FIVE July Gardening TIPS
Photos: Joey Baird
Once July comes around, a lot of people think of gardening season to be at a lull. One may weed, water and harvest here or there, but July is in the middle between planting and harvesting. Here are some gardening tips for July to have great success and not feel that July slow-down.
1) First, don’t leave empty spaces in the garden beds. This is a great idea, especially around the beginning of July. Harvest fall-planted garlic and use that space to tuck in a couple potatoes, tomatoes or even beets. It is not too late to get a lot of vegetables planted that will bring pleasing later season results. This is also a good time to expand container plantings. Containers can be placed on the sides of a garden bed, as well as around the house, porch, patio or deck—or even an empty spot in the driveway.
2) Now is the time to plant second crops, which are the second planting of a crop grown earlier in the season and now done. Come in behind the final days of the old crop with a second planting of the same crop or a different one to take that space in the garden until fall. A good example of a second crop option is bush beans, which take 40 to 60 days from seed to harvest. When planted in May, by the time July comes around they are ready for a second planting. Consider this also with cool-weather crops like kale and lettuce for the fall.
3) It may seem obvious that watering is important for plants, but this is the time it is easy to become forgetful about watering. Make sure the garden and containers are watered consistently, especially containers, as those will dry out faster. During the peak of the summer, it is best to water early in the morning or later on in the evening. This allows the plant to have maximum absorption. Using irrigation is also a great way to ensure proper watering.
5) Most importantly, do not give up. July is the time many people will feel like they are failing and give up until next year. If weeds are the problem, take a short amount of time and weed a little bit every evening. If consistent watering is a problem, look at investing in an irrigation system. Pests and problems all have solutions. Sometimes the issue isn’t much of a problem at all. Reach out to local resources or a knowledgeable gardening friend. While July can seem like a slow time for the gardener, there is always much to do.
Joey and Holly Baird are the founders of The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener, an online how-to resource for home gardeners. For information on vegetable gardening and more, visit TheWisconsinVegetableGardener.com.