Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

New England

May, 2001
Regional Report

Carefully Mulch Trees

When spreading bark mulch around trees be sure to remove the old mulch first and not spread the mulch against the tree trunk. You should only have a 2- inch thick layer of mulch around the tree so roots can breathe. Mulch piled against the tree trunk can lead to crown rot and eventual death of your tree.

Check Iris for Borers

Check bearded iris leaves for yellow streaks and mushy spots. These are sure signs of iris borer activity. Check the rhizomes for borer holes and remove infested parts. In the future avoid covering rhizomes with mulch or soil that favors borer activity.

Control Tent Caterpillars

Check apple, cherry, and other fruit trees for nests of tent caterpillars. They will emerge as the leaves do to feed. Blast low lying nests with water to destroy them or spray Bt on emerging caterpillars. Bt will harm only the caterpillars and not other beneficial insects, birds or humans.

Plant Carrots

Sow carrot seed directly in the garden now. Create a raised bed if you don\'t have sandy soil, smoothing the top and removing any rocks and plant debris and broadcasting seed in small patches. Cover carrot seeds with potting soil, sand, or grass clippings and keep moist until they germinate in a few weeks.

Divide Chrysanthemums

Divide perennial garden chrysanthemums every year for best flowering. Dig up clumps now and separate them into smaller sections. Replant these in new locations in the garden and water well. These sections will still flower this fall.


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