Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association


July, 2013
Regional Report

Plant Crop Insurance

Sometimes early plantings lose vigor and suffer from pests by midsummer. Try a second planting of zucchini, cucumbers, basil, and cutting sunflowers, for example, to eventually replace the ones producing now. Seeds germinate fast and the young plants grow quickly in the warm weather; they should produce well into the fall.

Save Seeds

Experienced seed savers know that the best quality seed comes from only the best fruits or flowers on the best plants. It's hard to watch the best tomato over-ripen and mature on the vine and let the best bloom go to seed, but that's how you preserve only the best of the best for planting again next year.

Shoot Your Garden

Dedicated landscapers and flower gardeners spend enjoyable countless hours tweaking their design to improve plant combinations, enhance a scheme, or create new planting areas. One of the best tools (especially in mid-winter) is a series of seasonal photographs showing both the successes and those areas needing work. Make sure you get those amazing "before" and "after" shots, too.

Make Time for Soil Prep

It takes some time to run soil tests, locate and purchase amendments, then apply or work them into the soil as needed. And then to allow the newly turned ground to settle for several weeks before planting. Bottom line, start the process now so you are all set when the fall planting season arrives.

Fix a Smelly Compost Pile

Compost piles should not smell bad. Occasionally, a stink might develop due to too much moisture and/or too much nitrogen-rich material like fresh grass clippings. To remedy, mix in dry, brown or carbon-rich material (sawdust, wood shavings, straw, shredded newspaper) until it is overall barely damp -- not wet -- and then cover the pile with a tarp or plastic sheet.


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