7fe3319579942fd88e4fd3c104b5f272
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

St. Catherine's Lace Monthly Plant Care
Perennials Steve Brigham

St. Catherine's Lace (Eriogonum giganteum) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!
Pruning Fruit Trees
Edibles Ron Vanderhoff

Fruit Trees with No Fruit

Do you have a fruit tree in your garden, but no fruit in your garden?

Carrot (Daucus carota var. sativus) -…

4660 Julie Bawden-Davis
Carrot Monthly Plant Care - photo by Burpee
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

The Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)…

202343 Phil Bergman
Queen Palm Care & Use
Jungle Music Palms and Cycads is a family owned and operated business established in 1977

Arugula - Roquette (Eruca vesicaria…

1175 San Diego Seed Company
Roquette Arugula
You can have these monthly Plant Care Reminders sent directly to you each month!

Gardening Articles

Dirty Gardening Shoes
Intrinsic Gardening Ron Vanderhoff

Garden Resolutions you will NEVER Keep

“Resolve, and thou art free“ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Brijette Peña
Insects, Diseases & Rodents San Diego Seed Company

How to Prevent and Treat Powdery Mildew

For any of us that grow close to the coast or in areas that get lots of morning dew or cool summers, powdery mildew is all too familiar.

Puzzle #5 - Butterflies

3032
Butterfly Crossword Puzzle
Print this and take a few minutes and have some fun trying to figure this crossword…

Beyond Bees: How many other pollinators can you identify in your garden?

8843
Metalic Sweat Bees
Did you know that 98% of our flowering plant species need animal assistance for…

Summer Vegetables are Hot

5291
Melon from Seed
May and June is the perfect time to plant heat loving summer vegetables.

Plant Recommendations

Worley's Butter Cream
Plant Recommendations Tom Piergrossi

Shrubs - Southern California

Tom Piergrossi's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Shrubs for Southern California.
Helianthus
Plant Recommendations Rhonda Hayes

Supporting Pollinators: Bee-Friendly Plants - Minnesota

Rhonda Fleming Hayes' Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Supporting Pollinators: Bee-Friendly Plants.

Vines - Southern California

6669 Connie Beck
Passiflora caerulea 'Pink Lady'
Connie Beck's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Vines for Southern California. 

My Favorite Reblooming Iris - Southern…

13219 jim threadgill
Jim Threadgill
Jim Threadgill's Top Plant Recommendation: Favorite Reblooming Irises for Southern…

Subtropical Fruit Trees - Southern…

19929 Richard Frost
Hass Avocado
Richard Frost's Top Plant Recommendations: Favorite Subtropical Fruit Trees for Southern…

Featured Plant Care

Amaranth Monthly Plant Care

Amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Flax - New Zealand (Phormium spp.) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Dichorisandra thyrsiflora (Blue Ginger) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Callicarpa spp. (Beautyberry) - Monthly Plant Care Calendar

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

Latest Articles

Edit Your Tagged Photos!

How to Edit or Remove A Plant "Tag" In Your Garden Photos

Instead of 'Tagging' your friends on Facebook, now you can 'Tag' your Plants in your…
Seed Starting

10 Easy Cut Flowers to Direct Sow

in Seeds
A cut-flower garden or "cutting garden" allows you to bring the beauty of your garden…

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)