Saturday, July 15, 2017

What's happening in the mid July garden

July garden at sunset

Saturday, July 15, 2017

We are harvesting Turkish Orange eggplants, zucchini, yellow straight neck squash, peppers, green beans, sprouting broccoli, summer greens, okra, herbs, garlic, onions, and a few tomatoes.   We have been getting steady amounts of rainfall each week so only the pots are needed water.  The flowers are very happy, too! 

This year's garden is the fullest it has ever been.  Really not sure why.  We did the usual spring garden preparation-compost, fertilizer, Azomite minerals, topped with mulch.  Many are saying that their garden is going gangbusters, with the exception of tomatoes.  They are very slow this year and not as bushy.

In the photo above, the background are the pole beans on a trellis, in the foreground are peppers in pots with volunteer zinnias and carrots from last year.  If you don't pull your carrots, the bolt and produce the white flowers you see in the photo.  The seeds will drop in the garden and we will have baby carrots for the fall and winter.  So, when you grow carrots, pull some and leave a few for flowers and self-seeding.  All you need to know about growing carrots

Both the hot and sweet pepper plants have peppers on them.  So far, the sweet pepper Tangerine is the only one with ripe peppers for harvest.  Most of the hot Sicilian pepper plants are covered in green peppers so it should not be long for them.  Peppers are for every taste and garden

Tomatoes are not producing as much as is typical for this time of the month.  We have gotten way more rain than usual this year.  Our grass is still green and lush!  The small tomatoes have given us a few ripe ones.  The plants greenery are not as full as normal and have had baby tomatoes on them for weeks.  Peppers and tomatoes are both pollinating by insects.  With all the rain we have had again this summer, it is likely washing away the pollen, impacting the production of fruits.  

Oregano in bloom
I harvested our garlic a couple of weeks ago and is getting hardening in the shade on our outdoor, covered deck.  Garlic harvest is here!

Our basil has been slow to get started but is now off to the races.  I will take my first harvest in the next week or two, cutting down to the first few sets of leaves.  It will regrow to give me at least one more good harvest before fall.  Basil basics-harvesting, preserving, growing basil  I  have many cardinal basil volunteer plants growing.  They are tiny right now.  Looks like this type is a self-seeder.  Self-seeding crops, plant once and forget 'em

Oregano is in full bloom.  The bees love the flowers!  It could be cut and dried now, but I love the flowers and will wait until fall.  Harvest and preserve your herbs

Lettuce gone to seed
I fertilized all the pots again as well as the veggies in the garden.  It is good to fertilize pots biweekly and garden plants monthly during the growing season to give them the nutrition they need to produce well. Summer garden tips
The lettuce has gone to seed.  When you see the white fuzzies, they are ready to save.  I just pull the seed heads, break apart, put in a ziplock freezer bag, label with type and date, and store in the refrigerator.  I also re-seeded our Earth boxes with some of the seeds.  I had a few small volunteer lettuce plants elsewhere in the garden that I transplanted to the Earth boxes as well.  The lettuce seeds I planted last month have sprouted, but aren’t quit ready to transplant.  Never ending salad from one packet of seeds  Seed saving-fun, easy and a cost saver

In the greens department, summer is a hard time for most greens.  Sprouting broccoli, different types of sorrel, arugula, dandelion greens, corn salad and herbs are all available.  The heat increases the sharpness of greens.  Succession planting of lettuce and planting types that are resistant to bolting can keep your lettuce crop going.  Plant them in the coolest part of the yard where they are not in full sun all day and get shade in the afternoon.  Pots are a good option to be able to move them to the cooler part of the yard.  Growing summer salads  Bolt-free, sweet summer lettuces

Our summer squash plants have kicked in and we were getting 1-2 fruits from each plant each week.  I just love grilled zucchini and summer squash!  I also found that using it as a substitute for pasta is a great way to use them.  What to do with all that zucchini?!  It looks like the vine borer got my zucchini so I'll start another one from seed.  Planting before June 1 makes the plants susceptible, but they grow quickly from seed to replace if that happens.  Everything you need to know to grow squash

We have not had any rain in the last week so I will water the garden.  We have a soaker hose that runs under the mulch, making watering easy.  If you are watering by hand, just be careful not to get the leaves wet.  Many plants are susceptible to fungal diseases.  

Summer garden is in full swing!

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