13 Backyard Duties to do in July

The Summer time Solstice (the longest day of the 12 months) marks the official begin of summer season! However for many North American gardeners, the recent rising season has been in full swing for some time. Lengthy, sunny days and heat nights imply summer season crops are at their peak. However July just isn’t just for harvesting!

As your vegetation flourish, so do weeds and pests. It’s essential to remain on prime of backyard upkeep to make sure a tidy, wholesome, and high-yielding backyard for the rest of the 12 months. Let’s dig into 13 July backyard duties you don’t need to skip!

What Upkeep Does My Backyard Want in July?

A very powerful July gardening duties embody weeding, pest monitoring, flower deadheading, side-dressing fertilizer, pruning vining crops, and preserving your harvests. These easy actions can take lower than one hour per week. However should you neglect them, your backyard can shortly turn out to be overgrown and tough to handle. Summer time is the season for having fun with the fruits of your labor, however your constant administration will hold the abundance flowing!

13 July Backyard Duties

Many newbie growers mistakenly consider that gardening is a “one-and-done” passion. Seed, plant, harvest, finished—proper? Whilst you can develop meals like that, this mindset is not the very best recipe for long-term success. 

It’s far more productive to have a look at gardening as a marathon slightly than a dash. If you wish to get pleasure from flavorful harvests and contemporary flowers all through the season, it’s simpler to unfold out your upkeep, planting, and harvests. An hour or two per week is often simpler than a five-hour backyard workday as soon as per 30 days. Equally, it’s simpler to do the dishes after each meal as a substitute of letting them pile up till the top of the week.

If you keep on prime of weeds, pests, pruning, and harvests, gardening turns into an easygoing a part of your routine. It’s enjoyable as a substitute of irritating. Whereas peak summer season is actually the time to sit back and revel in your self, these easy duties will hold your yard tidy and guarantee long-lasting yields for months to return.

Maintain Up With Weeds

Close-up of a gardener wearing gray gloves removing weeds from the soil using a Stainless Steel Hand Trowel gardening tool.
Managing weed seeds decreases future weeding wants.

Flourishing crops usually means flourishing weeds. In case your backyard beds have a big “weed seed financial institution” or a reservoir of buried weed seeds, it might seem to be the weeds hold sprouting regardless of how usually you pull them. Fortunately, you may scale back the quantity of the weed seed financial institution so weeding turns into simpler over time.

However first, you have to take away any weeds at present rising in your backyard beds. Everyone knows weeds are dangerous, but it surely helps to acknowledge why. Most weeds create pointless competitors in your crops. These undesirable species snatch away water and vitamins out of your desired vegetation. In case you let the weeds develop too tall, they’ll block sundown out of your precious crops. Even worse, giant patches of weeds can turn out to be a harbor for pests. In case you allow them to go to seed, their populations multiply quickly.

Greatest Weed Removing

Close-up of a gardener with a hoe weeding a garden bed with growing strawberries.
Take away weeds after they’re small for simpler backyard upkeep.

The very best time to take away weeds is the bean-thread stage. That is when weedy vegetation are tiny seedlings concerning the thickness of a bean sprout. It’s simple to pluck them or hoe them away. A scuffle hoe may be very simple to maneuver forwards and backwards on the soil floor, slicing the tiny weed seedlings on the base.

In fact, you may (and may) take away weeds at any time. However as they get bigger, it turns into tougher to take away them. You might have to hand-pull giant weeds. A hori hori knife will be helpful for digging into taproots. When you have weeds with in depth root programs, it’s vital to carry your crop in place to keep away from disturbing its roots whereas eradicating weeds.

Defend Naked Soil

Close-up of rows of young cabbage plants in a well-tended garden bed, neatly arranged and covered with a layer of straw mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Cowl naked soil with mulch to suppress weeds and enrich soil.

Subsequent, it’s vital to cowl naked soil the place weeds as soon as occupied. Nature truly makes use of weedy, fast-growing plant species to cowl the bottom. Pure ecosystems hardly ever have naked, uncovered soil. They both have an “O” layer or groundcover vegetation. An “O” layer is just like the natural matter layer of a forest. It normally consists of fallen particles like pine needles, cones, and mossy decaying residues

But when the bottom is disrupted, comparable to on a roadside or a forest clearing, nature shortly tries to colonize the realm. Dandelions, rhizomatous grasses, thistles, and different “weeds” are the primary to colonize disturbed floor as a result of they develop and unfold quickly. As ecological succession continues, these vegetation are normally changed by perennials like shrubs and bushes.

