Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association


July, 2001
Regional Report

Plant in Summer

If you're planting new seedlings during the heat of summer, try placing them out during a cloudy period or just before a rainy spell. That will lessen the shock of being exposed to the hot conditions. Provide plants with a little shade for a few days and make sure to keep them well watered while they adjust to their new location.

Pick Veggies

Harvest vegetables daily so you pick them as soon as they\'re ripe or reach an edible size. Picking produce at its peak gives you the best of the crop and helps keep the plant producing. When harvesting, don\'t damage new growth and avoid working around plants that are still damp with dew -- this can spread disease.

Groom Plants

Grooming your annual flowers by removing spent blooms, tattered leaves, or discolored foliage helps the garden look better and encourages plants to continue blooming through the summer. Tired and leggy petunias can be cut back by about 1/3rd and fertilized to encourage heavier blooming a few weeks later.

Divide Bearded Iris

Now is the time to divide bearded iris that are overcrowded and producing poorly. Prepare a new planting area by amending the soil with compost. The area should be in full sun with good drainage. Replant only the healthy, firm, vigorously growing portions of the rhizomes with a set of leaves. Set three of one variety 14 inches apart in a triangular pattern to produce a dramatic planting.

Powdery Mildew on Lilac

Powdery mildew can blemish lilac foliage turning it almost white in late summer. To reduce the incidence of mildew, plant lilacs in full sun, in a location with good air circulation. Thin the shrub lightly each spring after blooming to enhance air circulation. The mildew may look bad but it will not hurt the plant.


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