Most of you are picking and enjoying your ripe tomatoes and the other harvests of your gardens now. Some of you are busy canning, preparing for fall and the dreary winter months ahead.

Tomatoes are heavy feeders but too much chemical nitrogen causes acid soil. Add lime, but remember, it must be turned into the soil to work, and it takes 2-3 months to do its job. Next year, though, your tomatoes will be big and red, and your neighbors will be envious.

Are your red and green tomatoes getting brown and leathery or soft and mushy on the bottoms? It could be blossom-end rot. Your soil pH may be too low, or acid, restricting the plants’ ability to take up calcium. (Everyone should invest in a soil tester.) Spray the undamaged tomatoes with calcium chloride or calcium nitrate every ten days. Mulch and keep watered when dry.

Check you planting zone’s calendar to see what vegetables you can plant this month and early next month. Southern gardeners can direct seed snap beans, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, lettuce, and squash now. Seed kale and lettuce at 2-week intervals to extend the harvest.

It’s time to dig, divide, and replant overcrowded Irises, Cannas, Day Lilies, and Spider Lilies. Do this after they have finished blooming. Sprinkle bone meal over the ground after replanting.

Remember the first four letters of planting are PLAN. Look at your landscape to determine what kinds of trees and shrubs you would like to plant in the fall. Make lists and look into mature size, flower, and berry production.

Raise your lawn mower blades a bit and don’t mow when lawn is under heat or drought stress. Watch for stress and adjust watering if drought stressed.

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