So, if you’d like your backyard soil to flourish, be taught from nature and hold the soil lined. Mulch or groundcover vegetation will defend the delicate soil from erosion by wind or water. Think about how shortly the sand in a barren desert blows away with none plant roots to carry it in place! 

You possibly can pull seen weeds, however hundreds extra can disguise underneath the floor, ready to germinate. To forestall extra weed seeds from germinating, you have to cowl the soil. Add a layer of mulch, comparable to leaves, straw, or compost. This density will forestall extra weeds from germinating and concurrently enrich the soil over time. In heat climates, mulch is further useful for preserving crops cool within the July warmth.

Monitor and Take away Pests

Close-up of a gardener in white gloves picking up colorado potato beetles from damaged potato plants into a large white bucket.
Common pest monitoring prevents injury and ensures wholesome backyard development.

Pest monitoring is a necessary a part of backyard administration. It’s a lot better to stop infestations than panic when it’s too late. In case you peruse your backyard a number of instances every week, it is best to naturally discover bugs. Verify underneath the leaves, within the flower blossoms, and across the plant base. 

Early indicators of pests embody:

  • Holes in leaves, like tiny shotholes of flea beetles
  • Ragged chomps faraway from leaves, indicating slugs, rabbits, or deer
  • Numerous insect eggs on the undersides of leaves, comparable to clusters of orange squash bug eggs on zucchini
  • Massive clusters of white aphids or scales crawling on the undersides of leaves
  • Flying pest moths, comparable to white cabbage moths
  • Massive seen caterpillars, comparable to tomato hornworms, crawling on vines

Needless to say a small quantity of pests is OK. In truth, some pests are mandatory if you wish to depend on biocontrol (pure predators) as your major pest management. The “good guys,” like ladybugs and lacewings, will need to have one thing to eat. A small quantity of aphids is simply effective as a result of predatory bugs can care for them.

Nonetheless, monitoring turns into essential while you discover giant quantities of plant foliage, flowers, or fruits getting broken by pests. You need to take motion instantly to stop the pests from increasing their numbers. Some bugs can lay dozens of offspring each single day. It’s vital to determine the pest instantly and hand-remove the bugs that you may simply entry. 

Typically, you may reduce off infested leaves or bodily decide up bugs (like squash bugs or Colorado potato beetles) and drown them in soapy water. Bigger infestations could warrant an natural spray like neem oil, horticultural oil, or a organic pesticide like Bt.

Water Persistently

Close-up of a drip irrigation tube with steady drops of water gently soaking the soil surrounding lush, green strawberry plants.
Monitor soil moisture to stop dehydration in sizzling climate gardens.

Scorching climate signifies that vegetation dry out extra shortly. Container vegetation are particularly liable to dehydrating in July’s warmth. It’s essential to examine the soil moisture recurrently. Some crops, like zucchini and squash, could wilt within the noon even when their soil is moist. It’s pure for the big leaves of those vegetation to barely droop within the sizzling solar. To keep away from overwatering, you have to examine the soil moisture earlier than irrigating once more.

Different crops, like tomatoes, peppers, melons, lettuce, strawberries, root crops, and herbs, are delicate to drying out. Whereas tomatoes have deep root programs, inconsistent watering may cause points like blossom finish rot. Peppers and melons want a whole lot of moisture to supply prolific fruits. Shallow-rooted vegetation like lettuce, strawberries, and root crops can dehydrate extra quickly as a result of the higher layers of soil are extra uncovered to the drying results of UV rays.

Constant moisture is essential for fulfillment with all of those thirsty vegetation. Stick your finger at the least six inches deep within the soil to examine the moisture. The best consistency is sort of a wrung-out sponge. Some gardeners could must water on daily basis within the warmth of July. Others can water each two to 3 days relying on situations. Mulching and enhancing the natural matter of your soil can enhance water-holding capability, which implies your soil stays moist longer.

