Welcome to the hottest time of year in the Catskills! The heat can be tough on the garden, especially if there is a shortage of rain. It’s still important to get out there and do what you can, though. Perhaps these July Gardening Tips will help you beat the heat!
While we love the garden in the summer, we also love our rocking chairs, porch swing, and hammocks! One of our favorite things to do after a day of outdoor work is to relax with a cool beverage. Home-grown mint iced tea, anyone?
JULY SUMMER GARDENING TIPS
1- Keep up with weeding. If necessary, add mulch. If you’ve mulched earlier, this task won’t be as daunting. I find, however, that by this time of year, weeding gets tiresome quickly. Maybe it’s the heat? Hang in there, and think about connecting with the Mother Earth while you pull weeds.
2- Alliums (garlic, onions, etc) can be harvested when they have floppy tops, and/or the leaves are drying, turning yellow to brown.
3- Sow seeds for your fall crops, if you haven’t already. Perhaps beans, peas, or lettuce?
CLEAN UP AS YOU GO
4- Deadhead perennial flowers, where applicable. (This is one area in which I am sorely lacking. I do some deadheading, like the peonies, early on, and then I lose my momentum. My encouragement to you would be to just do the best you can here. It can get overwhelming real fast!)
5- Divide perennials, where applicable. The Daylilies and Irises might be due for a refresh. This often gets the creative juices flowing and allows me to think of next year’s possibilities in the garden.
6- Keep up with harvesting. July is when the food preservation momentum picks up at The Mountain Farmhouse! It gets really busy in that realm in August and September as well.
HEAT MAKES THE PLANTS EXTRA-THIRSTY
7- WATER! (As needed, obviously.) Does it make more sense in your area to water in the morning or later in the day? Some plants need a little heat, like tomatoes, and then a good soaking of their roots for optimum health. Tomatoes don’t generally like to have their leaves watered. That said, a good water-blast on plants like cabbages or squash could knock the little cabbage loopers or squash bugs off. Inspect and adjust accordingly.
8- Trim, prune. Prune, trim. Don’t be shy. When you leave dead, decaying matter on your plants, it invites undesirables into your garden. Plus, trimming out the bottom leaves of plants like tomatoes or squash enhance air circulation, which is very important.
9- Thin your apples or other fruit on fruit trees, if needed. I have to confess that I have never taken this tip very seriously. Although it is highly recommended by fruit growers, I might only do a few that I can reach with a ladder. I have not had an issues with the amount of fruit production – we get lots of apples! But
ENJOY THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR
10- Lay in your hammock or sit on your porch swing. Have a glass of iced tea made with fresh mint leaves or chamomile from the herb garden. Take pictures.
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What are your favorite July Gardening Tips?