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University of Minnesota Extension

Mid Summer Garden Checklist

This summer has been a whirlwind of hot and cold temperatures, severe weather, too much or too little rain and definitely too much wind! For gardeners, this year has been particularly challenging. The Extension Horticulture Team has created the following checklist to assist gardeners in caring for their plants.

Container Care

  • Don’t let your containers dry out! Water when the soil feels dry 1 inch down, this could mean you need to water daily.
  • Fertilize your containers every 2-3 weeks.

Maintain Your Lawn

  • With our hot soil temperatures, avoid seeding lawns until the weather cools in mid-August.
  • Conserve water by extending the time between waterings.  Instead of watering daily, water once a week deeply.  This will encourage healthy root growth.
  • Raise mower height to 4 inches to shade and cool the soil.

Avoid Spraying Herbicides in hot weather

  • Herbicides containing 2, 4-D or dicamba can vaporize in hot weather and damage sensitive garden plants.
  • Wait until prolonged cool fall weather to spray.

Identify Insect Pests

  • If you suspect plant damage is from insects, identify that pest prior to spraying insecticide.
  • Once identified, you can select a pesticide that targets that particular insect.
  • Identify and protect beneficial insects and pollinators in your lawn and garden.

Vegetable Care

  • You may be seeing blossom end rot in your first tomatoes due to the hot weather we’ve had.  Just remove the fruit with symptoms so the plant can put its energy into new, healthy fruit.
  • Garlic scapes (the flower buds) are starting to appear, which means we are about 3 to 4 weeks out from garlic harvest. It's worth taking the time to remove the scapes (garlic scape pesto, YUM) so the plant will put its energy into the bulb.

For more information about caring for your garden this summer, visit the Yard and Garden News webpage at: https://extension.umn.edu/taxonomy/term/2146. If you have yard and garden questions, and you are a Douglas County resident, you can contact me at 320-762-3890, or email at trot0053@umn.edu.  For all other counties, contact your local extension office.

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