Lengthy droughts are more and more frequent, so you can’t rely solely on rain to irrigate your crops besides in reliably moist areas. In case you don’t have an irrigation system, now’s the time to put in one! Drip strains or soaker hoses are perfect for raised mattress gardens. In case you solely have sprinklers, they may suffice, however they could waste a whole lot of water and improve the chance of foliar plant ailments.

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Aspect-Gown With Fertilizer

Midsummer fruit manufacturing requires a whole lot of vitamins. Some crops, like tomatoes, strawberries, melons, cucumbers, and winter squash, are heavy feeders. Including an additional dose of fertilizer in July will be very useful for enhancing yields. Nonetheless, you have to remember to side-dress with the proper sort of fertilizer for the flowering and fruiting stage.

The Proper Nutrient Ratios

Close-up of a gardener's hand carefully applying organic fertilizer to robust tomato plants thriving in a sunny garden.
Deal with phosphorus and potassium for fruiting vegetation throughout summer season.

Nitrogen (N) is extra vital within the rooting and vegetative (leafy) stage. You don’t usually need to add a whole lot of nitrogen fertilizer in the midst of summer season as a result of it promotes extra leafy development. As an alternative, phosphorus (P) and potassium (Ok) are crucial vitamins so as to add throughout a plant’s reproductive (fruiting) stage. 

For vegetation which can be already yielding numerous fruits, side-dressing with an natural slow-release flower and fruit fertilizer is a simple method to improve late-summer yields. Larger phosphorus and potassium ratios be sure that the crop receives balanced diet. Espoma Natural Tomato-Tone (3-4-6) is ideal for sprinkling round tomatoes, squash, peppers, and melons in July.

Caveat for Lawns

Close-up of burlap full of granular fertilizer and a garden trowel on a bright green lawn.
Contemplate natural slow-release nitrogen for greener summer season turfgrass lawns.

The one exception to this rule is with some turfgrass lawns. If you wish to hold your garden very inexperienced in the summertime, you may apply an natural slow-release nitrogen fertilizer comparable to Feather Meal

Nonetheless, that is solely beneficial in gentle climates. Over-applying fertilizer throughout excessive warmth stress can truly hurt the vegetation. In Southern areas, it’s pure for grass to go dormant in the summertime. A garden various could also be a greater choice for sustaining greenery throughout the warmth of July. 

Deadhead Flowers

Close-up of a female gardener deadheading a rose bush using green pruners.
Encourage steady blooms by eradicating spent flowers in July.

Numerous flowers are blooming in July, however many blossoms could also be withered from early summer season’s profusion. Deadheading is a slang time period for eradicating spent flowers. With many flowering vegetation, reducing off the withered blooms stimulates extra flower manufacturing. Furthermore, it retains your summer season backyard enticing and tidy, stopping vegetation from changing into messy or self-seeding into giant, unruly patches.

Perennials like roses, yarrow, agastache, salvia, lavender, rosemary, Jupiter’s beard, coreopsis, dahlias, larkspur, and dianthus all profit from constant deadheading

Annual flowers like marigolds, petunias, zinnias, gerbera daisies, and geraniums additionally reply to pruning spent blossoms. Some types of supertunias and calibrachoa, in addition to euphorbia, begonias, and portulaca, “self-deadhead” or self-clean, which implies they drop their spent flowers and develop new ones on their very own.

Edible flowering herbs like chamomile, lavender, and hyssop are simple to deadhead whereas harvesting. Pluck the blossoms for drying or infusing in tea, and watch the vegetation produce much more delightfully fragranced blooms!

Stopping Self-Seeding

Close-up of a woman's hands deadheading faded Salvia blooms using green pruning shears.
Handle self-seeding by common deadheading throughout the rising season.

Deadheading can also be a useful gizmo to stop vegetation from self-seeding. It’s effective to go away withered blooms in place, however the dried petals normally flip brown and fall to the bottom. Of their place, seed heads kind. If left to mature, the seeds will ultimately drop to the bottom and develop into new vegetation.

Leaving seed heads is nice for flowering vegetation that you simply need to naturalize, comparable to milkweed, calendula, zinnias, or coneflowers. Nonetheless, you have to take away spent blossoms and seed heads from vegetation that you simply need to hold contained. 

