What to do in the Garden: The Dreaded Month of July

It happens every year; the heat of July is so oppressive for us cool weather lovers that it forces us indoors, escaping the temperatures that seem just a little too high for human habitation. The gardens usually thrive, but you are still alert for sufficient watering, or animals eating all your hard work. Unfortunately, it is just too hot out to police your sprouting garden as regularly as you would like.

Garden tasks can be performed in the morning when the temperatures are more manageable, or in the evening when the sun has dropped near or below the horizon; just the same, the month of July is just a big humid “ugh” to some of us.

Stay hydrated – make sun tea! Then check on the garden when it’s tolerable outside, and in the meantime, stay close to a fan and maybe pull out a jigsaw puzzle to work on until July gives way to August and conditions change to August’s more mellow character.

Other Things to do in the Garden Now:

~Stake top-heavy flowering plants or other fragile plants like tomatoes if you haven’t done so yet.
~Prune trees, shrubs, and vines if they are getting in the way.
~Harvest herbs for drying such as oregano, sage, and marjoram.
~Cut lavender now.
~Plant heat-loving basil directly in the ground now.
~Harvest everything else as needed, and enjoy every minute of it!

“There is nothing I like better at the end of a hot summer’s day than taking a short walk around the garden. You can smell the heat coming up from the earth to meet the cooler night air.” – Peter Mayle

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Steele Memorial Library