Tuesday, 2 July 2013

July - The Early Summer Potager

Oh my goodness! Here is is, July already!

We have had rain and more rain for the past few weeks, however, nothing like the rains in Alberta!

Cannot complain about a bit of black spot on roses and stalled cucumbers when folks are flooded out of their homes.

And now that July has hit, the temperatures are really high. From one extreme to the next ;)
Mother Nature has a wicked sense of homour.


 
Quite surprisingly, the tomatoes are thriving in the rain.
 
Remember to remove any foliage, esp from the bottom of the plant, that looks yellow, wilty, etc...  immediately. This will help to prevent fungal issues like Early Blight taking over your tomatoes.  
 
 
Deep water at ground level every 3 days or so. Do not splash water on the fruits or foliage.
  
Feed your tomatoes with a foliar spray of liquid seaweed ( I like Reindeer), or compost tea, every couple of weeks.
 
The artichokes are going to be amazing this year!
 
Want a winter garden?
Psst, winter gardens actually mean, start them now, they grow for a while, they go dormant for a bit and then they start growing again in spring for early, early harvests!
 
Now is the time to plant these winter starters or seeds in the ground....
- Broccoli and sprouting broccoli (mmm, my fave!)
- Cauliflower
- Winter Cabbage
- Carrots
- Kale
- Kohlrabi and Rutabagas
- Leeks
 
Plant your fall crop of peas towards the end of the month.
I direct seed mine, but have heard that they have a better germination rate if pre-started in wet paper towel, news print, etc..  
 
The breadseed poppies/pepperbox poppies are looking phenomenal!  
 
 
The foliage and stems start to yellow and brown off, is a crucial part of the ripening process
... however, therefore, is not the nicest looking crop in the garden.
The dark green stems in back are garlic.
Have inter-planted the garlic and poppies together.
 
 
One of the three garlic beds...
This one is inter-planted with carrots.
 
 
The carrots seem to sizing up nicely. I start by pulling every second one, as that leaves the first ones to get nice and big by the time I get around to picking them!
That is pretty much the way that I do my thinning out ; ) Hate to waste good baby carrots!
 
Kali baby is helping to pick the Honeoye June-bearing strawberries.
She is very particular about the ones she eats, however we have not yet figured out her criteria for the best berry ;)
  

Summer gardening
This month plant these items for a late summer/fall crop ...
- beans
- beets ( I really need to plant more beets!)
- more cabbage and broccoli
- carrots
- kale
- corn (from starts)
- spinach and lettuce ( in the shade!)
- turnips
- chard
- peas
 
Herbs
Sow more dill and cilantro!
 
This bed of onions was coming along pretty well...
...and then Kali puppy jumped into the bed and did some zoomies in it..
flattened some of the onions to the ground, so will see if they recoup.
 
As she is a 110lb, 7 month old English Mastiff pup she tends to do a bit of damage when she gets the zoomies!
Argh!
 

Everbearing strawberries and purple alyssum.
Smells Divine!
 

Peas are trailing over the sides of the beds.
Good thing hubby made those lovely new trellises for them to climb up, eh?
 
- Pick your peas and beans as they ripen in order to get even more peas and beans!
 
- Harvest your zukes regularly, enjoy them when they are small (4 to 6 inches long), as they taste so much better than those horrible jumbo zukes! I eat them raw in the garden while I work, or bring them in and enjoy them with a bit of dip : )
Plus, if you have extra and pick them small, people will actually look forward to you sharing your zucchini's instead of running away when they see you coming!
 
- Harvest your cucumbers regularly for loads more cukes, as well.
 


These are Mammoth Red Rock Cabbages!
Remember them from last year?
LOL! That is why they are so well spaced out this year!  
These babies get huge! Like, humongous huge!
 
 One of the many herb planters I made at the greenhouse this year!
They are pretty, help bring in the bees and the good bugs,
full of great cooking herbs ... every deck should have one ; )
 
- Sow seeds for biennial flowers at the end of the month. Foxgloves, hollyhocks, agastache, etc...
 
 
 Happy summer gardening!