July- What's in Kate's Garden?


In My Garden (Zone 5-6)

Kate Copsey
Kate has relocated many times giving her experience in gardening from sandy upstate New York to Georgia clay and many areas between. She currently gardens in Central New Jersey. Kate also hosts the popular radio show “America’s Home Grown Veggies” heard every Saturday on America’s Wb Radio.

This has been a bizarre growing year so far – a record setting heatwave in May followed by a cool stretch in June and now back to heat again. All this has been a mixed bag for the garden. It takes plants time to mature and flower or fruit and when it gets too warm some of them slow down. That is exactly what happened to my pea crop which is only just now producing flowers and lovely fresh peas. The beans are obviously faring the best as they were as happy in the cool start to June as they are in the warm finish, and they are producing flowers abundantly – though no fruit yet.  

Peas & Beans

This year I have been playing a lot with container growing as well as in-the-ground growing. There are so many great varieties that grow well in containers and some really colorful container options out there. I have container size tomatoes and small peppers and lots of lettuce filling in. There are lots of bright yellow calendulas in the containers too which should start blooming very soon.  

Bright containers with vegetables & flowers

A large cloth Smart Pot is where I am growing my first Three Sister’s Garden. This traditional way to grow squash, sweet corn and beans is easy to do, and so far the garden is doing very well. The squash around the base of garden is the Cupcake summer squash which shades the roots of the beans and corn. The green bean is the Fordex which is supposed to use the Amaize corn as support. My timing was off with this and the beans quickly grew taller than corn so needed a little extra support for a while. The corn is catching up quickly. Both the beans and the squash have flowers on and are enjoying growing together. 

Beans & Squash (sister plants)

In the flower garden the first annual to bloom was the cleome – this was from seed I sowed very early in the year and is the Queen Mix which gets quite tall. They are clustered around an old tree stump which is a great way to hide it, and hopefully the plants will self-seed for next year and form a decent colony. Fall planting for these cold weather seeds is preferred and it is on my to-do list to get some more seeds to sow at the end of this year for this garden as well as the new cutting garden. The cutting garden is doing well especially as it was started too late for most of the cool weather annuals. Next year this will have much more going on earlier in the season as the seeds will be sown at the right time. Sunflowers of course are a great addition to any garden and they are doing just fine in this dry and warm summer weather.

Cleome:Queen Mix





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