Garden Tips for July

This month the most important tip is the most obvious. With so much rain the weeds are rampant. Try to keep up with them so they don’t compete for light, space and nutrients with the things you want to be growing.

Secondly, it’s time to pull out spring crops that have gone to seed like lettuce, spinach, arugula and peas — and plant summer crops like beans (I like haricots verts, Triomphe de Farcy from Cooks). Sow summer lettuce (oakleaf, Summer or Heatwave blends only) and arugula, and keep shaded from the full sun by your taller plants. Replant broccoli, kale and carrots all of which will grow until Thanksgiving. Plant fall peas, scallions and zucchini now too.

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Put a couple of inches of compost down and mix it into rows to rejuvenate your soil before you plant. This is important because you want the best soil possible for the best results. Soil should not be allowed to dry out or your plants will stress. Remember that insects only feast on weaker plants.

Keep your basil deadheaded and it will continue all sumer ready for those tomatoes, which will be ripening soon. Keep pinching off suckers from tomatoes and keep them staked. Suckers are found along the main stem of the tomato sprouting between the leaf and the stem. They can easily be snapped of or cut off as soon as you notice them. If left, they will grow into a branch and flower. They won’t harm the plant but the tomatoes will be smaller as too many fruit drain the plant of nutrients, water and light.

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Get some good organic fertilizers and be sure to feed your crops at the recommended times. A good organic foliar spray also gives a boost. It’s a good time to feed now as tomatoes are maturing.