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Mountain Gardener Newsletter JULY 2020

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. If you mow, raise the mowing deck to it’s highest 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.
  • 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

Encourage Beneficials!

Grow the plants favored by natural predators such as praying mantids, lady beetles, lacewings, and ground beetles.
Let them help you control unwanted insects. Some plants might already be in or near your garden. Queen anne’s lace for instance will bring in lacewings, predatory wasps, minute pirate bugs, tachinid flies.

Check out the Latest Video from the Buncombe EMGS…

When is it Time to Harvest Vegetables?

Before they become overly mature and during the cool part of the morning. Learn more about when to harvest in the Extension Gardener Handbook.

Problems Common to Many Vegetables

ozone damage on squash plantThis is ozone damage on squash pictured here. Knowing what is causing problems in vegetables can be challenging. Learn more about this and other common problems to many vegetables in the Extension Gardener Handbook.

Plan Now For a Fall Garden!

Now is the time to begin thinking about the fall garden. Making a plan, purchasing seed, starting plants! To find out when to plant specific vegetable plants check out our Vegetable Planting Guide.