know that keeping excess plant debris out of the pond is critical to maintaining acceptable water quality and a healthy environment for fish. Save yourself time and effort by draping fine netting over the pond surface now so you can catch those autumn leaves before they hit the water.

Bulbs Need Cool Soil

If you plant spring blooming bulbs while the soil is still warm they may begin growing prematurely. Wait until the soil has cooled to about 60 degrees, then plant. In the meantime, store them at room temperature in a dry location with good air circulation -- and never in a plastic bag.

Green Tomatoes

If a hard freeze threatens, tomatoes that have begun to turn color can be picked and left to ripen slowly indoors. Rinse them clean and dip in a ten percent bleach and water solution, air dry, and then wrap individually in clean newspaper. Store at cool room temperature and check periodically for ripening.

Planting Mums

Mums grow best in full sun and rich soil that is evenly moist yet well drained. Fall-planted mums are at a disadvantage because the ground may freeze before they have become established. To help mums take root faster, keep the soil evenly moist until the ground freezes and apply several inches of organic mulch.

Repel Deer

A fence is the most reliable method of keeping deer away from plants. If fencing is not an option, try spraying a repellent. Use a homemade garlic and pepper concoction or one of the many commercial formulations such as "Deer Away" or "Hinder" available through garden centers and catalogs. Apply and reapply per label instructions.


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