Timely tips for your garden!
Your Community Gardening Newsletter
July 2019 Volume 7 Number 7
Upcoming Events

We are currently accepting applications for the next Master Gardener class beginning in mid to late August 2019.  If interested, please email your name and email address to the Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator at scmgvcoordinator@yahoo.com.
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Good Gardens is a FREE educational program for community gardeners and home
gardeners alike. Join local experts to learn about a variety of topics. While you’re there,
check out the community garden for inspiration!
All programs are on the third Thursday of the month from April to October,
6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Goodyear Heights Lodge West Room: 2077 Newton Street, Akron. The May program will be  Good Gardens: Preserving Your Harvest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Countryside Local Food Swaps are gatherings of cooks, bakers, brewers, growers, and general DIYers; they bring homemade and homegrown items to swap via silent auction style bidding. Countryside Local Food Swaps are held on the third Tuesday of each month, starting at 7 pm (Be sure to register and confirm the date and location as these occasionally do change), at various locations in the Akron  area.   Visit the   Countryside Local Food Swap page   to learn more about the swaps and get answers to frequently asked questions.
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Join Let’s Grow Akron for Pickles and Fermentation Canning Classes at 10:00 AM at Summit Lake Community Center, 380 W. Crosier, Akron. For more information call 330-745-9700.
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Please join the  Meet Me in The Garden  committee for our free gardening programs at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Rd., Akron. Our programs are on Wednesdays and start at 7:00 pm.   The May presentation will be –  Travels Through Horticulture , presented by Jim Funai, Professor of Horticulture, Cuyahoga Community College, and Shelley Funai, Grounds Manager,
Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.
July 26, 2019
Summit County Master Gardeners and the Vegetable Gardening Practicum Committee will be conducting a series of free Coffee Chats during the 2019 gardening season the Lakefront Community Center located at 2491 Canfield Road, Akron 44312. Join the discussion at 9 am.  Upcoming chats are:  Leaf Castings  by Nancy Clark (A group discussion with Master Gardeners). All are welcome. Coffee will be provided.
Countryside Conservancy with a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the State of Ohio, and the United States Department of Agriculture under the provisions of the specialty crop block grant provides webinars, visit their   Classes & Events   page .
Were you looking for something to do?
  • Fertilize corn twice this month, first week and third week, if possible
  • Blanch celery and cauliflower 
  • Continue to water and feed
  • During the second week, seed carrots, parsnips, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and lettuce for fall harvest
  • Harvest corn, cucumbers, beans, potatoes and summer squash
  • Cover potato tubers, carrot shoulders and onion bulbs to prevent green color
  • Continue monitoring for insect and disease problems and take needed measures to control damage
  • Thin vegetable plants, as needed
  • Continue tying plants to stakes as they grow
  • Sit back, relax and enjoy the bounty of the garden! 
The Master Gardener Hotline is OPEN for the season
You can call our Horticulture Hotline to ask a garden-related question and get advice from our experts.
Just call 234-226-6633  
Hotline Hours: Tuesday: 9:00 am - noon, March through October
You can also get Master Gardener advice online anytime by submitting questions at   Ask a Master Gardener
Farmers' Markets
No gardener can grow everything they might like to. And Farmers' Markets are a great way to supplement your own crops with locally grown products. It is also a great way to get ideas for different crops to try and to see what varieties grow well in this area. The Summit Food Coalition has a great list of area Farmers' Markets with dates, times, locations and maps. Just click HERE to see it.
According to the University of Georgia Extension Service:
How much water your garden needs will vary depending on soil type, stage of growth of the plants, amount of rainfall and temperature, but most vegetable gardens require about 1 to 1½ inches of moisture per week during the growing season. Water often enough to keep the moisture level fairly uniform. On medium and heavy soils, an application of about 1 inch per week should be adequate in the absence of sufficient rain. On light sandy soils, two or three ½-inch applications per week may be needed.

