Category: Tropical Style

California Gardener's July Checklist

This time of year that I wake up considering watering — sometimes, though, about the Giants game the night before, or Mad Men if it’s Monday. True, most of California has had hardly any rain since last Christmas, but rather than obsessing about what a backyard most desperately desires in midsummer (irrigation, crabgrass remedies, security against tomato-stealing varmints), wouldn’t it be much better to focus on the beautiful items during what may be the most abundant and joyous time of year?

Many California native plants are on summer hiatus, by nature dormant for the long, dry summer, but let’s give a distinctive shout-out to heat-loving plants from all around the world that revel in the California summer: jacarandas, gardenias, summer fruit trees (for example, apricots) and many more delights.

Grow a jacaranda at least once. In case you have any doubts about the beauty of the jacaranda tree, then simply look for it in Google Images. You’ll see magnificent trees in magnificent bloom in virtually every warm portion of the world — Australia, India, South Africa, Los Angeles and Brazil (the tree’s native home), as an example.

Of course, the tree has its haters, including a number of those who have developed it and swept up underneath it — the constantly falling leaves, branches, blossoms, seedpods and every conceivable kind of tree litter. Everything depends on your tolerance of chaos and disease.

My proposal: if you reside in a gentle coastal portion of California, attempt jacaranda at least once — as a yard tree, as a street tree, even in the background, even as a patio tree if you have a big broom. It develops quickly and blossoms when young — in other words, if you have made a mistake, then you are going to understand it quickly.

Botanical name: Jacaranda mimosifolia
USDA zones: 10 to 11
Water requirement: moderate to medium; gets along with minimal water once established
moderate requirement: Entire sun
Mature size: 25 to 40 feet tall and 25 to 35 feet wide
Growing tips: Make sure you have room for a big tree. Plant it where falling blossoms, leaves and seedpods will not create a messy issue. In marginal climates don’t make jacaranda a centerpiece of the landscape — freeze can ruin it back to the floor. Water it to the first couple of years, then decrease irrigation. Prune it in winter to control the form and size.

If you have space for a single fruit tree. Whom I grew up, apricots appeared almost like annoying weeds — an orchard staple, simple to develop, so productive that individuals with trees in their own gardens didn’t know exactly what to do with of the fruit. Little did I know exactly how dicey it is to develop an apricot tree if you’re not in exactly the correct climate — and exactly what a highlight of summer their ripe fruit (perfectly timed for Fourth of July) can be.

The lesson: In case you want to develop a fruit tree, then make certain it’s right for your climate. And choose one that is going to provide you something unique. For example, would you wish to develop a peach tree (which requires careful pruning and spraying) when you can buy these fantastic peaches at farmer’s markets? Think twice, also, about cherry trees — you are going to have to fight birds off for ripe fruit.

More easygoing choices include old-fashioned plums such as Santa Rosa and figs (successful but amazingly expensive at niches). If you reside in warm coastal climates, especially in Southern Calfiornia, choose from a whole other group of tropical fruit trees, such as cherry, guavas and sapote. Check with local nurseries on proper varieties, and make sure you study up.

Common name: Apricot
Botanical name: Prunus armeniaca, many varieties
USDA zones: 5 to 9; the trees are rather hardy but bear fruit well only in climates without spring frosts. Mainly that means California’s coastal valleys.
Water requirement: Moderate; the soil has to be moist while the fruit is developing
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 15 to 20 feet tall and broad
Growing tips: Plant bare-root trees in winter, grow plants in containers almost any season. Prune in summer after harvest. As with the majority of fruit trees, bone up on pruning, fertilizing and pest control.

The New York Botanical Garden

Meet the gardenia challenge. Should you buy one pristine white, lusciously fragrant bloom, all the travails of growing a gardenia will seem worthwhile.

Remember a couple of things from the start. Opt for a robust nursery plant, together with bushy growth and green leaves — a few buds or blossoms are a bonus. Gardenias come from warm, humid Southeast Asia; they function much better in the southern countries but do fine in California should you compensate for our drier air and more alkaline soils.

