Garden Monthly Update: July 2015

Garden News

July started out with clouds, sprinkles, higher humidity and slightly lower temperatures. This is a time of recovery and planning for fall planting starting in August. My pepper plants were transplanted into the garden area or permanent pots. The Okra plants continue to do well with lots of growth and production. I pulled the remaining carrots which are smaller during summer. I planted pumpkin seeds and they have sprouted. I also started re-composting pots and planting beds for August seed planting. July is the lowest production month for me as the melons, okra and sweet potato plants are just starting to take off and begin fruiting. We did have about 10 -12 sunflowers that were harvested in July, 2 small cantaloupe, a lot of fairytale eggplant and some okra. I cut back the eggplant and chili pepper plants removing any peppers or flowers to allow the plants to rejuvenate. The Armenian cucumber vines are doing well and baby cucumbers have been spotted and 1 cucumber harvested in July. One thing new for me was to try starting new herb plants from cutting's. I prepared the cutting's and have them in a small starter plant greenhouse inside until they can be planted outdoors. This process has only a 50% success rate, so you must start multiple cuttings to get 1 new plant.


July is the month of planning for your August planting.

I will plant Lettuce, Snap Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Green Onions, Tomato, Zucchini and Marigolds (excellent companion plant for deterring Aphids, Crickets, Grasshoppers, and Whiteflies). Plant Marigolds w/Tomatoes for better yield. I will plant a few of each vegetable around the garden and will continue to plant more through September and October for a continuous supply through the fall and winter.


Planting guide updates include - companion planting tables for vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers included in their specific excel sheets. The addition of a garden soil recipe sheet.


- The Cantaloupe and Okra plants are doing well and producing.

- The 2nd planting of sweet potato is very healthy and 2nd set of sunflowers have begun to bloom.

- Lots of red wigglers, praying mantis, baby lizards and gecko's about the garden.


- Return of the tomato hornworms. Just a few that had to be removed from the tomato plants and 1 pepper plant.

- The baby gourd did not make it through the heat of July, but the plant continues to grow and has again started to flower.

- I have spotted a leaf footed beetle in the garden, which is a non-desirable bug as they will feed on fruits and vegetables, but are also food for the good bugs like praying mantis. They are attracted by pomegranate trees and also will be attracted by sunflowers. See management at:

"Hot" Topic

Provide shade to new transplants for August and September. I always water transplants with an initial B1 solution to help with root shock. Hold off pruning of sun or salt damaged foliage until September.

Tip of the Month

Plant carrots to attract assassin bugs that feed on other bad bugs like aphids and leaf footed beetles.

Planting pots should be 5 gallon or larger for outside use. Anything smaller will get too hot for the plants to stay cool enough. You can insulate potted plants by inserting into a larger pot and filling in the gap with peat moss or newspaper.

August Do List

1. Fertilize Citrus

2. Plant wildflower seed

August Don't List

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

2. Don't over water. Yes, it's very hot in the desert in August, so it might seem like watering more is the answer. Not necessarily true. Water slowly (prevents run off), deeply (use a soil probe or a long handled screwdriver to check that the water is penetrating 2-3 ft. deep for trees and shrubs, and 1- 1 1/2 ft. deep for turf & flowers), and infrequently (let the soil dry between watering).

3. Don't water at night as it can lead to fungal disease.

4. 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

Plant seed for fall vegetables: Snap Beans, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Collard Greens, Corn, Cucumbers, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce (Head & Leaf) Leeks, Mustard, Green Onions, Summer Squash

Transplant tomato plants

Prepare flower beds for fall plantings. Irrigate and then cover with clear plastic for six weeks.

August is a good time to plant melons.

Recipe of the Month

Eggplant Enchiladas with Green and Red Sauce

- Eggplant Enchiladas

- Red Sauce

- Green Sauce

June recipe picture - Sweet Potato bites w/garlic sauce

May recipe picture - Zucchini fritters w/garlic yogurt


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

Web Sites:



Q: Can you include a picture of the recipe of the month for reference?

A: Yes, good suggestion. I have included pics of all 3 recipe's in this update.


Follow-up to a question covered in the June update regarding the total planting area of my garden. A plan view of my front yard showing the garden planting areas in brown.

- Yarden layout

August Preview

Garden friends and garden foe, tips on maintaining a good balance.

Organic fertilizers.

July Pictures

Link to Photos Here


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