Monthly Garden Calendar for Midwest United States

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Paul Rodman

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JULY

"Flower in the crannied wall, I pluck you out of the crannies, I hold you here, root and all, in my hand, Little flower—but if I could understand, What you are, root and all, and all in all, I should know what God and man is."— Alfred Lord Tennyson, British poet

Eat Up! Your garden should be giving forth a bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Make up a fresh tomato salad. Pick some sweet corn. Make a raspberry or peach cobbler. Invite a home bound person to go on a picnic with you and your family. Enjoy the weather, fresh food, and each other's company.

Keep Watering. Make sure newly established plants are kept well watered during dry weather; be sure to water deeply.

Radiant Raspberries. Harvest raspberries when fruits are fully colored and easily separates from the stem.

Annuals Tip. As annuals begin to fade, shear them back by 1/3. They will soon bloom again.

Remove Suckers From Tomato Plants. Suckers are growth that occurs in the area where the branch meets the main stem. Pinching these results in stronger, bushier plants.

Remove Water Sprouts From Fruit Trees. Water sprouts are fast growing branches that grow straight up from horizontal limbs. Suckers are sprouts growing from the root area at the base of the tree.

Trim Tactfully. Be very careful when using string trimmers around trees. Nicks and cuts caused by trimmers exposes the tree to infection and insects.

Mow High. Mow lawns one half inch higher than usual during the hot summer months.

Harvest Sweet Corn on a Regular Basis. Harvest when silks begin to dry and kernels exude a milky juice when punctured.

Keep Plants Well-Mulched. Make sure that potatoes, carrots, and onions are covered with soil to prevent development of green color. Also, apply mulch around young plants to control weeds and conserve moisture.

Marvelous Mums. Continue top pinch mums until the middle of the month. You'll be rewarded with profuse blooming in the fall.

Time for Irises. July is the month in which to divide iris. Discard any soft, or insect infested rhizomes.

Handpick Japanese Beetles From Your Plants. These insects especially love roses. Remove them from the blooms and drown them in a pail of soapy water. Organic sprays such as Neem can also be used to control these pests.

Keep You Humming Bird Feeders Clean. Change the solution at least three times a week.

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