They desire a spot that’s sheltered from the hottest sun but can also be plenty warm. Try out a single plant near a partially shaded entry, where you can smell the perfume. Growing one in a container will provide you an opportunity to try various locations.

Botanical name: Gardenia jasminoides. Popular types include ‘August Beauty’ and ‘Mystery’.
USDA zones: 8 to 11
Water requirement: Moderate or more, as long as the soil drainage is perfect
Light requirement: Entire sun in cooler climates; semi sunlight in warm climates
Mature size: 3 to 6 feet tall and 3- to 4 feet broad; compact types are somewhat smaller
Growing tips: The soil has to be just right: rapid draining but with sufficient organic matter to hold lots of moisture — combine equal parts of ground bark or peat moss with native soil at planting time. Or plant in a container using a commercial soil mix. Never let the soil dry out, but don’t overwater! Feed monthly during growing season with acid fertilizer. Watch for aphids and scale insects. Those are the main warnings, but there are others.

Inhale the sweet smells of summer. Along with gardenias, there are other strategies to perfume a summer backyard. More or less all of them are less demanding.

Among your choices are annual flowers like nicotiana and heliotrope. Burmese honeysuckle is a wild tender blossom. Banana shrub (Magnolia or Michelia doltsopa) is an evergreen shrub with an intriguing fragrance like a banana. Then there is night jessamine (Cestrum nocturnum), a nondescript shrub with unnoticeable little flowers that scent the nighttime summer air — also potently for many people.

Most versatile and easiest to grow of all of the scent makers is the old reliable star jasmine, revealed here, one of California’s most widely used evergreen plants for centuries. Grow it as a blossom, as a ground cover, in a pot — where you want all-year good looks and summer perfume.

Common name: Star jasmine
Botanical name: Trachelospermum jasminoides
USDA zones: 8 to 11
water requirement: Moderate — it seems better and has a lusher, darker colour with regular watering
Light requirement: Full sun or semi shade (especially in warm climates)
Mature size: 2 feet tall and 10 feet wide as a ground cover; 20 feet tall or more when trained as a blossom
Growing tips: Pruning can control the size; also much pruning cuts on blooming

Lend a paw from the backyard. Fuzzy blossoms on long stems create kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos) striking in just about any scenario — in a group or alone. It is especially convenient in summer. Purchase a blooming plant, put it in a pot and it’ll bloom for weeks — or, more accurately, the drying flowers hang on and look great. The hybrids currently available come in a range of bright colours: yellow (try it in a purple pot), red, orange, green and more. The plants are continuing and will return year after year in most California gardens.

Botanical name: Anigozanthos hybrids
USDA zones: 10 to 11
Water requirement: Moderate
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: Leaf clumps 1 to 3 feet tall and wide; blossom stems 2 feet long and more
Growing tips: For a container plant, use a lightweight soil mix, with lots of sand. Cut off drying blossoms to encourage more, or leave them on in the event that you like their appearance.

Try a native tree as a rugged problem-solver. Catalina ironwood is an evergreen tree to your toughest places. Plant one or more in the narrowest strips along a driveway or make a grove on a dry hillside. The foliage is ferny and the sole real delicate thing about the tree. White flowers in spring and summer come in clusters up to a foot or more over. The most handsome feature is the reddish brown trunks using peely, shaggy bark — a look of antiquity.

Botanical name: Lyonothamnus floribundus asplenifolius
USDA zones: 9 to 11, essentially a California-only tree
Water requirement: moderate to medium; gets along with minimal water once established
moderate requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 20 to 35 feet tall and 15 feet broad
Growing tips: make sure that the drainage is perfect. Cut off dry blossoms in the event that you can reach them. Prune in winter to form plants.

