Monday, August 3, 2020


Moab, UT

82.9 F

    Ask an Expert: Summer gardening strategies

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    It can be a challenge to keep gardens growing well as summer heats up, so Utah State University Extension’s Gardener’s Almanac provides a checklist of tasks to help your garden, grass and plants grow well in July. Also included are links for tips and further information.

    a greenhouse full of tomato 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. Courtesy photo

    July checklist

    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.

    Visit alpine areas for wildflower displays.

    Remove water sprouts (vertical shoots in the canopy) of fruit trees to discourage regrowth and to reduce shading.

    Renovate perennial strawberry beds by tearing out old crowns (mother plants) and applying fertilizer to stimulate new runners.

    Turfgrass only needs 1 and one half to 2 inches of irrigation per week.

    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 identified by shaking leaves over a white piece of paper. If the small specs move, you have mites.

    Control codling moth in apples and pears to reduce wormy fruit. For specific timing, see the extension’s 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 the advisories.

    Watch for symptoms of turfgrass diseases and monitor for damaging turfgrass insects.

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