Mountain Gardener Newsletter JULY 2019

— Written By and last updated by


July 10, 2019 | 9–11 a.m. | Demo Day at the Learning Garden
The Summer Garden

July 13, 2019 | 10 a.m.–noon | Saturday Seminar Presents
Sun to Shade – Changing Light Patterns in Your Garden

July 17, 2019 | 1–3 p.m. | The Learning Garden Presents
Black Spot Disease on Roses

July 18, 2019 | 10 a.m.–noon | Gardening in the Mountains
Tomatoes and Diseases

July Garden Chores


  • To reduce the spread of brown patch fungus disease in the lawn avoid mowing, and walking on the lawn when it is wet.
  • Mow the fescue and bluegrass lawns 3 inches high.
  • There are not many Zoysia lawns in the mountains, but if you have one, the warm-season grasses can be fertilized with a half a pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.
  • During periods of dry weather avoid adding stress to the lawn and skip a mowing session and if you mow, raise the mowing deck to a higher level.


  • Don’t fertilize shrubs and trees and complete any pruning early in the month.
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continued blooming on annuals and re-blooming on some perennials.
  • Container gardens require attention. Fertilize every few weeks with liquid fertilizer and cut back plants as needed.
  • Don’t forget to water newly planted trees and shrubs – weekly if needed.


  • Prune fruiting canes from blackberries and raspberries after harvest.
  • Prune the vigorous water sprouts on tree fruits to reduce excess growth.
  • Spotted Wing Drysophila can be problematic on ripening blueberries. To sample – drop fruit in saltwater and watch for larvae to emerge.
  • Remove overripe fruit from day-neutral strawberries to continue production.
  • Although Muscadine grapes are marginally hardy for our area your site may be protected enough to get fruit. Did you know that the dark skin varieties are more disease resistant than the bronze?


  • Consistent moisture is important for preventing blossom-end-rot on tomatoes (and sometimes squash or peppers). Mulch helps as well as attention to regular irrigation.
  • Keep tall vegetables supported with stakes or cages to keep foliage and fruit off the ground.
  • Keep a watch out for early or late blight on tomatoes.
    Learn more about Tomato Diseases.
  • Cut back basil, mint, and oregano to keep them compact, encourage new foliage growth and prevent these herbs from blooming and going to seed.
  • Harvest vegetables when young, tender and tasty.
  • Dig potatoes when the foliage begins to die.
  • There is still time to plant late crops of squash, bush beans or cucumbers.
  • Plan the fall garden. Take time now to soil sample.
  • Start seeds for transplants such as broccoli, cabbage, and collards.

Walking Onions?

walking onionsThis member of the onion family is also known as tree onions, multiplier onions, walking onions or Egyptian onions The Latin name is Allium cepa var. proliferum. They are similar to shallots but have a stronger flavor. This is a perennial onion and produces numerous bulbs below ground as well as clusters of sets on the stalk as shown in the photo.
Clumps can be divided late summer. The bulblets that form on stalk can be planted in the summer also. The mother plant can be divided every few years.

Why Does My Squash Flower But Not Set Fruit?

Squash, cucumbers and similar plants are monoecious, which means they have separate male and female flowers on the same plant. The first flowers to appear are predominately male. As a result, fruit set can be poor early in the season. Plants should begin setting more fruit as the number of female flowers increases.

Great Time for a Sun Study

With the sun at it’s highest this is a good time of year to study the sun and shade patterns in your garden and get a more accurate picture of exactly how much sun or shade a particular area is getting.

Good Bugs And Bad Bugs

Being able to identify insects that are beneficial is equally or more important than knowing what might be eating your plants.
Take time in the garden to look closely at your plants to learn more about who is there –  predator or prey!

Fill Gaps In The Garden With Summer Cover Crops

The spring garden can still be producing when the summer garden is planted, often leaving an open space until fall. These “gaps in the garden can be planted with a short season cover crop until the fall garden goes in, enriching the soil and stabilizing the soil.
Buckwheat, German, Japanese and Pearl Millet, Oats, Southern Peas and Soybeans are great examples of summer cover crop options.
Extension Factsheet attach_file

Summer Cover Crops

There is growing interest in the use of short-season summer annual legumes or grasses as cover crops and green manures in vegetable production systems. Cover crops can provide a significant …