If the ground is sufficiently level, run water in the furrows until the soil is completely soaked. If the soil is very sandy or the surface is too irregular, use sprinklers or a porous irrigating hose. Keep in mind, however, that any watering practice that wets the foliage increases disease damage, especially if the foliage remains wet for extended periods. If you use sprinklers, water the garden in the early morning or at night so the foliage does not stay wet during the day. Over-watering not only wastes water but also leaches fertilizer below the root zone, making additional fertilizer necessary.  
Build a garden hod
Now that the garden is planted and growing, let's think ahead to the anticipated harvest. A garden hod is a "basket" with a wire mesh bottom that allows you to transport and then wash your vegetables outdoors with a hose. This is a simple project which requires few materials and an afternoon of construction.
  • 1"x6" cedar, 3' long
  • 1/2" wire mesh, 16"x16"
  • 3/4" dowel
  • Carpenters glue
  • Nails
  • Staples 
From the cedar, cut the ends - 5 1/2" x 8"
Radius the two bottom corners using a 1 quart paint can as a guide.
Cut a 3/4" x 1" notch in each top corner.
Sand it smooth and remove the sharp edges by sanding.
Cut the two sides - 1"x3/4"x16"
Cut the mesh 16"x16" - cutting the wires close to the cross wires to eliminate sharp, pointy wires.
Bend one edge of the mesh 90 degrees 1/2" in from the edge
Staple the 1/2" edge to the bottom of one of the sides
Align the side in one of the end notches and wrap the mesh around to mark your bend point for.the other side. When you have this mark, bend the mesh 90 degrees and staple to the side piece.
Glue and nail one side to the end notch. Wrap and staple the mesh to the end and glue and nail the other side to the opposite notch.
Cut two pieces for the handle ends 1-1/2" x 12". Round one end of each.
Drill a 3/4" hole in the rounded end, 3/4" down from the top.
Cut the 3/4" dowel to 17 1/2".
Glue and nail the handle ends flush to the end bottom and centered.
Put the dowel into the holes, glue and nail.
That's it! Now pick some veggies, put them in the basket and turn the hose on them to rinse them off.
Plant and Pest Problems?
Not all of a gardener's tools are in his or her tool belt. Bookmarked internet links, just a click away, provide you with current information and help you wade through the often difficult task of plant or pest ID. Remember that whether we are working with a plant or a pest one of our first questions is "What is it?" And if you have a tablet or smart phone you can take them right into the garden with you!
The  University of Wisconsin Weed ID Tool  helps you identify those pesky garden invaders. After answering 20 descriptive questions it will search its database and come up with a selection of named weed pictures. Once you have selected the picture that resembles your sample you will have a weed name for further research. 
For tomato problems try the  Texas A&M Tomato Problem Solver.
And Cornell University has a  Vegetable MD Online with lists of diseases by crops as well as  Diagnostic Keys for tomatoes and cucurbits (squash, melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, gourds).

You can also determine whether an insect you found is a good guy or a bad guy from the  Amateur Entomologist Society, or the   Vegetable Insect ID sheet from Purdue, or the  Beneficial Insect Guide from the University of Maine. 
Be on the lookout for Colorado Potato Beetles
The adult Colorado potato beetle is 10 mm (3/8 inch) long, with its rounded outer wings forming a hard "shell" marked with black and yellowish-white stripes. The head is tannish-orange with black markings and the beetle has six brownish-orange legs. The larva has a soft, reddish-pink body with two rows of black spots along each side, six black legs, a black head, and is 3 to 13 mm (1/8 to 1/2 inch) long. 

The primary damage of Colorado potato beetle is leaf feeding on potato, eggplant, and tomato, and occasionally on pepper, tobacco, and other plants in the nightshade family. Young fruits can also be eaten if the host is eggplant or tomato. Feeding damage is done by both larvae and adults. The Colorado potato beetle lives in Ohio year-round. Adult beetles overwinter in soil or under litter in fields, gardens, or fencerows, and they begin to emerge from these locations in May. All of the beetles in an area may emerge over a short period of time, but if weather conditions are dry or cool, beetles can emerge over a prolonged period. After they emerge from the soil, beetles walk in search of suitable host plants where they feed and lay eggs on leaves. 

