Seasonal Tips for Gardening Zones June-July 2003

Carol Mack shares important seasonal tips for gardening zones in New England/Maritime Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Southern Interior, the Gulf Coast, Central/Midwest, North Central and Rockies, Pacific Northwest and the Southwest.


| June/July 2003



Timely gardening tips for where you live.

Timely gardening tips for where you live.


ILLUSTRATION: DIANE A. RADER

Learn about current June and July seasonal tips for gardening zones in the U.S.

New England/Maritime Canada Gardening

All traces of winter are behind us now. When the ground is warmed to 60 degrees, it's time to plant out tender seedlings like melons, pepper and eggplant. Fall peas must be in by mid-July; I plant them between my garlic rows and marvel over the transition from garlic to pea patch when the garlic is harvested several weeks later. Keep the grass mowed or mulched around the trunks of your fruit trees and watch for the telltale rusty frass of borers — these larval worms can be dug out with a sturdy wire. In July, direct seed or transplant Chinese cabbage and oriental greens for fall crops. Spinach planted in a shady spot late in the month will size up beautifully for fall harvest. The sun is high, the salad bowl is brimming and the days of pond hockey are far, far away.

Mid-Atlantic Gardening

Time to weed and mulch, weed and mulch, weed and mulch. The reward: tomatoes by July and every-other-day harvests of beans, peas, brassica, cucumbers and summer squash. In mid June, start planting fall brassica seeds in raised beds and water daily. To keep insects and the baking sun off the plants, bend some 3-foot pieces of 8-gauge wire into a U-shape and put a spun-polyester row cover over them, and a shade cloth over that. Dig early potatoes when they die back to the soil. Pull onions on a dry day as their tops fall, and garlic when four green leaves remain. While the garlic is curing, transplant 'Long Keeper' tomatoes. Keep planting beans and summer squash. In late July, start carrots, beets, radishes, kale, mustard, spinach and turnips.

Southern Interior Gardening

June offers a chance to get ready for the bounty of your summer garden. Mulch any plants that need help beating the summer heat. Calculate planting dates for fall-harvested crops by knowing your average first-frost date and days to maturity for each variety. Most tomatoes need to be started in June and transplanted by mid-July. Sow another crop of pole beans and limas in mid-July, but wait until the last half of the month to plant cool-season veggies, including carrots, cabbage and collards. In July, replace any annuals that are no longer garden worthy, trim back perennials if they need it and prune any vines or shrubs that have finished blooming for the summer. Record notes on your spring garden, and get a jump on fall by placing orders for any perennials or bulbs that you will need.

Gulf Coast Gardening

The weather and the harvest are both heating up; consider sharing your bounty with a local food pantry or homeless shelter. It's time to seed those crops that demand warm soil, including okra, Southern peas and Malabar spinach. Try sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) where crops like bush beans have fizzled in the heat. They won't develop tubers until fall, but late summer is our major downtime, so you might as well have a low-maintenance crop in the ground instead of weeds. Remove spent flower heads from crape myrtles to encourage a second bloom, and fertilize roses. Consider putting in a low-volume irrigation system (drip, microsprinkler) and mulch everything! Remove brown-rot-infected fruit from the orchard; otherwise, it will be next year's innoculum. Also, don't neglect the trees for the rest of the year as they still need water and weed control.

Central/Midwest Gardening

Our gardens are in full swing now. Keep up with the harvest so that plants continue to produce; while you're away on vacation, ask a gardener-friend to pick and use the bonanza. That way, new fruits will await your return. Plant sweet corn in each of the first three weeks of June for multiple crops, and plant squash and cantaloupes up to June 20. Plant cool-weather vegetables such as beets, kale, lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach and turnips in late July, but keep them well watered and mulched. Controlling insects and fungus now will improve your fall harvests — daily hand removal of pest insects and infected vegetation is amazingly effective in the home garden. Because of our typically humid conditions, it is best to water your garden in the morning or early afternoon.





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