June & July in the Garden

By now your gardens should be planted and sprouting and growing!  Summer crops got planted throughout May and June is now a month where all of us can take a big deep breathe and relax a bit as we wait for crops to come in.  This also gives us time to plan for fall - another big time of year for gardeners.  Tree fruit and edible perennials (artichoke, mustard plants, tea plants, etc) can be planted this fall - the last window to plant before spring. July is the month notoriously dedicated to tomato staking and supports. I'm not a fan of tomato cages, but instead I build a support system of bamboo in my tomato beds.  It's cheap and uber-efficient. These are also very important months for watering.  Whilst we typically consider July & August to be the hottest months (and they are!), days are actually getting shorter and plants will gradually need less and less watering.

Even if you're having cooler temps and cloud-covered skies, it's important to remember good watering practices. Namely, seed beds (those areas planted with seed) will need a constant misting so the soil stays moist and seeds are able to germinate. That means twice a day watering may be beneficial.  Keep an eye on the seed beds and make sure they don't go dry for extended periods of time (no more than 12 hours is perfect). This ensures germination!

For heat-lovers, especially tomato plants, it's smart to water in the morning before you leave for work. Watering in the morning leaves time for plants to soak it up before the heat of day and evaporation take over. Morning water also prevents a drop in soil temperature (which happens when watering in the evening) which the heat-lovers do not appreciate. You wouldn't like to go to sit outside in wet socks at night time, would you?  Same, same.

Follow these small steps to insure a greater harvest later in the summer!