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Your Regional Garden News - Zone 6

July 1 to July 31

 

Discover what you should be doing right now.  Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.  

Here's what's happening in your gardening region:

July is the start of the heat for our area and that makes hard work in the garden something that is best left until the cool evening or first thing in the morning. Summer is also the time to take vacations away from the garden as well as long evenings relaxing in the garden. Here are some of the things that you could do in the garden to keep it ticking over in the heat of summer:

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    Gardening in the heat

    The summer heat causes different reactions in different plants, so learn how to spot heat stress and what to do about it:

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    Weed patrol

    Even though our plants wilt in hot dry weather, there are some opportunistic weeds that thrive in the garden. Taking care of them promptly ensures that they will not go to seed and make a bigger mess in the garden

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    Watering the garden

    : Every summer somewhere gets droughts and when it is your area you need to be prepared with how to water your garden efficiently. Water barrels are a great way to store storm water and use it when the garden needs a boost. Even without a drought, watering correctly saves water. Watering in early morning when the air is cooler and there is less wind allows more moisture to seep into the ground around the plants.

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    Start thinking about a fall garden

    OK so you have only just got the seedlings into the garden and growing, but July is the right time to be ordering seeds for a fall vegetable garden as well as those cool weather annuals that like to be planted in fall. Use the garden grow calendar to see when to sow your fall crops.

     
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    Preserving

    July and August are when tomatoes, peppers, beans and squash all get ripe enough to harvest in abundance. Get comfortable when you harvest with a kneeling seat and get ready with hobs for harvesting. You might also need to be ready to preserve some of the excess for winter meals.

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • If you see a tomato hornworm or other caterpillar covered with small white or light brown ovals, leave it be. The caterpillar is doomed! A beneficial wasp — probably a braconid, chalcid, or ichneumon wasp — has laid eggs on the caterpillar's body. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will devour the caterpillar. As a bonus, you'll have even more beneficial wasps in the garden next year to keep the caterpillars under control.