What Else to Do in July in Your California Garden

Continue planting summer blossoms. Along with zinnias (shown here), other heat-loving annual blossoms set out today can bloom into early or even late fall: ageratum, bedding begonias, celosia, dahlia, marigold, petunia, portulaca, salvia and vinca rosea among others.

Plant for late harvest. In much of California, you can still plant summer vegetables and expect crops in late summer and early fall: beans, beets, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes. It is ideal to choose types with short growing seasons.

Do your own tomatoes. In midseason mainly you will have to control uncontrolled growth by tying, staking and trellising. Try to strike a balance between watering too far (which hurts fruit quality) and too little (the crops wilt). Watch for insects, like whiteflies; control with organics that will not ruin your crop. Look out for hornworms, gross and oversized they virtually can munch a tomato plant to the floor before your eyes. Unless you are too squeamish, pick off hornworms (typically there aren’t many) and eliminate them.

guide to growing tomatoes
Prevent and control fleas. Avoid plants that are vulnerable to hot-weather pests in your town. Petunias and geraniums are an example: In certain places they nearly always endure attacks by budworms, which hollow out blossom buds and leave telltale black droppings underneath.

You will find organic controls, but it’s often wiser to attempt different pest-free plants; find out exactly what a nursery implies for your local conditions.

Save water. Before turning on the sprinklers, make sure the soil is actually dry. Evaluation for moisture by probing with a hand trowel into the top few inches of soil at least.

Mulch as far as you can. To save water and cut down on weeds among flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees, spread a 2- or 3-inch coating of ground bark, compost or other organic matter; gravel and stones are also effective mulches. How to pick a mulch

Maintenance for your yard. Make sure that the grass is getting sufficient water. Examine blades for signs of wilting and drying out. Test the soil by copying it with a screwdriver. During summer set your lawn mower to cut higher: two to three inches to bluegrass and other cool-season types; about an inch to Bermuda grass.

Search for bargain tropicals. Nurseries can offer sales on fast-growing tropical plants which might not be winter hardy in your climate, for example bougainvillea, hibiscus and palms.

Prune and trim lightly. Encourage a milder and more bloom from annuals and perennials by cutting off faded flowers — notably on marigolds, dahlias and zinnias. Pinch back marguerites and chrysanthemums for bushier growth and more flowers.

More: How To Grow Your Own Sweet Summer Compounds

See related

Pacific Northwest Gardener's February Checklist

February is an exciting moment in our area’s gardens. This is the month when we proceed from planning to doing. Dust off those gardening gloves and enjoy a few leisurely hours doing what anglers do best — puttering.

Does your garden need a little something? This is a good excuse to visit your favorite nursery and see what’s shining this season. While you’re there be sure to pick up seeds for your favorite flowers and vegetables. Of course, you can not possibly come home with no a new rose, can you? My favorites would be the English roses. What about you personally?

And will you honestly resist those cute little pots of pansies, primroses and stunt daffodils?Just a few bucks and you’ll give your winter containers a fresh lease on life.

Consider me your private gardening and shopping coach!

More regional backyard guides

Marta Rojas

February highlights. There ought to be something in your backyard that brings you joy each month of this year — maybe it is unexpected fragrance or even a bright splash of color. Or perhaps it is the birds a plant attracts.

Witch hazel (Hamamelis mollis) has all three of those qualities thanks to its spidery flowers this season. Be certain to include at least one of those great shrubs in your winter garden.


Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades – $21.95

Plan a vegetable garden. With numerous gardening books available, how do you pick? I must confess I have a few — every invaluable for reasons that are different. This book by Steve Solomon is regarded as the number-one book for dependable Pacific Northwest info — add it to a library.

Start sowing. Collect your seeds, assess the planting dates and begin sowing. I enjoy spending a few hours in my greenhouse when it is cold and blustery outside. The superb earthy odor reminds me that spring is not too far away.

Paintbox Garden

Salad greens are easy to begin now in an unheated greenhouse, using a coating of row cover for protection on specially frosty nights or under hoops outside. These greens create a fantastic cut-and-come-again crop and taste so much better when they go from backyard to table in only minutes.

