Garden Monthly Update: July 2016

Garden News

July is the slowest growth month with the extremely hot days and nights, along with very little rain this year. The sunflowers have bloomed and some heads already cut for drying. The 5 black krim tomato re-seeds are doing well in their transplant locations. I found good homes for the 6 extra black krim tomato seedlings. The okra is producing regularly now and the cantaloupes have fruit with steady growth. I was able to continue to harvest and dry some oregano, tarragon, basil and sage in July, however all but the basil are starting to die back a bit toward the end on the month. The cosmos and tidy tips continue to bloom through the hot days and I expect the marigolds to bloom in August. The chili peppers have completed re-leafing and are beginning to bloom again. The bell pepper seedlings are doing well with afternoon shade. The eggplants were harvested in early July and the plants are starting to flower again. The volunteer cucumber (not Armenian) vines are growing and flowering, but still a bit hot for any fruit to survive. The grape vine recovered from the leaf damage and has produced a couple more grape clusters. The purple cabbage plants that were transplanted to shady areas are surviving and growing slowly. The Belgian endive plants have gone to flower and I will harvest the seeds for future planting.

 

 

Planting guide updates include - The "ideal time to plant" highlighted in the seasonal planting  guide.

 

Highlights

Lots of baby lizards spotted around the garden.

 

The black krim tomato plants are doing great.

 

The many cantaloupe plants are doing well and the fruit is maturing.

Lolights

Overall, July is hot and a time of low garden production.

 

Very little rain in July!

"Hot" Topic

Keep them cool - Continue to provide shade for sensitive plants and new seedlings at this time of year. Water deeply as the plants roots will seek out the water below the hot dry surface and this will also keep them cooler.

Tip of the Month

Foliar Feeding - this method of spraying organic fertilizer on the leaves of the plants is 300 - 400 times more effective than soil fertilizing. To correctly apply, spray both sides of the plants leaves. Spray gently on new/delicate leaves to avoid damaging the leaf. The plant will have more time to absorb the food if you spray on damp or humid mornings. See foliar recipes under the Organic Fertilizer sheet in the Seasonal Planting Guide excel document.

August Do List

  • Provide shade for vulnerable plants and seedlings. Shade cloth with 50% reduction is recommended

  • Keep plants moist. Wilted leaves in the morning are a sign of moisture stress. Late afternoon wilting may be heat stress. Outdoor potted plants may need to be watered 2 times per day.

  • Foliar feed with liquid seaweed solution to reduce heat stress.

  • As your melons come in, place a board beneath them. This will keep them off the moist soil and prevent insects from attacking them.

 

Prune

1. Trim spent flower stalks and blossoms from annuals.

2. Remove dead and damaged wood from trees and shrubs.

 

Fertilize

1. Citrus, flowers & vegetables.

 

Pest Control

1. If needed, release Beneficial's such as: ladybugs, green lacewings, and praying mantis.

2. Spray garlic tea for aphids.

August Don't List

  • Hold off pruning sun or salt damaged foliage until September or October. The dead foliage will protect the plant from further damage.

  • Don't prune citrus or other sun sensitive plants during the summer.

  • Don't add fertilizer to dry soil. If you apply dry fertilizer on dry soil and water it in, the fertilizer is carried toward the roots as a concentrated solution and will burn them. Always water first, then apply fertilizers to moist soils, and then continue with the rest of the water.

August Planting

Vegetables: (Blue highlight identifies "ideal" planting time items)

Seeds - Beans (pinto, snap), Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Collards, Corn, Cucumbers, Kale,

               Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard greens, Green onions, Summer Squash, Tomatillo        

Transplants - Tomato

 

Herbs: Lemon Grass

Flowers: Cosmos, Dianthus, Hollyhock, Marigold, Sunflower, Rain Lily, Vinca

Fruit: any sub-tropical

 

Recipe of the Month

- Holiday wraps w/herb mayo and   - Marinated tofu  -  This is an easy vegetarian, cool summer meal for either lunch or dinner. Substitute chicken cubes, instead of tofu, if you prefer..

Best Advice

Fall Planting!

Plan early and use companion planting to reduce insect damage and increase plant health. Use succession planting (seeds planted every 2 - 3 weeks) to keep a steady supply of herbs and vegetables like cilantro, lettuce, cauliflower etc. through the fall and early spring. Use the tips on how to reduce weeds in your garden (this months Q&A), to also increase health and success of your plants. Plant what you and your family enjoy eating!

Favorites

Garden Books: Extreme Gardening by Dave Owens and Desert Gardening for Beginners by Cathy Cromell, Linda Guy and Lucy Bradley.

Web Sites:

 

Questions/Answers

 

Q: How can I reduce the weeds in my garden?

 

A: Here is what I have learned recently about reducing weed growth in the garden.

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1. Do not till your garden - this process actually can increase weed growth by bringing weed seeds to the top soil where they can then germinate versus leaving them buried where they are unable to get the sun, water and air needed for germination. The process of continuing to put good composted soil on top each season, mimics nature, keeps the good worms from being disrupted and will help reduce weed growth.

 

2. Keep permanent areas for walking and planting and cover the walking areas with a thick mulch to keep the weed seeds from germinating. This will also make sure that the planting areas do not get compacted.

 

3. Top your planting beds with at least 1" of compost in fall and spring.

 

4. Drip irrigation and or strict watering in only the planted areas, will reduce water in the walkways and minimize weed germination in those areas.

 

Remember to be diligent about picking any weeds early before they are able to seed.

 

August Preview

Hydro gardening

July Pictures

Link to Photos Here

 

Related Topics

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