If you need to water your vegetable garden, it's best to do it deeply, but infrequently. That encourages your plants to develop deeper root systems so they can get through hot, dry periods more easily. Also: Use a soaker hose to provide water to your plants -- you'll save money on your watering bill (because you don't lose as much water to evaporation) and help keep your plants from getting diseases.
Stop harvesting asparagus and rhubarb this month -- they need a healthy crop of foliage for the rest of the summer in order to gather energy and give you good harvests next year.
It should be safe to plant warm-weather vegetables (including tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, corn, squash, and pumpkins) after your average last frost date.
In the northern half of this region, you may be able to get another crop of quick-maturing cool-season vegetables (such as radish, lettuce, or spinach) if you sow the seeds early this month.
If you didn't fully harvest any of your cool-season crops and they bolted (sent up a flowering stem), pitch them in the compost bin. In most cases, their foliage becomes too bitter for you to truly enjoy.
Test Garden Tip: If you're in an area where the summers get hot early, try planting lettuce, spinach, and other greens in the shade. They'll stay a little cooler -- and that may keep them going a little longer.
Continued on page 3: More Garden Maintenance