Paintbox Garden

A cold frame also extends the harvest and leaves extra room inside the greenhouse. It’s also invaluable for hardening off the following month as you get them ready to be transplanted into the garden.

Le jardinet

Move the mason bees out. Now is your time to wake those mason bees upward! Place them where they will get warm sunshine but are protected from rain.

We made this very simple mason bee condominium utilizing scrap lumber and parts of downspout pipes. The tubes on top are full of mason bee cocoons, while the lower ones are ready to be filled by the next generation of bees.

We needed to modify this design, however. Swallows nested in the apex the first season and caked on breakfast. So we’ve since added some fine mesh so that the bees can come and go in peace.

Urban Hedgerow

Or you may make a habitat for a great number of pollinators by providing a seasonal assortment of tubes and blossoms — decorative as well as functional.

Le jardinet

Start your sweet peas. Certainly sweet peas are among the highlights of a summer garden. Their intoxicating fragrance and amorous color blends create them a must-have for a sunny spot. Nurseries usually carry seedlings, but they are really easy to grow yourself. Renee’s Garden is regarded as one the top seed sources for sweet peas.

Make tubes from paper, pack them gently with potting soil and include 1 seed (soaked overnight in water) per tube. Every seedling will create a much deeper root system than those in shallow nursery pots, and the whole tube may afterwards be planted in the backyard.

That is a fun job to do with children of all ages.

Gardening with ConfidenceĀ®

Plant roses. Bare-root and potted roses can be found this month. Look for people with multiple powerful canes and an outward-facing structure.

Ask your nursery professional for information on which ones are disease resistant, fragrant, heirloom varieties or long bloomers. There are so many to pick from.

Le jardinet

Care for containers. Give your containers a mini makeover by tucking in some dwarf spring bulbs. You don’t even have to plant the bulbs — only hide the nursery bud in the surrounding foliage. ‘Tete a Tete’ daffodils, shown here, are just one of my favorites, with every bulb throwing up multiple flowers. Echo the colors already in your container for a cohesive appearance.

Treat yourself in your favorite nursery, discover your trowel and enjoy your garden this season.

See related

Fantastic Lakes Gardener's January Checklist

Many Great Lakes gardeners are holed up inside dreaming of spring right now. Apart from curling up with a hot toddy and a garden catalog or site, anglers can find some pleasure from the winter garden and get a jump on the gardening time to come.

Barbara Pintozzi

Enjoy the beauty of the winter garden. Without snow, there is stark beauty in the winter garden. Dew, or Hoarfrost, transforms plants into lace. Grasses, like this native switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) are especially showy when coated with hoarfrost.

Barbara Pintozzi

Maintain winter interest with evergreens. As snow cover can be unreliable and fantastic Lakes gardens can vie during a January thaw, it is important to have evergreen perennials for winter attraction, such as hellebores (Helleborus x hybridus, Helleborus niger), coral bells (Heuchera hybrids) and hepaticas (the native Hepatica nobilis var. Obtusa, shown). Water these evergreen plants to prevent dessication, if there isn’t any snow.

Barbara Pintozzi

Sow seeds. January is the best time to sow seeds of hardy annuals and perennials that need a period of cold or stratification for germination.

Some could be sown in containers outside, while others, like these breadseed poppies (Papaver somniferum), should be sown directly into the backyard. The seeds can be sprinkled on top of the snow where they are to be grown.

Barbara Pintozzi

Discover your garden’s bones. The snow-covered fantastic Lakes garden is all about lines and shapes. The almost monochromatic setting shows off the arrangement of well-branched trees and shrubs, like this young native redbud (Cercis canadensis).

This simplicity of snow and construction can enable the gardener to observe the bones of the backyard, indicating areas for improvement. The middle of winter is an superb time to dream of this backyard and draw up strategies for modifications to be made next spring and summertime.

