8dc71e01c59e1f0de8bc548d251469a5
Summer is synonymous with fresh tomatoes, sweet corn and watermelon.
kateavatar3.jpg
These all love hot sunny weather and are easy to grow. By mid summer though, you may find that the vegetable garden is in need of some care.
 
Vines All the melon and squash produce come from vines that run along the ground. If you have not been watchful you could find that your vines have taken over the whole plot. The large leaves of squash, pumpkins and melons can shade out and even climb up other plants. This feature is why the early American growers would plant sweet corn near the watermelon – the melon would grow under the tall corn to shade the roots. If your vines have out run their bounds, trim it back. Note the main stems and any fruiting areas and trim back to give everything room to grow.  
 
Pollination may be a problem in this part of the garden. Squash plants produce flowers that are either male or female. For pollination to occur, both these flowers need to be open. One or two vines that are flowering on alternate days, may encounter a problem. Taking a cotton wool ball and touching the pollen in the male flower and transferring it to the female flowers will ensure that you get some fruit.
 

Tomatoes

By July you should be getting beautiful ripe tomatoes from your garden. These are easy to grow, healthy vegetables that can be grown in pots or even a bag of dirt, so everyone has the opportunity to grow them. Tomatoes come in two sorts – the determinate and the indeterminate. Determinate varieties grow to a specific height then produce fruit which tends to all ripen at the same time. The indeterminate ones keep growing and producing fruit all through the summer. These will probably need to be trimmed at the top by midsummer. They can tower up to six or even eight feet if left to themselves, but upward growth is done at the expense of fruit, so pinching out those growing points encourages the flowering cycle to begin.

Another mid summer problem that occurs when the flower cycle halts due to temperature. The plants will not produce a flower and the subsequent fruit when the temperatures soar into the nineties or above. As soon as a cooler spell arrives, the flowers will be back again.

Herbs

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a carefree and tasty herb that does well in the vegetable patch alongside tomatoes and peppers. This trio love warm summer days and mild summer nights. Basil does need to be pinched out regularly though to encourage branching. Pinch the growing tip and any side shoots, to promote more leaf growth. Eventually though the herb will insist on producing a flower. At this stage it is best to go to another plant.

zuchini_blossom.jpg

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is another herb that many people have problems with.Never purchase a plant of cilantro as this is a fast way to disappointment. The plant resents being transplanted and as an annual, it goes to seed quickly. It is much better to use seeds for a successful harvest. If you want to enjoy cilantro throughout the summer, sow a few seeds every other week. The seeds germinate in just a few days, and the first flush of bright green growth can be harvested within a month. A second or third harvest is possible with most varieties before the leaf form changes from solid green to feathery fronds. At this stage, let the plant go to seed and collect the seeds. The seed, which is the spice coriander, can be used in curries and on salads and stored in a dry place.

With a few minutes in the summer vegetable garden now, your patch will remain productive for many more weeks.

Kate is a gardener, a garden writer and a garden educator living in Atlanta, Georgia. She has written for national magazines and local newspapers, plus hosts a weekly radio show. You can visit here website at www.katecopsey.com, her blog at www.katesgardenjournal.com.


Plant Care Reminders

Siberian Iris
Bulbs, Corms and Rhizomes Julie Bawden-Davis

Iris sibirica - (Siberian Iris) - Monthly Plant Care Reminders

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Monthly Plant Care Reminders
Edibles Mr. Mitch

Plant Care Recommendations - Edibles - Sunset Zone 24

Do you live In coastal southern California? Do you grow any of these plants?

Plant Care Recommendations - Perennials…

23880 Mr. Mitch
Plant Care for Perennials in Zone 24
Do you live In coastal southern California? Do you grow any of these plants?

Boysenberry (Rubus ursinus 'Boysen') -…

7956 Steve Brigham
Boysenberry Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Milkweed - Swamp (Asclepias incarnata)…

33016 Rhonda Hayes
Swamp Milkweed Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Gardening Articles

House Wren
Habitat Gardening Ron Vanderhoff

Whose Garden is it anyway, mine or the Wrens?

At the time, I was watering a young plant that I had just put in the ground.
Bushman Tank

Saving Rainwater Quickly Becoming a Viable Alternative for Local Gardeners

Fall and winter is a wonderful time to improve a landscape and garden.

Growing Citrus in Containers

46657
Kumquat
Gardeners have been growing citrus in containers for thousands of years.

New Pest Walking through the Garden

11665
Walking Stick
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a Costa Mesa gardener.

Dahlias Planted now will Flower all Summer and Fall

24443
"Dahlias are back in fashion", said the magazine title.

Plant Recommendations

Blueberries
Plant Recommendations Ron Vanderhoff

Brain Food: Blueberries

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but a daily bowl of blueberries may actually make you a smarter gardener, reduce your risk of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's and even help fight obesity.
Salvia pachyphylla
Plant Recommendations Andy Maycen

Salvia - Best California Native - Flower Interest - Southern California

Andy Maycen's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Salvia - Best California Native Flower Interest.

Perennials with Silver Foliage -…

5637 Taylor Murphy
Cerastium tomentosum
Taylor Murphy's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Perennials with Silver Foliage.

Annual Fruits & Vegetables - Southern…

18414 Richard Frost
Artichoke
Richard Frost's Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite Annual Fruits & Vegetables for…

Orchids - Southern California

3791 Larry Moskovitz
Laelia anceps
Larry Moskovitz's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Orchids for Southern California.

Featured Plant Care

Blue Hibiscus Montly Plant Care

Hibiscus - Blue (Alyogyne huegelii) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Shrubs
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Swamp Milkweed Monthly Plant Care

Milkweed - Swamp (Asclepias incarnata) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Avocado Monthly Plant Care

Avocado - Haas (Persea americana 'Haas') - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

in Edibles
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Citrus & Avocado Tree Guide

Citrus & Avocado Tree Planting and Care

in Edibles
Citrus and Avocado trees are well adapted to most areas of San Diego County, from the…

Latest Articles

Echeverias roots

How to Slice and Re-root Large Echeverias

Widely known as the “Queen of Succulents,” Debra Lee Baldwin is the award-winning garden…

Plant Care Reminders List of Links

We have monthly regional plant care reminders for many plants. This is a list of links…
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads

Jungle Music Palms, Cycads & Tropical Plants - November Newsletter

Bring the Tropics Indoors! House Plants Bring Your Tropical Passion Indoors! At Jungle…
Join the Mulch and get a bunch of Walking onion bulblets!

Join the Mulch & Get a Free Bunch of Walking Onion Bulblets!

We'd like you to join theMulch and start using all of the great tools we've created to…

Popular Articles

Baseball Field Maintenance

Baseball Field Maintenance - A General Guide for Fields of All Levels

in Lawn
More great baseball field resources can be found here (including a pdf version of this…
Queen Palm Care & Use

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) Care & Use

in Trees
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977
Microgreens

What are Microgreens and How to Grow Them

in Edibles
Microgreens are tiny leafed vegetables that are grown from seed and require very little…
Kahili Ginger Plant Care

Hedychium gardnerianum (Kahili Ginger) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

User Guides (Slide)

Popular Recommendations (Slide)