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Garden Tips for July

Mid-summer is a busy time in the vegetable garden. Spring planted warm-season crops will begin coming to harvest this month. You’ll want to get crops harvested at the peak of flavor. Check planting dates to know when each crop should be picked–count the days to maturity from the planting date. But it’s not all about harvest in July. There’s still planting to do! Both in warm- to hot-summer regions and in mild-summer regions there are still weeks and weeks of growing season left in summer. Wherever you live, you can still get crops growing in July. You can plant your first garden this month, or you can make your second or third seed sowings for late summer and early autumn harvest. Here’s a round-up of articles to help you in the mid-summer vegetable garden. 

 

Tomato ripening on vine

July Vegetable Garden: Things To Do

July in the Northern Hemisphere is the month to begin enjoying the fruits of your labor in the vegetable garden. Warm-weather crops will begin ripening this month. Getting crops harvested at the peak of ripeness is important if you want to enjoy the tastiest and most tender harvest. Look back at your planting records–the day or week you planted each crop and the days to maturity for each variety; the harvest is coming soon. Cool or rainy weather during the growing period can delay harvest by a week or two, but generally plan to get each crop out of the garden on the day it is scheduled to reach maturity. Read more >>>

 

Mulch Chinese cabbageMulch to Keep the Garden Cool

Mulch reduces evaporation from the soil surface, moderates soil temperature, and insulates roots from summer heat (and winter cold). Mulch suppresses weeds, reduces soil compaction, prevents erosion, and adds organic matter to the soil. Mulch is any material that protects the soil surface and allows air and water through. Organic mulches–mulches derived from plant materials–not only protect the soil but add nutrients over time while enriching overall soil composition.Read more>>>

 

Watering beetsWatering Vegetable in Hot and Dry Weather

Vegetables need water to grow quickly, tender, and tasty. Keep the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season—that means not too wet and not too dry. If the soil dries out, vegetables can become bitter-tasting and fibrous. If the soil is too wet, vegetable roots can become starved for oxygen and plants can die. Water vegetables often enough to keep the soil around roots moist, but not soaking wet.  Read more>>>

 

Onion PatchStaying Ahead of Weeds in the Vegetable Garden

Integrated weed management (IWM) is the holistic approach to weed growth and suppression in the garden. IWM recognizes that the complete eradication of all weeds from the garden now and for all time is not only impossible but probably not desirable. Weeds are plants growing any place in the garden where you don’t want them to be; weeds are pest plants. Annual and biennial weeds are generally shallow-rooted and can be slowed if not allowed to flower and set seed. Perennial weeds are deep or long-rooted and can be especially difficult to be rid of. Learn how to manage weeds in your garden. Read more>>>

 

Tomato Hornworm Control

Tomato hornworms eat large, ragged holes in tomato leaves, easily consuming whole leaves. Hornworms also eat stems and green fruit, and if they arrive early enough in the season seedlings and young plants. Tomato hornworms feed not only on tomatoes but also peppers, eggplants, and potatoes—any member of the nightshade family. The best way to control tomato hornworms is to handpick them from tomato-family plants and crush them. Parasitic wasps released in the garden can also control hornworms. Get more details. Read more>>>

 

CanBeanSeedlingPolesSuccession Planting: How to be an Expert

Succession planting means growing different crops in the same space one right after the other in the same season or planting the same crop in different parts of the garden in succession at different times. For example, A row of carrots is planted in early spring; after the carrots are harvested in early summer, the vacated row is re-planted with snap beans for harvest in early fall. The two crops are grown on the same ground. Or: A garden space is divided into three sections: the first sowing of radishes is planted in the first section; in 10 days, the second section is planted with radishes; in another 10 days the third section is planted with radishes. Succession planting gives you a long harvest. Now’s the time for succession planting. Read more>>>

 

Blackberry ice creamHow to Make Blackberry Ice Cream

The best ice cream is simply frozen custard. Egg yolks and cream make a very smooth, rich ice cream. You can make ice cream without egg yolks and cream but then it wouldn’t be a sin; it would be frozen milk. Here’s a tip: make just enough custardy ice cream to serve fresh—not to freeze for future serving (though you can). You will find that the tastiest ice cream has just come out of the ice cream maker (either hand crank or electric will work equally well) and not sat in a freezer at 0°F–like store-bought ice cream. Here’s how to make blackberry ice cream. Read more>>>

 

SoilOld-Time Garden Wisdom

“No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden.” ~Hugh Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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