Barbara Pintozzi

Snow transforms even nonwoody plants. All these coneflower seed heads (Echinacea purpurea) appear to be wearing hats.

Look around and take photographs from windows of this midwinter backyard to ascertain where points of winter interest could be improved or incorporated.

Barbara Pintozzi

Give birds a beverage. Bird-watching can help get a fantastic Lakes gardener through winter. The ideal way to attract birds to the winter garden is to provide a heated birdbath. Even more than meals, birds need clean, open water for drinking and bathing. Whether electric or solar powered, on the ground or elevated to a deck or stand, a heated birdbath will draw more and diverse birds compared to any lone bird feeder. Site the birdbath at which it can be seen easily from a cozy chair inside.

Barbara Pintozzi

Bring blossoms inside. Great Lakes anglers can endure from blossom withdrawal in the midst of the winter. In addition to forced bulbs, orchids can be a fantastic fix. Bring an insulated bag in case you go to buy one on a bitter-cold afternoon, as plants and blooms could be ruined by the cold between leaving the shop and putting them into the home.

There are lots of publications on orchid care, such as Bloom Again Orchids, to guide your purchase and care of orchids. Start with less overpowering, easy-care orchids, like this moth orchid (Phalaenopsis hybrid).

Barbara Pintozzi

Have a field excursion. If everything else fails, the best remedy for a serious case of cabin fever is to head out to your local conservatory to observe flowers and breathe from moist, fragrant air. Standing under swaying palm fronds (here, Dypsis leptocheilos) on a sunny day can make you forget about the snow and the cold.

More guides to Great Lakes gardening

See related

How Many Inches of Topsoil Do I Want for Grass?

Topsoil comprises most of the dirt action — it is where organic matter decays and beneficial microbes dwell. This creates a healthy atmosphere for grass roots to prosper over the less busy but often mineral-rich subsoil. When starting a new lawn, you can use your existing topsoil if the top 4 to 6 inches are rich with the organic matter that supplies nutrients and drainage, or you’ll be able to purchase a better quality topsoil if your garden soil is heavy clay or too sandy. Adding and preparing the topsoil properly can help establish a healthy, problem-free lawn.

The origin of the problem

The subsoil beneath the loose, nutrient-rich layer of topsoil doesn’t usually hold moisture or nutrients well. It may suffer from poor aeration, which prevents the roots from obtaining oxygen, or it may be heavy in stone, clay or salts that could damage or slow bud development. Grass only sets down superficial roots in a thin a layer of topsoil, which could lead to thin growth and nutrient deficiencies. It can also also make the lawn more susceptible to drought stress or need more frequent watering. Grass roots grow between 4 and 6 inches long, so a layer of topsoil that is 6 inches deep supplies enough space for the roots to grow.

Minimum Requirements

High-quality topsoil should feel slightly gritty when you rub it between your fingers, which suggests mineral content, while being dark to almost black in colour, which signals the soil is also rich in organic matter. Poor topsoil may feel and appear sandy, or it may have deep clay particles that induce it to clump and harden as it dries. The layer beneath the topsoil, called the subsoil, doesn’t usually contain as much organic matter and typically is not as high quality as topsoil, often being more rocky or sandy compared to the desirable dirt on top. If you have poor topsoil, you can buy topsoil so your lawn has a better prospect of growing well.

Work With It In

Placing topsoil straight on top of this subsoil produces a drainage issue. Prior to putting the topsoil, until the top two to three inches of the subsoil to loosen it, and level the lawn surface. Grading means leveling the lawn area to eliminate any low spots while sloping the lawn gently away from buildings and driveways. Apply the topsoil within a 4- to 6-inch layer and then until it to the loosened subsoil. This gives the grass a deeper rooting zone, while the more slow change to the indigenous subsoil allows water to drain and soak more deeply to the ground. If the lawn has reduced places, fill them using topsoil before inserting the regular 4- to 6-inch layer on top so the whole lawn has a level, gentle slope. After applying the topsoil, rake to grade the lawn again so it’s level and ready for seeding.