To forestall unfold, aggressive self-sowers like mint, bachelor’s button, bee balm, and lamb’s ear ought to be deadheaded all through the season.

Pinch Vegetation to Forestall Bolting

Close-up of a man's hand pinching off the flowering shoot tip of sweet basil to prevent bolting.
Improve plant development by pinching herbaceous stems for bushier development.

Pinching is as simple because it sounds, but it surely makes an enormous distinction for plant development. Herbaceous (leafy, non-woody) vegetation like basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, and dill all profit from pinching. Many flowers, comparable to cosmos, phlox, and snapdragons, additionally carry out higher with a pinch.

This observe technically removes the higher rising suggestions of a plant’s stem. The expansion tip incorporates a focus of “stem cells,” which quickly replicate and develop the plant longer and taller. If you take away the expansion tip (scientifically referred to as the apical meristem), it tells the plant to bush out slightly than up. Bushy development is useful for leafy herbs as a result of it means extra harvestable plant matter.

Higher but, pinching prevents bolting. Bolting occurs when a plant thinks its life cycle is over, and it begins to produce elongated flowering stems. Basil and cilantro are significantly liable to bolting within the warmth of July. If you pinch the highest leaf clusters of every stem, it slows the event of flowers and helps hold the plant in its leafy vegetative development stage. 

Use your fingernails or effective pruners to chop the higher leaf clusters of herbs and watch them develop bushier!

Harvest Often

Close-up of female hands delicately harvesting ripe cherry tomatoes, glowing orange-red in the sun, amidst lush green foliage in a vibrant garden setting.
Constant harvesting encourages steady development and better yields in gardens.

Common harvests are key to selling extra development! Vegetation need to produce as many leaves, flowers, and fruits as potential throughout the rising season. However should you don’t harvest issues when they’re prepared, the crops gained’t direct their power to new development.

After working so exhausting to have a tendency crops within the spring, some gardeners fall into shortage mode. They’re afraid to reap an excessive amount of as a result of they don’t need the vegetation to cease producing. Fortunately, most backyard crops are keen to supply constantly. Common harvests truly stimulate extra development! You possibly can promote much more yields out of your favourite crops by reducing greens, pulling ripe tomatoes, and twisting off summer season squash.

Squash and Nightshades

Close-up of a woman in a denim dress holding a white basket filled with freshly picked zucchini and summer squash.
Harvest often to get pleasure from tender greens and encourage extra development.

Plan to reap your backyard a number of instances per week in July. Crops like zucchini and yellow summer season squash ought to be checked each few days. In case you let the squash get too giant, it turns into bitter and seedy. Harvesting on the proper time (when squash is about 5 to 6 inches lengthy) ensures that the squash remains to be tender. Higher but, it indicators the plant to supply extra flowers and fruit!

It’s additionally vital to examine your tomatoes, eggplants, tomatillos, and peppers persistently. In case you go away these nightshade-family vegetation for too lengthy, the fruits can over-ripen and decay. That is particularly problematic with tomatoes as a result of rotten fruit can unfold ailments and appeal to pests.

You need to catch the tomatoes on the “breaker” stage of about 50-60% ripeness. Pulling them right now ensures that they develop their vine-ripened sweetness however retain their texture as they end ripening in your countertop.


Close-up of a gardener's hands gently picking plump, ripe blueberries from a bush laden with clusters of blue fruits, set against a backdrop of green foliage in a bountiful garden.
Common harvesting prevents pests and ensures high quality fruit from berries and bushes.

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries all profit from common harvests. In case you go away berries on the vegetation, they could appeal to birds and pests. Furthermore, rotten berries turn out to be a harbor for mildew and mildew, which may simply unfold to new fruits. Relying on the age and productiveness of your berry vegetation, examine them at the least twice per week in July. Prepared-to-harvest berries will absolutely change colour and pull simply from the vine. If the berry clings to the vine or it’s exhausting to drag off, it in all probability isn’t ripe.

Fruit bushes additionally profit from constant harvests. You don’t need fallen apples, pears, peaches, and plums to rot on the base of your bushes. Whereas harvesting doesn’t at all times stimulate extra development, it does guarantee the highest quality fruit potential.

