In the Organic Garden: Week of July 3, 2017


July 3 to 9, 2017: We’re spending this Independence Day in the garden. Spread a blanket on the lawn and enjoy the floral fireworks!


In fruit and vegetable gardens, we’re

  • weeding. And if your garden is surrounded by lawn, keep the lawn trimmed to avoid throwing even more weed seeds into the garden.
  • harvesting salad greens, baby carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, potatoes, broccoli, and cabbage.
  • starting fall vegetable plantings. Beets, turnips, collards, carrots, kale, and kohlrabi can all be planted in spaces vacated by spring crops. Be sure to keep the seed bed moist!
  • nurturing seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, which we’ll plant out into the garden early August.
  • providing shade to our leafy greens. To keep these cool-weather-lovers from bolting, try planting them where they’ll get afternoon shade. And keep watering!
  • pruning tomatoes. Remove the suckers from tomatoes, especially if space is tight. The suckers grow at a 45 degree angle in between the central stem and the branches.
  • harvesting blueberries and raspberries.
  • turning the compost heap.
bee balm red flower garden pollinator

This bee balm has a festively fireworks-y look.

Ornamental Gardens

In other parts of the garden, we’re

  • watching butterflies and bees in the garden. Butterflies fly when the temperatures are above 75 degrees; lower than that, and you’ll see them sunning themselves to warm up.
  • harvesting lavender. To use lavender for cooking or crafts, harvest while the buds are just starting to open.
  • cutting back Russian sage and deadheading coneflower and daisies to keep them blooming.
  • watching for disease. Cut back the affected area into clean growth, and try to increase air circulation around your plants.
  • summer pruning fruit trees. We use summer pruning to control the size of our trees and open up the centers to sunlight.
  • watering pots at least once a day when we don’t get rain. For bigger blooms, fertilize once a week with compost tea, worm casting tea, or other organic liquid fertilizer.
  • 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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