July In The Garden


By; Jannie Vaught

Well here we are almost at the end of a hot July! 

What to do in the garden?

Sow seeds: Amaranth, Black eye peas, Corn, Cucumbers, New Zealand spinach, Okra, Pumpkin, Squash (winter and summer). Fruit: Cantaloupe and Watermelon. Herbs: Anise, Basil, Bay Laurel, Catnip, Cumin, Horehound, Lavender, Oregano, Perilla, Rosemary, Sage, Santolina, Savory, Sorrel, Tansy, Tarragon, Thyme, Transplant: Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes. 

For your indeterminate Tomatoes cut back to 1/3, clean out any succors. remove any plants that are diseased or broken, leave enough leaves for them to grow. Feed them with microbes and fish emulsion to get them going. Its 90 and above and it seems counter intuitive to plant New tomato starts, but now is the time to get them in the ground so they can set roots and flower when the temperature drop below 90. Use a stake or tomato cage and shade cloth to protect them. And water! 

Do not let them dry out!

 Any new transplants peppers and egg plant need shade cloth also. When in the garden its time to pull out any spent cucumbers and summer squash. Hand clear the area, do a little tilling with your stirrup hoe and feed and plant the new seeds. My new corn crop of sweet corn is up and looking good, hopefully I will not have it blow over! And all the plants you just pulled up go into the compost, chop it or run the lawn mower over it and then place in the compost pile and turn it, compost needs to be wet to activate so a little water is probably necessary now. 

We are almost finished harvesting out Hales Best Cantaloupe, and the Watermelon are ready next week, these were sweet and full of juice. The vines sprawled beyond the border of the garden but we just walk over them. Some even climber the garden fence and are hanging from their vine and finally touching the ground. The spring planted peas and beans are coming out this week and new ones going in, The zinnias are still blooming but looking a little tired, I will let them finish on the stem now and let the seeds that are at the base of the petal, mature and develops, you can see the dark arrowhead shaped seed at the base of the petal, then I cut them and dry them for next year. Mark your bags with the seed, name and date and where grown if your saving seeds. 

Yes, there is lots to do early in the morning and later in the evening in the garden in July, and Fall Planting is here, time to get the seeds out  and ready to go. Remember Fall Garden is often the best garden here in the Hill Country. 

Growing Green With Jannie