Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association


July, 2005
Regional Report

Start Cuttings

Root tip cuttings of your favorite tropical plants and house plants now. Coleus, geranium, jade plant, shrimp plant, begonia and many others root quickly during the naturally warm, humid summer months. Use a clean, soilless potting mix and set the container in a bright location but out of direct sun. Keep the soil barely damp or enclose it in a plastic bag to maintain humidity until you see roots.

Harvest Herbs

Harvest herbs and hang them in bundles to dry in a dark and airy place. Use elastic bands to hold them together; this prevents them slipping due to shrinkage as they dry. Once completely dry they should be kept in a dark and airtight container to maintain quality. Some herbs, such as basil, can also be made into pesto and frozen.

Mid-Summer Seeding

To plant late-season vegetable seeds now, dig a slightly deeper furrow or hole than usual and add water to the bottom of it. Plant your seeds, cover with soil and water as needed to keep the soil slightly moist. Some seeds may benefit from being covered with a board to help keep the soil cooler until they begin to germinate.

Cover Your Compost

Compost should be slightly moist like a wrung out sponge. If it is too dry, the process will stop. Too wet, and it will smell bad and turn anaerobic. If your compost is drying out too quickly, dampen it with water from the garden hose and then cover it with a tarp to hold in the moisture. If your compost is too wet due to heavy rainfall, turn it and add a bit of dry material, then cover it with a tarp to exclude rain.

Share Your Harvest

If you have a bumper crop, share with friends and neighbors and consider donating to your local food bank or favorite charitable meals program. Call ahead to verify what they need and how best to deliver it so it stays fresh and in good condition.


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