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End Of Summer Is Time To Prepare For Fall, Spring

During the first week of August, plant short-season snap beans, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, carrots, mustard greens, spinach and radishes for fall harvesting.

Continue to harvest herbs by either snipping foliage, drying entire sprigs or plants or freezing individual portions in ice-cube trays. Pinch off developing flowers to retain essential oils and flavor in the plants’ foliage.

• There has been lots of rain throughout spring and early summer. Conditions have become warmer and drier, so it is a good idea to monitor and provide supplemental water to plants installed over the last three years as needed. Older, more established trees and shrubs will most likely be just fine.

Make sure the root balls of evergreen trees planted within the last year or two are thoroughly moistened when watering. Densely branched evergreen trees can shed water from rain or a sprinkler away from the root ball so it remains dry while the soil in the bed is moist. Apply water to the base of these trees.

Most lawns were still green at the end of July. If August turns hot and dry, they will go dormant (turn brown) without supplemental water. They will green up in fall with cooler weather and rain.

• It is time to plan for and order spring flowering bulbs for your garden. The soil in a bulb garden should be well drained. Any area in the garden that remains wet for long periods of time — or has standing water for any length of time — is unsuitable for bulbs.

Flowering bulbs prefer moisture in spring and fall and to bake in the summer. Most prefer full sun. When planted beneath a high branching tree, bulbs will often flower before the tree leafs out and will have only light shade to contend with as they store energy for blooming the following year.

Daffodils, ornamental onions, Siberian squill, snowdrops and winter aconite are recommended for areas where deer and rabbits browse.