Nurture, protect your harvest with these essential tips for July gardening

File photo by Antonio_Diaz/ iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — 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.

Nurture your garden with these essential tips, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the USU Extension, St. George News

July checklist

  • It’s time for many to 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 problems

  • If tomatoes are not producing, it could be due to hot weather (95 degrees Fahrenheit 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.

More gardening tips and tricks are available online. For drought information, click here. Information from the Center for Water-Efficient Landscaping is available here.

To see a video of the July Gardener’s Almanac tips, click here.

Written by JAYDEE GUNNELL, Utah State University Extension horticulturist.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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