Many gardeners additionally “skinny” their flowers or fruits in July to boost yields later in the summertime. Thinning entails plucking newly developed fruit earlier than it’s ripe. This helps the plant channel its power towards larger high quality harvests later within the season, whereas additionally enhancing airflow and lowering the chance of illness. Typically this implies much less total fruit, however the fruits could also be bigger and extra flavorful.

Greens, Flowers, and Herbs

A close-up of a gardener's hands harvesting lettuce, featuring large, broad, rounded green leaves with a slightly wrinkled, waxy texture.
Frequent harvesting ensures plentiful greens, flowers, and herbs all through summer season.

Summer time greens like chard, lettuce, mustards, sorrel, amaranth, and Malabar spinach all profit from common harvests. The extra you chop, the extra you get! For vegetation liable to bolting, like lettuce, the “reduce and are available once more” technique prolongs leafy manufacturing.

All it is advisable do is use a knife to chop the leaves one to 2 inches above the bottom. This lets you harvest the plant whereas leaving the rising tip intact. With water and daylight, the lettuce ought to regrow inside a few weeks.

Don’t overlook to recurrently harvest your favourite reduce flowers for bouquets, preparations, and drying. Most flowers produce new stems after harvest. Herbs function underneath the identical guidelines. So long as the bottom of the plant is preserved, reducing again leafy, aromatic stems ensures extra scrumptious harvests later within the season.

Prune Vining Crops

Close-up of a gardener pruning suckers on a cucumber plant with wide, jagged dark green leaves and oblong, oval fruits characterized by dark green, pimply skin.
Snip vining vegetation to boost fruiting and backyard administration.

Vining annuals like indeterminate tomatoes and cucumbers carry out finest when pruned. Fortunately, the method is tremendous fast and straightforward. Each of those vegetation produce suckers (facet shoots) that attempt to ramble away and develop into new vegetation. Each facet shoot has the potential to drag away super quantities of power from the principle plant. Eradicating the suckers helps focus plant efforts on rising and ripening tomatoes and cucumbers!

Suckers kind between the “elbow ditches” of a vine, the place stems intersect with the principle stalk. You possibly can pinch small suckers away along with your fingers. For bigger shoots, use sharp, sanitized shears to reduce the facet suckers on the base

Sucker removing has many main advantages, together with:

  • Neater, cleaner backyard development
  • Simpler trellising and plant management
  • Readily accessible fruit
  • Extra plant power is dedicated to flowering and fruiting
  • Much less overgrowth of foliage
  • Extra airflow
  • Diminished threat of illness

Verify Your Trellises

Close-up of a raised bed with lush cucumber plants climbing on a sturdy, mounted wooden trellis, their vibrant green leaves and twisting tendrils reaching upwards for support.
Verify and reinforce trellises to assist heavy vining vegetation.

Vining vegetation generally overgrow their trellises. July is a crucial time to examine the structural integrity of trellises to forestall disasters down the road. You don’t need a vine loaded with fruit to fall to the bottom and destroy your harvest.

Trellis enforcement is particularly vital for vegetation with heavy fruits. For instance, I as soon as grew butternut squash on a fairly cattle panel archway between two raised beds. However I by chance planted a full-size squash selection. By late July, the trellis was already crippling underneath the burden of the prolific vines, however the squash was nonetheless small! I needed to reinforce the trellis with rebar and wooden posts to make sure it was sturdy sufficient to assist the squash as they reached full measurement.

The identical precept applies to giant heirloom tomatoes, heavily-fruiting pepper vegetation, and cucumbers. Stakes and tomato cages generally collapse, so it’s finest to examine and reinforce them earlier than catastrophe strikes.

Perennial climbers like espalier fruit bushes, clematis, and kiwi vines additionally admire an additional increase of trellis energy. Pole beans and candy peas are usually light-weight sufficient that they gained’t topple a trellis. 

Take away Diseased Leaves

Close-up of a gardener's hands in gray gloves delicately trimming diseased and damaged tomato leaves, placing them into a large red bucket.
Often take away diseased foliage to successfully forestall backyard pathogen unfold.

This straightforward July backyard job is self-explanatory but so vital. Dying and diseased leaves are the main supply of pathogens within the backyard. In case you go away blight-covered squash or tomato foliage to rot on the base of your vegetation, you may create issues for years to return! Simply 5 minutes of backyard cleanup can work wonders for illness prevention.

