University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
FRUITS AND OTHER JULY GARDENING TIPS
Leonard Perry, UVM Extension
produce and fruits regularly, and keeping up with watering and fertilizing
containers, are some of the gardening tips for this month.
tomatoes, zucchini, beans, and other fruiting crops frequently to encourage
continued production. Remove any fruits that have gone by unless you're in
competition for the biggest zucchini! You don't want the plant to produce
mature seeds because that will signal that it's time to slow down fruit
the past, the recommendation was to remove spent blooms on petunias to
encourage more blooms, and cut back leggy growth to keep plants tidy. Rather
than snipping off the ends of the longest vines, they were cut back to within 3
or 4 inches of the soil line. From there
they would sprout to give a fuller, bushier plant. Most modern petunias are “self-cleaning”,
that is their spent blossoms just fade and fall off so you don’t need to remove
them by hand. And they keep on blooming,
so you don’t need to cut them back. If
you have older cultivars (cultivated varieties), such as heirlooms or those you
grew from seed, you may need to do this if they stop blooming.
container-grown plants frequently, and water as necessary to keep soil moist.
Soil can dry out very quickly, especially in small containers and those made of
clay. Hanging baskets, especially those
lined with sphagnum moss or coir (the rough tan material made of coconut husk
fibers), also dry out daily when plants are mature. If you bought a basket already planted, or didn’t
incorporate water absorbing gels at planting, scratch some in the surface
now. You can find these at many complete
garden stores. They hold much water,
releasing it to the plants over time.
periods of frequent rainfall, nutrients are washed out of the soil of container
plants. Many of the newer annual
flowers are raised, and bred, to need high fertility. Give them a dose of liquid fertilizer to keep
them producing flowers for the rest of the season. Add a dilute fish emulsion-
or seaweed-based fertilizer to the water each time you water, or a synthetic liquid
or slow release fertilizer, depending on your gardening philosophy.
love blueberries as much as we do, so protect bushes with netting. Rather than
draping the netting over the bush (birds will be able to reach the berries) use
stakes to suspend the netting over the shrub. Secure the netting to the ground
to prevent birds from sneaking in.
pruning trees and shrubs. Any pruning done after mid-summer (early July) will
stimulate new growth that might not have enough time to harden off before cold
weather arrives. This can result in winter injury to the plant. Of course you
should prune off any branches broken by wind or in storms.
the time when strawberry beds can become a mass of baby plants. Renovate the beds, controlling the runners,
encouraging them to root where you want them. Keep the bed well mulched and
Visit a local perennial nursery to
see what’s in bloom and get some design ideas.
You can find a listing of specialty Vermont nurseries online
(Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally known horticulturist,
author, gardening consultant, and garden coach; CharlieNardozzi.com).