Seasonal Tips for Gardening Zones June-July 2002

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 2002

  • Timely gardening tips for where you live.
    Timely gardening tips for where you live.
  • Children eating tomatoes fresh from the garden.
    Children eating tomatoes fresh from the garden.

  • Timely gardening tips for where you live.
  • Children eating tomatoes fresh from the garden.
Learn about current June and July seasonal tips for gardening zones in the U.S.

New England/Maritime Canada Gardening

June is time to eat big salads. Gather early summer flowers like violets, yarrow and red clover to dry for teas and for tincturing. Harvest culinary and medicinal herbs like lemon balm, mint, French tarragon, summer savory and basil before they go to seed. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and soak up the summer heat. The ground has finally warmed enough to safely set out tender pepper, melon and squash seedlings, as well as any gourd seedlings. Plant green beans, summer lettuces, more oriental greens, broccoli raab and late-season brassicas. Late carrots can be planted now that the first hatch of carrot fly has passed. The empty greenhouse is a great place to start perennials for fall transplanting. July brings the first tender broccoli — so green, so buttery — and those early tomatoes: It's starting to feel like heaven. Fall plantings of shell peas must be in the ground before July 10 to get a good crop. Soak the peas for three to four hours before planting and keep well watered. Choose your coolest location for best results. Open ground can be cover-cropped with buckwheat, oats or any crop that meets your soil-fertility and weed-control needs.

Mid-Atlantic Gardening

As the June heat sets in, plant successions of corn, beans, cucumbers and summer squash every week. Lettuce lovers, to keep the salads coning try planting some "Sweet Valentine" and "Slobolt" in a fertile place with afternoon shade. Peas, brassicas, cucumbers and summer squash should be harvested every other day, not every third. Plant late potatoes. Weed any time you can. Mulch the rest of the time. In early July, try running chickens in your old brassicas for two weeks to control harlequin bugs. Harvest potatoes when the tops die down. Midmonth, stop planting sweet corn and start your fall brassicas, lettuce, Chinese greens, leeks and green onions in flats. To know if your tomatoes are truly ripe, take a big bite of one. If the juice drips from your elbows before you swallow, it's ripe. If you get a ripe tomato by the beginning of July, you did well.

Southern Interior Gardening

Summer is upon us, and like many gardeners you're undoubtedly proudly reviewing your growing efforts on a daily basis. Don't become complacent — find ways to keep the beautiful and tasty treats going into the fall. Plant a second crop of tomatoes in June to keep these summer favorites available into the cooler months. Start cool-season veggies like cabbage, collards, carrots and cauliflower in July for a fantastic fall harvest. These months are also a great time to pay some attention to your favorite herbs. Harvest or pinch back the buds to encourage some new growth. The flavor of some herbs will change if they are allowed to flower. To dry herbs, simply tie small bundles with rubber bands and hang in an airy spot until leaves are crisp. (Finish in warm oven if weather is humid.)

Gulf Coast Gardening

As heat-sensitive vegetables stop producing, consider devoting some space to a green-manure cover crop. Southern peas work especially well, since they add soil nitrogen, suppress nematodes and still deliver a crop. Disease and insect problems are at their peak when the heat is most intense. Watch for problems and control them before they spread: Remember the adage about the best safeguard being the gardener's shadow. Pets such as aphids and white flies can be controlled with a soap and oil solution of 2 1/2 tablespoons liquid dish soap and 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil to 1 gallon of water. Remember to test on a small patch first for plant sensitivity and avoid spraying during the heat of the day. By mid June it is time to start seed for fall bell pepper and tomato transplants. Plant palm trees now. In late July, start brassicas for the fall garden.

Central/Midwest Gardening

Diligence pays off! You would be surprised at how effectively hand-removal of pest insects and sick vegetation prevents damaging infestations. Other defensive measures include mulching to avoid soilborne diseases spread by water splash, spacing plants for good air circulation and watering early in the day — overnight moisture provides a breeding ground for pests.

Weed regularly through July. Plant successive crops of warm-season vegetables through early June, then switch to cool-weather crops in July for a fall garden. Remember to seed or plant some flowers. These will encourage bees and other beneficials to visit, plus they're beautiful to have in your garden.

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