Put on gloves when eradicating diseased foliage or wash your fingers totally after. Carry a trash bag to eliminate contaminated leaves. Keep away from shaking them, as this may unfold fungal spores. Don’t overlook to totally sanitize your pruners and knives with a diluted bleach answer to kill any pathogen propagules. You possibly can even spray your backyard boots! Many plant ailments unfold by means of the backyard by touring on instruments and garments!

Flip Your Compost Pile

Close-up of a gardener wearing gloves, using a pitchfork to turn over a compost pile in the garden, revealing a mix of decomposing organic matter.
Improve compost high quality and scale back odor by aerating recurrently.

In case you’ve been piling up kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and plant prunings all summer season, it’s in all probability time to show your compost pile! Turning a compost pile incorporates oxygen into the decomposition course of, which is tremendous vital for creating high quality compost. 

Much more importantly, it prevents your pile from stinking up the neighborhood! Turning the compost prevents it from going anaerobic. Anaerobic (missing oxygen) situations welcome dangerous micro organism and microbes that trigger the plant scraps to rot right into a nasty-smelling mess. 

Use a pitchfork or shovel to flip the pile round, bringing the underside layers to the center and the center layers to the highest. Whether or not you will have an everyday pile or a 3-bin composting system, it helps to shovel layers over into a brand new space as you go. A compost turner makes the method further simple since you solely must crank the deal with.

If the pile is exceptionally smelly, moist, or slimy, it is advisable add carbon! Carbon-rich supplies embody dry leaves, straw, newspaper, and sawdust.

Begin Preservation and Canning 

Close-up of homemade pickles in glass jars filled with brine infused with garlic, dill, and horseradish, displayed on a wooden board.
Take advantage of summer season harvests by creatively preserving crops.

What are you going to do with all these inexperienced beans, cucumbers, okra, zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs? Protect them, in fact! July is a superb time to get your kitchen equipment out and begin preserving the harvest. Fermenting, freezing, sun-drying, dehydrating, pickling, and canning are just some of the scrumptious methods to make your summer season abundance final till winter!

In case you’re the kind of gardener who dreads limitless days of autumn canning, it’s simpler to unfold out the efforts by means of the summer season. Your winter meals shall be so a lot better with do-it-yourself pickles, sauerkraut, dried herbs, canned sauces, and frozen chopped veggies.

Begin Seeding Fall Crops

Close-up of a woman's hand delicately sowing seeds into the rich, sunlit soil of a vibrant summer garden, with various plants in the background.
Succession planting retains your backyard productive all season lengthy.

We usually affiliate July with harvesting, however seeding will be simply as vital this month. Consider it or not, many fall crops truly get their begin in mid-summer. You don’t need to plan for just one cycle of every crop. Most year-round growers observe succession planting to maintain their backyard cranking for so long as potential! 

Succession sowing means staggering your planting dates to make sure long-lasting yields. At any given time, you will have three totally different work of a single crop:

  1. A mature group of vegetation you might be harvesting from
  2. “Teenager” vegetation which have not too long ago been transplanted
  3. Seedlings or freshly sown vegetation that gained’t produce for a number of months

For instance, inexperienced beans are the right plant to succession-sow. Chances are you’ll be harvesting your first inexperienced beans now, however these vegetation could peter out their manufacturing in a couple of months. If you need beans all through September and October, it is best to plan to seed extra successions in the midst of summer season.

Listed below are some excellent greens to sow in July for plentiful fall yields:

  • Corn
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Malabar spinach
  • Beans (pole or bush)
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Turnips
  • Chard

The fitting timing for these vegetation will fluctuate based mostly in your rising zone. Northern growers could have the right window to direct-sow frost-tender crops outdoor, however it might be too sizzling within the South to reliably germinate brassicas. Use a soil thermometer probe to make sure your backyard soil is in the proper temperature vary in your chosen crop.

Ultimate Ideas

Take advantage of July’s backyard profusion by staying up your weeding, watering, and fertilizing duties. Don’t overlook to deadhead flowers and prune vines to maintain the backyard tidy. Harvest and protect as many fruits as potential to make sure steady manufacturing all through the summer season.

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