Gardener's Almanac: Gardening Tips

Regional and seasonal gardening tips for where you live.

| June/July 2005

  • Gardening Tips
    These gardening tips will have your garden looking great for the summer months.
    Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors

  • Gardening Tips

Maritime Canada & New England

So much happens in June and July — from dodging late frosts to harvesting the first ripe tomatoes under the shade of a wide-brimmed sun hat. Blooming lupine and irises herald the time to transplant warm-weather crops such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant — and melons and winter squash for those who get a jump on the season. Salads start to include more greens. The asparagus patch provides daily feasts and can be picked until mid-July if it’s well established. Planting tasks shift to mulching duty as the soil warms and there is more need to conserve moisture and discourage weeds. Roses bloom and young robins fledge in early July, just as the first summer squash and broccoli mature. Second or third seedings of lettuce, cilantro and peas can go in every few weeks. Sour cherries and currants ripen, and then the long- awaited first tomatoes — a fantasy that started back in December while reading seed catalogs.

  Roberta Bailey, FEDCO Seeds, Waterville, Maine


As peanuts reach 12 inches tall, make high hills of soil around each plant and mulch before they “peg” (send shoots downward). Transplant leeks and sow weekly successions of beans, corn, cucumbers and summer squash. Try sowing lettuce under shade cloth for better germination — but stick with heat- resistant varieties such as ‘Anuenue,’ ‘Sierra’ and ‘Slo-bolt.’ Pick an overcast day to transplant them to a spot with afternoon shade. Later in June, plant and mulch potatoes, and start sowing brassicas for fall harvest. Pull onions on a dry day after half the tops have fallen over, but wait to harvest garlic until the sixth leaf down is brown on half of your plants. Add carrots and beets to weekly succession plantings in July, and stop planting corn and beans at the end of the month. Cut back the celery to encourage a second harvest, and in late July, sow radishes, collards, chard and other greens. Enjoy the harvest!

  Ira Wallace, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Mineral, Va.

Southern Interior

With the onset of higher temperatures in June and July, some spring annuals will start to look ragged and leggy. Cut back the branches of petunias by half, impatiens by a third, and trim low-growing marigolds down to 6 inches. It seems drastic, but the plants will grow new branches and perform even better than before. Also, now is the time for a second application of slow-release fertilizer since most brands only last about two months. If your plants need a boost between applications, use a liquid fertilizer, which easily is absorbed through the plants’ leaves and roots. For my money, one of the best is Algoflash, which is 100-percent mineral-based and environmentally safe. As spring garden crops decline, use their space for heat-tolerant replacements such as crowder and purple hull peas, asparagus beans and sweet potatoes. In early July, start more tomatoes and plant your pumpkins for a Halloween harvest.

  Lori Hardee and Karen Park Jennings, Park Seed Co., Greenwood, S.C.

8/8/2008 3:51:40 PM


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