Some Improvements

Your garden soil may want the boost of additional organic matter, which you can supply by blending it with a 1- to 3-inch layer of compost. Clay topsoil is hefty and can impede drainage, while sandy topsoil drains too quickly and doesn’t support nutrients well. Mix the compost to the top 4 to 6 inches of existing topsoil. If you bring in fresh topsoil, add the compost in addition to putting it above the lawn area, and then until the compost and the topsoil to the top 2-3 inches of subsoil.

See related

Rooms: Fire Warms a Pergola-Covered Pennsylvania Patio

“There was an awful acrylic hot tub here along with a big retaining wall, and that was about it,” states Robert Nonemaker, landscape designer and proprietor of The Outerspaces Group. To make better use of the space for this family of four, he created a new terrace that extends their living area outside. Thanks to some brand new exterior fireplace, they now have a living area and dining area that they can use until the temperatures dip below freezing. Local materials such as bluestone in the nearby Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania, also mica and wood milled by the Amish assist the terrace meld with its surroundings.

Fireplace in a Glance
Location: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (at Philadelphia’s Main Line region)
Size: Around 14 feet by 16 feet (region covered by pergola)

The Outerspaces Group

Bryn Mawr is very dense with home, and yards are tight, so making the most of one’s yard is overriding. The new bluestone terrace is situated just off the kitchen, along with the retaining wall on the left was present. Cushy outdoor furniture from Restoration Hardware makes it a very comfortable couch space.

The Outerspaces Group

Nonemaker matched the brand new fireplace’s stone into the existing retaining wall, with native Pennsylvania mica, a rock with a mixture of grays, tans and silver flecks.

The thermal bluestone hearth extends to create built-in seating, with room for logs underneath.

The Outerspaces Group

The mantel matches the pergola over the outside living room, made from hemlock in the Amish sawmill, treated to ward off germs. “We are lucky; you’re not likely to get this sort of timber at Home Depot,” Nonemaker states.

Due to a scarcity of deer in the region, they managed to plant hostas, climbing hydrangeas, ferns and other plants that thrive in the patio’s shade. The family uses the space the most in autumn, with the fireplace keeping them warm in the crisp air.

Your turn: We are on the hunt for cozy three-season patios. Please discuss a photograph in the Remarks below!

See related

Summer Plants: How to Grow Taller

There is no competition: Homegrown tomatoes, freshly harvested, flavor best. Given that, including them at a summer vegetable garden is a no-brainer. The following question is, which to grow? There are tomatoes for every single region, from Alaska with its short summers to the cool Pacific Northwest to the hot and humid South.

However there are other considerations besides climate. Would you like giant beefsteak tomatoes, salad tomatoes, miniature cherry tomatoes or sauce or adhesive berries? Are you dedicated to “traditional” dark reddish fruits, or are you intrigued by berries that are rosy pink, orange, yellow, green, striped or so dim a purple they seem black? Do you want to come back to your origins with heirloom varieties, plant one of the newer hybrids or mix and match? Finally, do you want a single crop or one which lasts from summer until frost kills the plants?

You may even decide if you want a tidy and neat, though less prolific, manufacturer, called a determinate variety, or one of the more sprawling, bigger indeterminate (vining) types. Determinate varieties generally reach only about 3 ft, need minimal support and produce a harvest all at one time. Indeterminate varieties can spread to 16 ft and do best with assistance; they create a harvest over an extended season. Semideterminate varieties have attributes of both kinds.

More manuals to developing your own vegetables

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

When to plant: Establish starts or nursery plants when the soil is warm and there’s no danger of frost. To grow from seed, start seeds indoors five to eight months before your intended planting date.

