Monday, 4 July 2016

July Ramblings

Such a crazy different gardening year thus far, as compared to last year. Last year was hot, hot, hot and dry, while this year has been mostly grey skies, high humidity, lots of wind, and some cool temps, too.

Though I hoped we had turned the 'weather corner', July seems to be holding to the same weather pattern. This humidity sure is taking it's toll on the gardens, promoting the spread of fungal issues, leaf curl, and bugs.

What to do with your roses...

To deal with fungal issues on roses, remove any black spotted leaves and clean up the leaf debris. Spray any powdery mildewed leaves with a 10% skim milk solution. See HERE for recipe.

Mulch roses well and water deeply once a week. Shallow watering will stress out your plants even more so soak them well. Do not spray the foliage with water.

Deadhead often to keep them blooming.

What to do in the garden?

Water at ground level with soaker soaker hoses 

- To prevent fungal issues, is more important than ever to make sure you water at ground level and not on the foliage. Water in the morning or early in the day.

- Water your established veggies with soaker hoses or drip tubes, no sprays or sprinklers, watering deeply but less frequently. Newly planted seeds, however, will need a daily spray until they develop deep roots.

- This constant wind keeps drying things out faster than you might think, so keep an eye on those newly planted seeds and wee seedlings, they dry out super fast!

- Luckily enough, the tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and other heat lovers seem to be doing okay, despite the off and on sunshine. Some still have leaf curl from the weather, but are fruiting fine nevertheless.
Deep water these guys twice a week, while root veggies, onions, potatoes, corn, etc.. require water only every 5 to 7 days.

- Suspect fungal issues on your tomatoes? Squash? The milk spray mentioned above will halt it in it's tracks and also works as a preventative to keep fungal issues at bay. Safe to use on any and all veggies and flowers.

Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans

- Replace your tired out spring peas with beans. Plant fall peas in another couple of weeks.

Carrot harvest for Thanksgiving dinner

- Root veggies need to be sown within the next two weeks in order to have time to grow a decent sized 'root' before winter comes. They will stop growing in October, but will store/keep well in the ground all winter long.

How to successfully seed in the heat of summer?

Water the furrows first.
Sprinkle seeds into the dampened furrows, cover, and water again.  

 Keep seeds covered with a shade cloth (burlap, sheet, towel, wood, black landscape fabric ...)
until germination occurs. 

Do not let the soil dry out while seeds are germinating. 
Most seeds will take from 3 to 7 days to germinate, while carrots can take as long as three weeks!
Keep soil moist until you see green tops poking through, then remove shade cloth. 

What to plant now, before mid month? (from seed)

- Beans
- Beets
- Broccoli
- Carrots
- Cauliflower
- Cabbage
- Cucumbers
- Lettuce - summer types
- Rutabagas
- Turnips
- Onions - Walla walla and green bunching

Keep sowing a few seeds of dill and cilantro every week or two, 
in order to have a fresh supply coming all summer long.
Cilantro will bolt in the heat. 

What to plant from mid-month to end-month? (from seed) 

- Broccoli
- Chard
- Greens...  fall/winter lettuces, spinach, mustards, arugula, collards
- Beets
- Onions - Walla walla and green bunching
- Peas! Fall peas are so awesome!
- Radishes
- Shallots
- Turnips

Some veggies prefer to be pre-started in pots, like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, then transplanted to the garden in early September.

Happy Gardening! 

Moving Thyme

Sadly, the Nitty Gritty Potager blog is no more... but the good news is that I can now be found at my new blog called the Olde Thyme F...