By JayDee Gunnell
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.
- 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°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.