Days to maturity: 50 to 90 times when the plants have been set out

moderate requirement: Total sun

Water requirement: Regular and deep watering, but let dry out between waterings

Favorites: Amish Paste, beefsteak, Better Boy, Big Beef, Big Boy, Black Krim, Brandywine, Caspian Pink, Celebrity, Cherokee Purple, Dona, Early Girl, Fourth of July, Green Zebra, Homestead 24, Isis Candy, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Mortgage Lifter, Oregon Spring, Ozark Pink, Paul Robeson, Roma, San Marzano, Siberia, Siletz, Stupice, Sub Arctic Max 1, Sun Gold, Supersweet 100, Sweet 100, Viva Italia

To grow from seed, start indoors five to eight months before your intended planting date. Plant tomatoes in the earth after they have at least two sets of mature leaves.

Planting: Wait until frost is past and the soil has warmed up before planting berries outside. Choose a website with rich, well-drained, neutral or slightly acidic soil; amend your soil when it is either alkaline or quite acidic. If fusarium or verticillium wilt is a problem in your area, do not plant where you have planted berries in the previous two decades. Start looking for a website in full sun for at least six and preferably eight hours every day. Cherry tomatoes may take less sunlight, but the sunnier the spot, the better the results.

If you don’t want to start from seed, you can generally find a good choice of transplants at nurseries, including unusual and heirloom varieties. Start looking for plants which are short and sturdy rather than tall and lanky and that haven’t yet set blossoms or fruit.

Ways to Get Your Garden Launched With Seeds

Andrea Meyers

Infection notes: Tomatoes are highly susceptible to a range of ailments. Seeds which are resistant to the common and destructive of these diseases are labeled as follows: A (alternaria leaf spot), F (fusarium wilt), FF (Race 1 and Race 2 fusarium wilt), L (septonia leafspot), N (nematodes), T (tobacco mosaic virus) and V (verticillium wilt). Check to see whether these diseases are a problem in your area and select seeds so.

Remove the bottom two sets of leaves from every transplant, whether nursery purchased or started from seed. Dig a hole deep enough to cover the stem up towards the bottom of the rest of the leaves and then add amendments. Place from the plants; insert dirt and business the plant set up.

Leave 2-3 feet between plants whenever they will be staked or in cages; 3 to 4 ft if you would like to let them grow unfettered.

If you are growing in pots: Look for containers which are at least 20 g; a half barrel is a good choice. Cherry tomatoes can be grown in slightly bigger containers, but select as large a size as you can. Some folks swear by upside down containers; others find they are not as productive.

Whatever you choose, make sure that there is good drainage. Fill the container with well-amended potting soil and plant as described above.

Steve Masley Consulting and Design

Nicolock Paving Stones and Retaining Walls

When you’ve planted the berries, whether from the ground or a container, then water them thoroughly. If you reside in a place particularly vulnerable to cutworms, put collars around the seedlings at this time.

This is also the ideal time to bring any bets. They may be traditional tomato cages, stakes or any sturdy support, including a woven service of branches. Nonmetal stakes or cages won’t burn the plant if they get hot. Determinate types need little to no staking. Other forms can be left to sprawl, but getting them off the ground helps prevent foliage and soil-borne ailments and keeps the fruit from rotting or bringing pests.

Erin Ponte Landscape Design

Growing-season care: Water regularly, directing the water to the base of the plant rather than using overhead sprinklers, and allow the soil dry out between waterings. You might want to water only every week to ten days, depending upon your climate. Attempt to prevent seesawing on water programs — too much one time, then excessive drying out — as this may lead to fruit split along with other issues. Cut back on watering as the fruit sets.

Tomatoes do not need an excessive amount of food. If you have rich soil, you are probably alright. If your land is not as rich, just lightly put in a low-nitrogen fertilizer every couple of weeks from the beginning of blossoms until you finish picking. You might also apply controlled-release fertilizer or utilize a diluted foliage fertilizer. Many experts recommend worm tea.

As plants grow, utilize soft ties to attach the stalks to the support. If you are using a cage, keep the branches indoors. Some people propose slough off the suckers that brow between the stem and the branches. It is not necessary; doing so will result in bigger fruit but a general smaller crop.

