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Planting fall veggies

Planting fall vegetables, rejuvenating annual flowers, and freezing berries are some of the garden tips for this month.

Most poppies resent transplanting, so a good way to propagate Oriental poppies is by root cuttings. Once the plants have dried up, dig up pieces of root and cut them into smaller pieces. Plant these sections, and sprouts will form this summer. By next year, you'll have new flowering plants.

There's still time to plant fall crops of beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, Chinese cabbage, kale, lettuce, and peas. Plant lettuce in the shade of tomatoes or other tall crops to keep it cooler, or use shade cloth.

If your annuals are looking peeked, they may bounce back with a good dose of fertilizer and some trimming. Pinch stems back by about a third, and remove any dried out stems right at the base. Also give container pansies and lobelia some shade in late afternoon.

Salicylic acid, or aspirin, has been found to boost plant growth, so give it a try. Dissolve 3 aspirins in 4 gallons of water and spray plants. Or take two of the same type of plant and spray one and not the other and then compare results.

Stop pruning trees and shrubs. Any pruning done after July will stimulate new growth that might not have enough time to harden off before cold weather arrives. This can result in winter injury to the plant. The same applies to fertilizerapply none to trees and shrubs after July. It is good to keep fertilizing annual and perennial flowers, though.

Even if you can't eat them all right now, take advantage of the abundance of fresh fruits and berries. Freezer jams are surprisingly easy to make, or at the very least freeze some berries for later use. Simply spread them out on a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer; once they've frozen, pour them into freezer bags and seal.

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