The last thing I want to do in the heat of July is a list of chores but to help the garden through the blazing summer sun there are a few things I have to do. I suspect that you will be doing at least some of these things too!
- Watering: In the morning is the best time to water plants since it gives the plant foliage plenty of time to dry out and allows more of the water to soak in before the heat evaporates it (less water wasted). I like using soaker hoses at the base of plants to avoid moisture on the leaves and because it puts the water right where it’s needed – near the roots. Leaf moisture can cause fungal diseases if the foliage don’t dry out fast enough.
- Mulching: I still have areas to mulch and the garden is in need. Mulch not only keeps down the weeds but also helps the soil retain more moisture and keeps the soil at a cooler temperature.
- Harvest: Frequent trips to the garden have been allowed me to harvest a bunch of tomatoes and a few cucumbers. In general the more you pick the more the plant produces – so pick away! This is especially true of squash.
- Plant Sequential Crops: Once I clear out a couple raised beds I’ll plant a another crop of beans. The first one got devoured by the deer, hopefully the next one will be spared! I also want more squash and zucchini.
- Pinching: I need to stay ahead of the basil blossoms since I don’t want them going to seed just yet. I’ll pinch them back just under the blooms and let them regrow. Cutting the plant back to make pesto is another good way! The mums need their pinching for fall blooms and quite a few other plants could use a good deadheading.