July is a great time to garden

Keep your garden in full production from now until late fall with these suggestions.

July is a great time for gardeners. The long anticipated wait is almost over, you can almost taste the juicy tomatoes and have already had one too many radish and baby green salads to count. But it is not time to trade the trowel for the harvest basket just yet. July is a great time to get ready for your fall garden.

Sow seeds now for beets, beans and sweet corn for a fall harvest. Make sure by the middle of July you have started your fall cool season crops as well. Some favorites to start now include cabbage, spinach, greens and turnips.

To keep your garden in full production, pick your vegetables and cut herbs while tender and young. This will give you the best flavor and keep your garden plants producing for several more weeks.

If you are going out of town, have a neighbor stop by and do a quick harvest, a few fruits given away will make for a great neighbor and help your plants to keep producing at full capacity.

If you have an abundance of herbs, be sure to keep them cut and loosely bundle them and hang in a dry location or place on a screen to dry for use this winter. You will be glad you did. Fresh herbs or naturally dried herbs used within a few months have the best flavor and give your recipes that extra garden fresh flavor.

Be sure to water adequately. Gardens need at least one inch of water per week. Even moisture keeps plants healthy and productive.

A healthy plant is less susceptible to disease and insect damage. This is the time to keep the weeds at bay as well. Be sure weeds are not left to seeds for more trouble next year.

Enjoy gardening in July – you still have plenty of time to enjoy your bounty fresh from the vine and extra produce can always be preserved for those dark, gray winter months when you can only dream of the juicy tomatoes and fresh green beans while reading the new seed catalogs for the next planting season.

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