Mid-Atlantic

July, 2001
Regional Report

Water Tomatoes


Watering tomatoes properly helps produce large, crack-free fruits. Supplement the natural rainfall with a deep soaking as needed to keep the soil evenly moist, but never waterlogged. Over watering, especially after a dry spell, can cause the tomatoes to crack or split. Under watering can stress the plants and contribute to blossom end rot, that ugly black spot on the bottom of the fruit.

Battle Japanese Beetles

It\'s Japanese beetle time. Use a combination of methods to control them. Handpicking (drop them into soapy water) is easiest early or late in the day when they\'re slow moving. Apply neem-based sprays to repel them. Locate pheromone traps far away from target plants since they may attract more beetles to garden. Consider applying milky spore disease or beneficial nematodes to the lawn to control the grub stage.

Pinch Basil


Pinch your basil (remove the tender growing tips) every two or three weeks during the summer. Pinching keeps plants vigorous and dense, delaying flowering. It also provides a steady supply of fresh basil for the kitchen. Harvest large quantities of basil for drying, freezing, or pesto making by cutting plants by 2/3rds.

Pamper Cannas

Exotic and grand, fast growing canna lilies bring a tropical look to any summer garden. Cannas need plenty of sunshine and love warm air and warm soil temperatures. They thrive in the ground or in large containers. To support their lush growth, provide a rich soil, fertilize regularly, and keep the soil evenly moist.

Plant Fall Veggies

Unbelievable, but it\'s time to start thinking about planting vegetables for fall. Seed broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower now to produce transplants that will be ready for planting in the fall garden. Other plants to consider for your fall crop include beets, carrots, peas, radishes, spinach, lettuce and salad greens, turnips, and bush beans. Check your frost date and add about ten days to allow time for the plants to mature.

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