For the new or casual grower, July may seem like a low action month. Most garden beds have been planted and now is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. But what if you forgot to plant your bed? Or you want something to do outside? Fear not! There is always something to do in the heat of the summer.
The first task is very simple: Watering. July sees a lot of heat and has the lowest average precipitation for the summer months. Keeping your plants watered is a great way to ensure their success. installing rain barrels is a first-rate way to offset watering costs and to take advantage of rain when it does fall. Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District holds workshops regularly to help folks get started with rain barrels.
A pleasant afternoon weeding is another way to spend time in the garden. Weeds can crowd out the desirable plants and are tough to manage. July is a great time to make sure that not only the above soil plant is removed, but also their extensive root system. Many weeds have deep and hardy roots that can produce multiple sprouts in a season. Removing the entire roots system is sometimes the only way to ensure they do not regrow.
Pests can be an annoyance and a detriment to plant growth, and while some folks reach straight for the chemical controls, more natural remedies can be equally effective. One method of pest control is by encouraging birds and bats to frequent one’s garden. Installing a bird bath and bat box are easy ways to encourage both creatures to come to the garden. It also has the added benefit of providing for a fun activity in bird/bat watching.
Finally, if you’ve missed planting vegetables in your garden, don’t fret! There are still some delicious plants that can be seeded and harvested this year. Radishes, carrots, beets, turnips, and kale can all be started in July for late season harvests.
Blog author: Jakob Hamlescher, Urban Technician