Plant Southern Peas
Whether you favor purple hulls, crowders, or dainty lady peas, southern peas always thrive growing in our sultry summers. You can use them as a summer cover crop, too, because they're great nitrogen fixers. To maximize their soil improvement potential, turn the plants under before they flower.
Pinch flower buds and blossoms from basil plants to force them to develop new branches. The green buds are edible, just like the leaves. Meanwhile, start seeds of a new crop indoors in a sunny windowsill. Succession planting is the best way to have a steady supply of flavorful leaves all summer long.
Root Coleus Cuttings
To increase your supply of coleus, take 3-inch-long stem cuttings, strip off all but the top 3 leaves, and place them in a jar of water to root. You should see roots within 3 weeks. Pot up the rooted cuttings, and you'll have fresh new plants to place outdoors for the second half of summer.
Banish Early Blight
The wet weather this summer has set the stage for a bad bout with early tomato blight. This fungal disease causes the lower leaves to shrivel and die. To slow the advance of the fungus, spray plants with a mixture of 1 teaspoon baking soda per one gallon of water.
The time is right for planting pumpkins for a Halloween harvest. If you're also growing corn, consider planting pumpkins along the edge of your corn patch. As the corn withers in late summer, it will provide dappled shade to the pumpkin vines, protecting them from any late hot weather.