e33fdc2dc7f24e9bc2b283c6664a88ef
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

Outdoor Plants Indoors
House Plants Ron Vanderhoff

Growing an Outdoor Plant, Indoors

Working at a nursery, a common question is “can I grow this indoors”.
Wisteria Monthly Plant Care
Vines Julie Bawden-Davis

Wisteria spp (Wisteria) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Boysenberry (Rubus ursinus 'Boysen') -…

10946 Steve Brigham
Boysenberry Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Phormium spp. (Flax - New Zealand) -…

17783 Kat Malstead
Phormium Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Ceanothus spp (California Lilac) -…

15155 Julie Bawden-Davis
Ceanothus Monthly Plant Care
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Gardening Articles

Red Palm Weevil

New Palm Pest Garnering Much Attention

Earlier this month I reported on the discovery in Laguna Beach of the world's most destructive pest of palms, the Red Palm Weevil.
Fall Vegetables
Seasonal Gardening Ron Vanderhoff

Time to Plant Fall Vegetables

I stopped to get my morning coffee at a little place not far from my home.

Lizards are Good Garden Neighbors

46359
Western Fence Lizard Fremont
I have a neighbor that I see almost every morning. He’s a fitness buff and spends most of…

APLD International Landscape Design Gold Award Winner: Matthew Cunningham: Small Gardens

5524
South End Courtyard
Association of Professional Landscape Designers Announces: Annual International Landscape…

Feeding the Microbes in Your Soil

38001
Rosa hybrid 'Barbra Streisand'
by Jack Shoultz-Chairman, Good Earth R.O.S.E. Committee (www.OrganicRoseCare.org)

Plant Recommendations

Dudleya pulverulenta
Plant Recommendations Dave Ehrlinger

Fire Safe Plants - Southern California

Dave Ehrlinger's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Fire Safe Plants for Southern California. 
Tabebuia ipe
Plant Recommendations Brad Monroe

Trees for Smaller Gardens - Southern California

Brad Monroe's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Trees for Smaller Gardens for Southern California.

Must Have Tools - Southern California

6520 walter andersen
Walter Andersen
Walter Andersen's Top Recommendations: Favorite "Must Have" Tools.

Herbs - Colorado

6834 Clea Danaan
Achillea millefolium
Clea Danaan's Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite Herbs for Colorado and Western…

My Favorite Reblooming Iris - Southern…

13833 jim threadgill
Jim Threadgill
Jim Threadgill's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Reblooming Irises for Southern…

Featured Plant Care

Hollyleaf Cherry Monthly Plant Care - Photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons

Cherry - Hollyleaf (Prunus ilicifolia) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Aeonium spp (Aeonium) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Plant Care Reminders - Vines - Sunset Zone 24

in Vines
Do you live In coastal southern California? Do you grow any of these Vines?
Crape Myrtle Monthly Plant Care

Lagerstroemia spp. (Crape Myrtle) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Latest Articles

Peach Leaf Curl

Peach Leaf Curl - Information Hub

Peach leaf curl is a common problem found on leaves of Peaches and Nectarines (and their…
Avocado Information Hub

Avocado - Growing and Plant Care Information Hub

in Edibles
We're bringing relevant information about Avocados (Persea americana) to one fantastic…

Popular Articles

Using the Mulch for Home Gardeners

Home Gardener: Using All The Great Features on the Mulch

You Can Use The Great Features on the Mulch For Free!
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…

User Guides (Slide)

Popular Recommendations (Slide)

Upcoming Events

View All Events

Who's Online

We have 10406 guests and no members online