Keep an eye out for pests, diseases, and other garden problems. All can multiply rapidly in summer heat.
Blossom end rot in tomatoes (shown at right) is caused by calcium deficiency that's aggravated by inconsistent soil moisture -- alternating moist and dry conditions. Defeat the problem by mulching plants and keeping soil consistently moist.
Set traps to catch adult apply maggot flies. An organic treatment for codling moth larvae and apple maggots is spinosad, which is made from soil bacteria.
The best control for hollyhock rust is keeping a clean garden. Remove and destroy affected leaves -- don't compost them.
Apply slug bait for slugs and snails in shady areas of the garden. Increase success rates by sprinkling bait under stones, near foundations or sheds, and along path edges.
Spider mites can quickly overtake plants when weather is hot and dry. Quick, daily sprays of water on shrubs can keep populations under control.
Continued on page 2: July Garden Chores