Drought and crazy heat continues. Do your gardening early in the morning or late in the evening; the middle of the day is prime time for a nap in the air conditioning!
Keep watering the garden deeply and infrequently, a couple times a week. And you might want to leave the hose at a trickle on your trees. They can take a longer dry spell than other plants, but even they are starting to show drought stress.
In fruit and vegetable gardens, we’re
- • watering vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Regular water is especially important for plants we eat the fruits of, including melons, berries, peppers, cukes, eggplants, and squash. Tomatoes that experience drastic fluctuations in moisture develop blossom end rot, so keep watering!
- • training beans, cukes, melons, and squash up their supports.
- • harvesting potatoes whose top growth has died back.
- • succession sowing beans, corn, carrots, edamame, and cucumbers.
- • pruning our tomatoes and training them up their supports.
- • harvesting early summer vegetables, including squash and cucumbers. These taste best when harvested small, so check your plants every day for new fruit.
- • harvesting any beans that are ready. Harvest every day to keep them producing. You want to harvest them before the pods start to bulge.
- • mulching our kitchen gardens. We like straw, but hardwood mulch and even newspaper will also help conserve moisture and keep weeds down.
- • using our herbs. Herbs that flower don’t have as strong a flavor, so cut back and use yours regularly.
- • planting Halloween pumpkins.
- • weeding.
- • turning the compost heap.
In other parts of the garden, we’re
- • watering. Did we mention the watering? Shrubs, perennials, and annuals all need water, especially if they look droopy.
- • watering pots at least once a day. In this heat, you might need to water twice.
- • not planting much of anything. It’s hard on plants to be put in the ground in this much heat. If you are going to plant, try to do it early in the morning or in the evening. Water new plants at least once a day, and maybe even twice while it’s so hot and dry.
- • shearing back spent perennials. Loads of bloomers are looking sad, including geranium, daylilies, salvia, catmint, and daisies. Cut them back to encourage fresh growth.
- • refilling birdbaths and watching for butterflies!
- • lawns may only need mowing every few weeks. If your lawn needs mowing, be sure to set your mower at 3″. Drought-stressed lawn has a hard time recovering from a too-short cut.