July Gardening Tips
July is another busy month in the garden. My peas are producing now so later this month, when they’ve worn themselves out, they’ll be replaced. It sounds harsh, doesn’t it? One of the first seeds to be sown, watched and waited for, cheered over when they broke through the soil’s surface, and then unceremoniously ripped out or rototilled under, and replaced. These July gardening tips should help you get focused and cut down the time you spend walking in circles. What? That’s a middle-aged forgetful thing? Well I can’t deny that!
Here’s my list for July. Some things will be done weekly or as necessary depending upon the weather.
- Weeds – Catch up and keep up. No weed is too small to pull immediately.
- Mulch – Does anything need more mulch now that it’s had time to settle? Is there anything that hasn’t come up through the mulch that you need to check on? Pull all weeds from the mulch and drop them on top, making sure the roots can’t reach the soil. They’ll die and add to the mulch and eventually add to the soil.
- Hoe up the potatoes. Pull more soil over the plants for as long as possible. Eventually they’ll get larger than the amount of soil you have available.
- Prune and tie tomatoes to their stakes. If you haven’t mulched the base of the plants, do it now. Mulch (oat straw, for example) creates a barrier that prevents some blight spores from splashing onto plants.
- Look for pests in and around the garden and then deal with them. Look for eggs on the underside of leaves and holes, wilting and other damage on leaves.
- Fertilize as necessary.
- Build a compost pile. You can use cardboard (rip it up), shredded paper (newspaper, junk mail), spent hay from livestock, and straw.
- Lay down a two inch layer of large sheets of cardboard on a new garden spot. Weight it down and leave it until next year to kill grass and weeds.
- Replace early crops. The root crops planted in early spring are probably about done by now and leave empty space. Add a compost to the soil and replace them with another crop. Peas with a short amount of time to maturity are an option. They’ll grow during the hottest part of the summer here, bloom as its cooling down, and produce in the cool weather. They tolerate light frost and snow. Is the broccoli producing enough side shoots to warrant keeping them or are they ready to be pulled?
- If you’re not going to plant something you’ll harvest in emptied space you need to cover the soil with something. Dutch white clover will help fix nitrogen in the soil and can be turned under later. Forage radish will grow, go to seed, and then die. You leave it there for the winter. The root (radish) that’s grown 12-18″ down will die, feed the soil, leave open space for rain to drain, and improve the soil for next year.
Do you have July Gardening Tips?
Do you have July gardening tips to share? Please leavJuly Gardening Tipse them in comments and I’ll add them to the post along with a link to your blog.