Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Middle South

July, 2001
Regional Report

Empty Your Freezer

Before you start freezing corn, peaches, or any other summer favorites, make sure there are no leftovers from last season lurking in the bottom of your freezer. They will still taste fine, but keeping frozen produce longer than 1 year isn't energy efficient.

Prune Blackberries

After the last blackberries are picked, use loppers to cut off old canes at ground level. Be careful not to injure the new green canes coming up, because they will bear next year's berries. When those new canes reach chest height, pinch the tips to help force out short lateral branches to produce more fruits next year.

Sow Cosmos

One of the few flowers willing to germinate in our hot soil is sulphur cosmos. This is a great flower for filling holes left in flower beds by withered nasturtiums or cool-season annuals that have faded. Most sulphur cosmos have orange flowers, but a few types have yellow or red flowers.

Plant Butternut Squash

If squash vine borers haven\'t found your summer squash yet, they will soon. To replace these squash when they die, start a few butternut squash seeds indoors, and set the plants out soon after the seeds sprout. Luckily the squash vine borers ignore butternut squash and the plants will still have time to produce this season.

Pick in Morning

Find time early in the morning to harvest vegetables, fruits, and flowers. After spending the night recovering from the hot sun, edibles are slightly more nutritious in early morning than other times of day, and flower petals are packed with water, helping them last longer in a vase.


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