As the summer marches on, so do the list of gardening chores we need to do.
Maintenance and Clean Up
Mound soil up around base of potatoes. Watch for blooming to tell you when it’s time to harvest. If you’re gardening these using the tire method or the bag method, keep piling on the straw! And check out this…
Early morning is the best time to water vegetable and flower gardens. Water the soil, rather than leaves to reduce the chances of mildew, fungus and disease. Water deeply and widely to encourage a strong root system.
When container gardening, you’re going to find that hanging baskets need extra attention in watering and feeding. Especially if it’s really hot out! Currently in Southern Oregon, I’m watering my Night Sky petuna and my fuchsias daily.
Mulch to conserve soil moisture.
Make compost of lawn clippings and other disease free gardening waste that are ready to be recycled. Do not use clippings if lawn has been treated with chemicals, herbicides, or “weed-and-feed” products.
Midsummer plantings of beets, bush beans, carrots, peas, and all the brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, kales) will provide fall and winter crops.
Dig up your spring blooming bulbs when tops have died back. Divide them as needed and store them or replant them.
You can totally start some new roses right now, since blooms are fading, using the potato method. If you are unsure what that is, read more here.
Pest Monitoring and Management
Control hollyhock rust by picking affected leaves, disposing of dead plants at the end of the season, keeping the weeds down, mulching heavily, and spraying with a dish soap, baking soda and water solution.
Watch for cutworm damage in garden. (In July, climbing cutworms are known to be a problem and large portions of foliage will begin to disappear as if by magic.) Pick those suckers by hand and feed them to the chickens, if you have them. Or consider the use of use beneficial nematodes when soil temperature is above 55°F.
Watch for blight on tomatoes. Early and late blight are two different things, so be mindful and treat accordingly if this is an issue.
Set out your traps traps to catch apple maggot flies. Pheromone traps are really the best when monitoring for pests.
Cover blueberry bushes with netting to keep birds from eating your whole crop.
Keep your eye on your camellias, holly, maple trees for scale insects. Treat if necessary.
Check leafy vegetables for caterpillars. Pick off caterpillars as they appear. Use Monterey BT if you wish. It’s organic, it’s inexpensive, it’s easy to use, and it totally works. You can find this product at the Rogue Garden Center in town.
Spider mites can become a problem on ornamental plants, vegetables, and fruit plants during hot, dry weather. Watch for dusty-looking foliage, strange little webs, loss of color, and the presence of tiny mites. Wash infested areas with water, insecticidal soap or baking soda and water solution.
Another easy solution is ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice in a gallon sprayer, with a squirt of Ivory or Dawn dish soap to help it stick. You can also use Yucca Extract if you have that around. Spray in the early evening, after the sun has turned it’s face away from your plants, otherwise they’ll be burned.
Keep an eye out for cankered limbs on fruit and nut trees for control of diseases. Remove those branches showing this kind of distress and sterilize your tools before each new cut.
There’s lots to do in our gardens this summer!
If you’re having a problem with something, or have questions regarding growing or harvesting, don’t be shy! Drop us an email! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now get out there and grow something!