Tuesday, 4 July 2017

July Garden Ramblings

Summer has arrived on the island, and with it comes the annual drought season.

So... what are we doing this month? Watering and watering some more, of course ; ) 

 Grow Great Garlic
Watering everything ... except the garlic, that is. These last few weeks before you lift your garlic, let them go dry, do not water. Too wet soil and too wet garlic may mean rotten or mouldy bulbs, and garlic that does not cure well. 

For more information about garlic, when to harvest, and how to know when it is ready to go, see HERE!   

Watering the garden

Do not water from above! This promotes diseases and fungal issues, keep your foliage dry. Water slow and deep with drip tubes or weeping hoses.

Deep watering promotes deep roots, which means healthier, sturdier plants that can withstand the hot, dry summers we have.

Deep water slowly once or twice a week, depending on the veggie. 

Once a week... potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, peppers, eggplants, corn, herbs, cabbage, kale, leeks, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips...
Twice a week ... tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, strawberries, peas, beans, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and greens ...

Tomatoes in the back and broccoli going to seed in the front. 

What else to do this month? 

Pull your weeds. Everything is growing nicely in all this sunshine, including the weeds! Do not till them under or you perpetuate the problem. Water them first to make it easier to get the entire root out, and pull, pull, pull. Do not put flowering weeds into the compost bin.

As you lift bolting veggies and harvest ready crops, fill empty spaces with new seeds or transplants. Seeds are easy to sow and easily found, whereas transplants can be pretty hard to find this time of year. Try your local farmers market for time appropriate veggie starts. They know what they are talking about! If they are not selling them now, then this is not the time to be planting them ; )

Planted these seeds today. 

I am currently harvesting turnips, peas, broccoli, and the garlic, little by little. Cauliflower is just about ready for harvest, too. I have not yet pulled the sprouting broccoli even though the tops are flowering, as they are still making more yummy sprouts down below. Soon though, very soon. 

In place of what I harvested, I have planted more beans, bush scallops, zucchini, and 3 types of broccoli (to see which one likes the summer heat best). Sprouting broccoli (rapini, broccoli raab, calabrese) has a short maturity date so can be sown at almost any time of year.

I also tossed in the last of the carrots for this year. Hope I have enough, fingers crossed. We go through a lot of carrots. This is your last week to sow carrot seeds, so if you need more, hurry to get them in. Choose a short season maturity date to make sure they are mature enough, big enough before fall gets here. They will stop growing when the soil gets too cool, so aim for the shortest maturity date you can. Baby Nantes, Little Fingers, Chantenay, Red Atomic, and Nantes are 60 day, or less, carrots.

As I continue to harvest the garlic, I will also add a few cucumber varieties, cabbage, and more beans. Bush beans have a much shorter maturity date than pole beans, so are a safer bet. Pick the varieties of veggies with the shortest maturity date, ideally ranging between 50 and 65 days.

So, in a nut shell, what you can sow from seed this month... 
- Beans (bush, ideally)
- Beets
- Broccoli ~ sprouting, raab, rapini types
- Carrots ~ under 70 days till maturity.
- Cabbage ~ ball head types, 50 to 60 days. (winter cabbage is the best!)
- Chard
- Cucumbers ~ pickling, Armenian, and Straight 8. Look for 50 day maturity, ideally.
- Summer Squash ~ zucchini, pattypans, spaghetti. Again, look for fast maturity dates.
- Turnips, radishes, kohlrabi, lettuces and spinach, if and when you have the space for them. These can be planted later in the month as they like the cooler fall weather.

Fruits and berries.. 

Pink Champagne Currants

Fruits and berries are crazily ripening, all at the same time. Pick your currants, gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Clean them up, eat them, freeze them, stew them, juice them, or jam them.

Pick your cherries before the birds get them! We have two cherry trees, not yet very big or old yet, but each branch is simply loaded with cherries.

Pick the last of your rhubarb now, too.

Mulch fruit trees and shrubs to help retain moisture.

To keep sweet peas blooming, water them well, pick and enjoy the blooms, remove any seed pods as they form.

Deadhead annuals to keep them blooming instead of setting seed. Harvest calendula for making homemade soaps and salves.

Poseidon Rose. #poseidon

Deadhead roses to keep them blooming. Water well, feed with a bit of manure, and a tablespoon of Epsom salt to keep foliage green and healthy.

If you have powdery mildew, spray foliage with a half water, half low fat milk mixture. This will choke out the mildew. If you think you have it real bad, spray again in three days time.

There is no remedy to fix black spot once you have it. Remove the spotty foliage and let it make new leaves. If you want/need roses with no black spot, you need to prevent it rather than fix it. Safer's has an effective spray, called Defender, which can be applied once a week. It will not get rid of any spots you already have, but will prevent you from getting more.

Mulch roses and flower beds to help retain moisture.

Harvest your lavender for making wands, sachets, potpourri... as Christmas gifting is not that far off ; )

Water all pots, planters and hanging baskets once or twice a day. Feed every week or two to keep them full, lush, and blooming. For more information on how to keep them happy, healthy, and blossoming, see HERE!

Stay tuned for my new posts all about greenhouse growing.... 

Happy gardening! 

June Garden Ramblings

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