It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through the garden season already! Here are some ideas for prioritizing everything that needs to be done in the garden in July.
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July is probably my favorite month of the gardening season: Most big projects have either been completed or deferred until next year, most everything is already planted, and the yard is blooming with lots of flowers. This is the month to enjoy a few lazy summer days before the dog days–er, harvest days–of August set in.
Steady harvests begin to direct more work to the kitchen for food preparation and preservation.
Sure, July is the month to sow seeds for fall crops (already!), but I still name this Hammock Month. If you have a hammock (lucky!), I hope you’re putting it to good use!
The 15-Minute Garden Plan
As you might know by now (if you’re following the “In the Garden” series), I promote a 15-minutes-a-day gardening schedule for those of you who juggle gardening with a busy life. Weeding or seeding with the morning coffee, and harvesting or watering with a happy hour drink keeps my garden going.
These daily visits allow me to spot pest problems early and discover interesting things, too.
I might not get everything done in these 15-minute visits, but it certainly takes the stress off and allows me to enjoy the sun and fresh air on my skin for a bit, and remember that gardening is fun.
Note: The following recommendations are based on my USDA hardiness zone 6a. To-do lists may be different in your neck of the woods.
Planting the Fall Garden
Did you leave space in your garden plan for sowing fall crops? This month we’ll make sure that the last of the summer crops are in and everything is seeded for fall.
Prioritize the Harvest
Though you might have seedlings to plant, seeds to sow, and weeds to pick, your most important task is to harvest AND USE what you’ve already grown.
Harvest the low maintenance, high value crops first, and figure out how to use them in the kitchen. I always ask myself the question: If I can’t manage what I’m already growing, why would I plant more? Just do what you can and enjoy it.
Harvest in July
- Perennials: asparagus, black raspberries, currants, strawberries
- Here are 4 ideas for how to use currants
- Alliums: garlic, onions (cure for 2 weeks before storing), leeks
- Beet family: beets, beet greens, spinach, swiss chard
- Cabbage family: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, radish, turnips, turnip greens
- Herbs: basil, calendula, chamomile, chives, cilantro, dill, echinacea, fennel, lemon balm, marjoram, nasturtium, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sunflowers, sweet alyssum, thyme
- Legumes: beans, peas
- Nightshades: eggplant, pepper, potatoes (cure for two weeks before storing), tomato
- Here are some tips for freezing peppers and drying them
- Here’s how to freeze tomatoes in small batches
- Here are more tips for using and preserving tomatoes and peppers
- Summer Squash
Would you like more resources for planning and maintaining your garden through to harvest?
You’ll find loads of information just like this in my book, The Suburban Micro-Farm.
In fact, with your purchase, you’ll get FREE bonus resources such as calendars, checklists, and planting worksheets to help you get organized.
- Water and weed
- Design the fall garden
- Collect flower and herb seeds
- Prune black raspberries
Start Seeds (in trays)
- Fall collards
- Fall Swiss chard
- Lettuce (I like Parris Island romaine)
- Beet family: beets, spinach, swiss chard
- Cabbage family: broccoli, collards, kale, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga, turnips
- Try the purple top white globe turnips for fall growing
- Here are some tips for growing fall and winter carrots
- Herbs: nasturtium, sunflower
- Legumes: peas (Try sugar snaps)
- Cabbage family: broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale
- Swiss chard
Enjoy your hammock time! In August we’ll start bringing in mega-harvests and figuring out what to do with it all.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the garden this time of year? Your least favorite thing to do?