In the Organic Garden: Week of July 10, 2017

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July 10 to 16, 2017: It’s the first week of the Spotts Flower Farm subscription! We’re harvesting from our flower farm and arranging bouquets to deliver to our clients.

KITCHEN GARDENS

In fruit and vegetable gardens, we’re

  • holding off on planting fall vegetables. The soil is just too wet right now; seeds will rot.
  • harvesting salad crops carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, potatoes, and edamame.
  • using our herbs. Harvest and use (or dry) herbs regularly. Herbs that go to flower don’t have as much flavor.
  • nurturing seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. We’ll plant these out in August.
  • weeding. And if your garden is surrounded by lawn, keep the lawn trimmed to avoid throwing even more weed seeds into the garden.
  • pruning tomatoes. Remove the suckers from tomatoes, especially if space is tight. Train them up a trellis, or use another vertical support, like a cage or tomato ladder.
  • berrying! The blueberries, summer raspberries, and early blackberries are all coming into season right now.
  • thinning out apples. If you haven’t already thinned your fruit trees, remove green apples so that the remaining apples have room to grow to full size.
garden sign

This sign from The Victory Garden of Tomorrow is planted among the sunflowers in the Spotts Flower Farm.

Ornamental Gardens

In other parts of the garden, we’re

  • treading carefully. Walking on soggy soil can compact it, and digging in a wet bed damages soil structure.
  • watching the water. We’re taking note of where water is flowing and pooling in our gardens, then figuring out how to manage it.
  • watching for slug damage. If you see slime trails and your plants look chomped, consider using the tried-and-true beer trap. Slugs will drown, but they’ll die happy.
  • checking for fungal diseases. White powdery mildew, orange-colored rust, and black spot are all more prevalent in rainy summers. Thin out plants to increase air circulation, and be sure to only water at the soil line, not over the top of the plant. 
  • cutting back Russian sage and deadheading coneflower and daisies to keep them blooming. Plants that flower in a “cloud”—like hardy geranium or coreopsis—respond well to being sheared.
  • summer pruning fruit trees. We use summer pruning to control the size of our trees and open up the centers to sunlight.
  • mowing the lawn high. Remember to set your mower at 3″ to 3.5″ above the ground to encourage grass instead of weeds. And don’t mow if it’s too wet!
  • turning the compost heap.

Amy graduated from DePauw University with a degree in physics, a lifelong love of theatre, and a problem-solving style that combines the approaches from both those fields. A Master Gardener and long-time communications professional, Amy conducts gardening seminars and blogs about gardening in addition to her work with Spotts.

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