July Sustainable Garden Checklist
July is typically a smokin' hot month in Pemberton, so much so that we are usually worried about nearby forest fires whilst simultaneously worried about water restrictions the township has placed on residents.
But this year has seen a true 'Junary' (combination of June + January) and we have had mild and wet weather for most of June, so I am feeling less pressure to spend every moment watering within the water restriction schedule.
Saying that, the garden is in it's heyday right now, the breaks in the weather has seen temperatures reaching into the 30s Celsius (86.8F) in Pemby and my summer flowering plants are looking their best, with fresh green leaves and bright, abundant blooms.
But this isn't the time to sit and relax, not worrying about your garden - that you get to do in December and January my friend! Nope, this month sees lots of prepping and primping of the garden: keep shrubs in check with regular pruning, keep feeding your veggies, containers and hanging baskets and watch for pests looking for vulnerable plants succumbing to heat.
See the checklist below for a breakdown:
1. Now is a great time to add feed to your roses (Epsom salts is a gardener's organic secret ingredient!),
2. Alternate biweekly feedings of diluted liquid fish emulsion and diluted liquid kelp,
3. Spread out a thin layer of wood ash kept in a safe bucket throughout the winter over my garden beds to provide lime substitute for my alkaline-loving plants,
4. Keep your egg shells from Sunday's scramble to dry, crush and spread around the base of your tomato plants to 'potentially' keep slugs away and add calcium to prevent blossom end rot,
5. Removing the spent peas (keeping the nitrogen-fixing roots in place) and add more lettuce, arugula, beets and carrot seeds to my raised veggie beds,
6. Keeping the cabbages, potatoes and kale seedlings well watered in my community veggie garden beds,
7. Send the kids out to pick any blueberries and raspberries before the wildlife do,
8. Take plenty of cuttings of flowers to bring indoors to keep the plants healthy and promote further blooms,
9. Make comfrey manure-tea (more on that later) to add to all plant beds to give tomatoes a nitrogen and potassium boost,
10. Pour boiling water over weeds in cracks and along paths and walkways.
Next month we start planning for fall and winter harvests but with all this beautiful sunny weather coming our way, I don't want to think about that now, so we will wait until August!