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.

Although at the beginning of June we were all wondering where the sun was, we are now getting some great summer weather-heat, sunshine and some added rainfall too. The long cool days were great for peas and this year, and by growing the Burpee All Season Collection, I will still be getting fresh peas for July 4th! I planted green beans under the peas thinking that the peas would be over by now, and now have the first little beans growing among the peas. This is perfect timing and something that I couldn't plan any better.

All those spring chores that didn't get done in May made June go by really fast, but what gardeners does not play catchup sometimes? The fence for the peas is going to double as the support for some of the tomatoes and peppers but as usual I grew too many-with so many different varieties out there, I was spoilt for choice and I am now finding homes for them all in any spare piece of garden. The rest of the vegetable patch is looking good with the first zucchini putting out the female flowers at last. The male flowers have been out for a week or two but the female ones, which product the gold, green and black zucchinis, come out a little later. Poorly pollinated zucchini is one of the common issues in early summer but it should correct itself quickly when insects find the flowers.

The perennial bed is in its first year, so most of the plants are small and keeping them watered is a necessity. Echinaceas, heleniums and gaillardias are some of my favorites for a long season of flowering. They don't mind being dry either which makes them trouble free, even in mid summer.

The little herb garden is productive even thought that too is in the first year. Rosemary, thyme and mint are great for summer cooking on the grill. I make skewers from sturdy rosemary stems and thread meat or vegetables on it. Roll in a little garlic and olive oil for a tasty kabob from the grill.

The biggest surprise in the June garden was the recovery of all those shrubs that I thought had been victims of the abnormally cold and long winder. Hydrangeas looked like sticks for weeks and only now are some of them starting to put out new growth from the base. A good trim is needed to get the old, dead growth out but I think they will be fine by next year. I am not expecting them all to recover enough to flower this year though - but it might happen.

July looks like being a continuum of June with a round of watering, fertilizing, harvesting and enjoying the garden before making plans for the fall garden!



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