Hand picking can effectively control the Colorado potato beetle in small plantings. Inspect plants once or twice per week, remove all larvae and adult beetles, drop them into a container of soapy water, then dispose. Dislodge beetles by  lightlybeating plants with a broom; hold a bucket or snow shovel under plants to catch the dislodged beetles. Eggs can be crushed by hand. A vacuum cleaner can be used to remove beetles from young plants.
Lightweight row covers can be placed over plants as a barrier to prevent adult beetles from colonizing the plants.  
Be on the lookout for Blossom-end Rot
Blossom-end rot is characterized as a dry, sunken, black spot or area on the blossom end of the fruit. This problem is not caused by an infectious disease, but rather an insufficient supply of calcium in the fruit. This can be due to cold soil, pH imbalance, water stress, excessive nitrogen, and possibly limited availability of calcium in soil. Blossom-end rot is more common on early tomatoes.  By growing your tomatoes in good soil with proper fertilization the problem should not be due to pH imbalance, excessive nitrogen, or limited availability of calcium in soil. (As always, a soil test can help.) 

That leaves water stress. Technically, blossom end rot is caused by a calcium deficiency, but usually the real reason is that there is not enough available water in the plant to transport that calcium into the fruit. The water acts as the transporter. Blossom-end rot can happen when the plant has not developed a big enough root system to take in enough water. 

Avoid drought stress and wide fluctuations in soil moisture by checking your plants daily. Keep your soil evenly moist to and water deeply to prevent blossom end rot. Mulch can help. This can also help prevent cracking which happens when fruit absorbs water too fast after heavy rains or heavy watering following dry conditions.  Blossom-end rot can also happen when the plant has not developed a big enough root system to take in enough water. 
Easy way to strip herb leaves from the stems
Many herbs have stems that you do not want to include in your cooking. You can pick the leaves off one at a time or you can strip them with your fingers. You can also buy a variety of gizmos that promise to do the job. OR you can use something you already have. If you have a cooking or serving spoon with holes in it thread the stem through the hole and pull it through. The leaves will stay in the bowl of the spoon. This works especially well for parsley and cilantro. 
Quick tips
Be sure to look for signs of insect damage often. You may be able to nip a problem in the bud by picking off the culprits when they are small and before they do too much damage.  

Instead of pesticides, which can harm good bugs as well as pests, take a cup of soapy water into the garden with you and knock the bad guys into it.  
For a low cost drip irrigation alternative poke a few small holes in the bottom of a gallon plastic milk jug and bury it between plants. Fill it with water and it will gradually water your plants.

Be sure to pick your crops regularly. Beans, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, chard and such all will keep producing longer.
Scratch a bar of soap before you go into the garden to work. Dirt under your fingernails washes out easily. 
Have some onions that have started to go soft? Don't pitch them, plant them! You can harvest green onions.
Squash buds, harvested just before they open into blossoms, are great washed and sauteed in a little butter. 
A little bit about growing Beans
July is a great time to plant beans!! You can make successive sowings of bush snap beans about every 2 weeks until mid to late July to extend your harvest. 
Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are a member of the pea (legume) family. Beans are grown for the seeds (Lima and dried beans) or for the pods with the immature seeds in them (green, wax, purple, Romano, snap or string beans). Beans may have either a short habit (bush beans), or a vining habit (pole beans, which as the name suggests, need some support).  
Beans come in many colors including green, yellow and purple. The ones that are a color other than green are easier to find for picking.   Beans can be planted as soon as the danger of frost is past, about an inch deep and spaced 3-4 inches apart, or 9 to a square foot. Beans should not be planted where another member of the legume family has been planted in the last 3 years. 
Beans draw their own nitrogen from the air and "fix" it in the soil, so they need little added nitrogen, and too much nitrogen can lead to excessive leaf growth. Because beans have a shallow root system, cultivate carefully.  
Harvest snap beans before the pods are completely filled out and prepare them soon after picking. 
There are over 500 cultivated varieties of beans! So this summer have some fun and try growing some different types of beans. 

For more information see the  Michigan State Tip Sheet, or the  Cornell Growing Guide
Some helpful links:

Submit questions online to be answered by Master Gardener Volunteers at   Ask a Master Gardener
OhioLine Yard and Garden  provides fact sheets and information on a variety of gardening topics. 
The  Michigan State Tip Sheets,and the  Cornell Growing Guides  also offer lots of gardening information that is suitable for Ohio gardens.

Buckeye Yard and Garden onLine  provides timely information about Ohio growing conditions, pest, disease, and cultural problems.  BYGL is updated weekly between April and October.