Checklist for Successful Gardening

  • As you harvest, keep track of what varieties are doing well for you. This is especially true if you are growing more than one variety of a certain vegetable. Write results down on index cards and store by year in a recipe box. Now you will know exactly what varieties to try new next year, against the best performers you’ve discovered so far.
  • If you are having problems with tomatoes, squash or other plants not setting on fruits, you can give them a hand. You can use a water paint brush, pick up pollen from male flowers, and then spread it to female flowers. With squash you can pick the male flower, take off the petals to expose the pollen, and then rub noses with female flowers. Female squash flowers always have miniature fruits right behind the bloom. Male flowers just have a straight straw-like base attaching them to the squash plant.
  • For late summer or fall harvests plant lettuce in shady areas of the yard, like the north side of the house, or in the garden in the shade of the corn patch.
  • Remember to water trees and shrubs separately from lawn watering. They have a much deeper and larger roots system and need more water than what lawn irrigation provides.
  • Continue removing spent blooms on flowers in the garden and pots to encourage more blossoms.
  • If you have some bearded iris that are not flowering as well as they did a few years ago, chances are they need divided and July through August are the best time to do this.

For a more complete list of summer gardening activities –go to Grapevine on Yellowstone County Master Gardener’s web site at www.co.yellowstone.mt.gov/extension/horticulture/grapevine.asp.

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