Note: Lightly brushing the blossoms with your palms or a paintbrush can aid in pollination.

Managing fleas: The pests that bother other vegetables will not leave tomatoes alone either. Aphids, Colorado potato beetles, cutworms, flea beetles, leaf miners, melon flies (in tropical areas), nematodes and whiteflies can all cause problems. Tomato hornworms are several other common pests.

Practice good gardening techniques and look for organic solutions to the typical problems, including picking off the hornworms and ruining them. Gophers and other tiny animals — like raccoons, birds, rodents and, in my own case, a cocker spaniel who considers just-ripe tomatoes the ideal bite — may also wreak havoc on your harvest.

Gopher cages may be effective, and good fencing may different dogs and other hungry creatures in the fruit.

Amy Renea

Diseases can be more of a problem. A laundry list includes late blight, leaf roll, blossom-end rot, wilts and tobacco mosaic virus.

Proper garden care, particularly if watering, will help prevent problems, but when the illness is severe, you will need to destroy the plants, keeping any diseased plants out of your mulch.

Gardening with ConfidenceĀ®

Harvest: select the fruit when it’s business and fully ripe (which can be a struggle to ascertain with berries which are still green when ripe). Store it where temperatures remain above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) — in other words, not in the refrigerator.

If frost threatens, select unripe tomatoes and allow them to fully ripen indoors or use instantly in specialty dishes. You might also pull the entire plant and hang it upside down in a sheltered spot until most of the fruit ripens.

Do you grow berries? Please discuss your favourite variety for where you live.

More: manuals to developing your own vegetables

See related

Cool-Season Vegetables: How To Grow Broccoli

Broccoli is a vegetable staple, and for good reason. It may be eaten cooked or raw, and either way it has lots of nourishment. It has also become a garden staple. Not only is it effortless to grow, but there is a surprising amount of variety in colour, with dark green to chartreuse to purple florets or heads.

Besides the standard broccoli heads, you may also develop broccoli rabe, also called raab or rapini, and sprouting broccoli. Rabe has miniature florets with a perky taste. Sprouting broccoli produces tons of florets along a stem as opposed to a single mind, and may be frequently seen in the gardens. All need the care.

More: The way to grow cool-season vegetables

When to plant: Start seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost date in spring; you will want to ensure that the crop reaches maturity before hot weather sets in, as it will quickly bolt. Place plants about two weeks before the last frost date. In climates with mild winters, you can sow seeds in summer or in early fall to harvest later in the fall or in winter.

Days to maturity: 50 to 100

moderate requirement: Total sun; semi shade where sexy

Water necessity: Regular watering

Favorites: Apollo, Belstar, Calabrese, Di Cicco, Flash, GreenComet, Green Goliath, Packman, Premium Crop, Purple Sprouting, Romanesco, Sorrento, Spring Raab

Planting and maintenance: Broccoli prefers very rich soil, so amend your bed before planting. Sow seeds fairly close to the surface, roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and an inch apart, then thin to 1Ā 1/2 to 2 feet apart, or much more if the varieties are extremely large. Set transplants out at precisely the same spacing. Keep the plants evenly dispersed and mulch to keep the soil cool. Employ a high-nitrogen whole fertilizer just before heads form. Keep weeds down but be cautious when weeding to not harm the roots.

Unfortunately, broccoli brings a range of insects and diseases, including but not limited to aphids, cabbage worms, harlequin bugs, damping off, downy mildew and fusarium wilt. See your plants carefully and choose appropriate, but not extreme, measures if problems begin to emerge. Don’t go overboard; take some opportunity to see if the problem can correct itself obviously. If it continues, though, move on to stronger measures before you lose your harvest.

Harvest: Cut approximately 6 inches under the head right before it opens and flowers. The side branches will also form heads; harvest them the same way. Harvest the leaves and shoots of both raab and sprouting broccoli before they flower as well.

See related