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Ask An Expert: How Does Your Garden Grow? Tips For July

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It can be a challenge to keep gardens growing well as summer heats up, so Utah State University Extension provides a Gardener’s Almanac to help. The almanac provides a checklist of tasks with tips, links and further information.

July Checklist

  • Start enjoying the tomato harvest.
  • Side dress (fertilize) potatoes in the garden with nitrogen in early July.
  • Harvest summer squash and zucchini when they are still small and tender.
  • Deep water established trees and shrubs about once per month during the heat of summer.
  • Deadhead (cut off) spent blossoms of perennial and annual flowers.
  • Divide crowded iris or daylilies once they have finished blooming.
  • Remove water sprouts (vertical shoots in the canopy) of fruit trees to discourage regrowth and reduce shading.
  • Renovate perennial strawberry beds by tearing out old crowns (mother plants) and applying fertilizer to stimulate new runners.

Pests and Problem

  •  If tomatoes are not producing, it could be due to hot weather (95°F and above), which causes flower abortion.
  •  Blossom end rot  (black sunken areas on the end of tomatoes) is common and is caused by uneven watering.
  • Check under leaves of pumpkins, melons and squash plants for squash bugs.
  • Treat corn for corn earworm.
  • Spider mites prefer dry, hot weather and affect many plants. Treat for spider mites by using “softer” solutions such as spraying them with a hard stream of water or by using an insecticidal soap. Spider mites can be easily identified. Shake leaves over a white piece of paper, and if the small specs move, you have mites.
  • Control codling moth in apples and pears to reduce wormy fruit. For specific timing, see our Utah Pests Advisories.
  • Historically, control of the greater peach tree borer in peaches, nectarines and apricots occurs the first of July. However, for specific timing, see our Utah Pests Advisories.
  • Click here for instructions on how to submit a sample to the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab.
  • Watch for symptoms of turfgrass diseases.
  • Monitor for damaging turfgrass insects.
  • For drought information, click here. For information from the Center for Water-Efficient Landscaping, click here.

To see a video of the July Gardener’s Almanac tips, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wP30PD9TqI" target="_blank">click here. To learn more gardening tips and tricks, click here.

By: JayDee Gunnell, Utah State University Extension horticulturist, Jaydee.gunnell@usu.edu

Nicholas Porath is a Logan native and music lover. He recently graduated from USU with a degree in broadcast journalism. It was while studying journalism that he found his niche and newfound love for radio. He first started out as an intern behind the scenes and found his way to the control room where he now hosts Here & Now on Monday through Friday from 11-1. Nick is also the producer for DEBUNKED.