It’s the height of summer heat. Believe it or not, it’s time to get your fall garden under way. July is the month to plan your fall and winter gardens, start seeds, or obtain young starts. It’s a good idea to use transplants if you live in very hot or cold zones. If you’re the warm-to-hot zones 9, 10, or 11, you’ve probably had a slow month in the garden, and now is the time to introduce new things.
To get started, evaluate your garden. Remove underperforming plants or those that have finished fruiting and harvesting. Then, make a note of the plants that will finish in the next month, and those that will finish in two months (September/October). Also, identify which plants might to overwinter and which you will allow to produce seed. This will help you determine know which areas are opening up for the next round of growth and production. Start seeds or locate where you will obtain transplants now, before it’s too late! This is especially true for those in northern latitudes, since production drops when natural light fades. Alternately, consider giving your indoor garden more light. Full spectrum fluorescent bulbs are the most cost-effective type of bulbs.
Start seeds or locate where you will obtain transplants now, before it’s too late! This is especially true for those in northern latitudes, since production drops when natural light fades.
Keeping records is important. Make a record of how varieties performed this season and anything that you observe negatively affected your plants. Common garden woes include moths, heat, rain, bacterial infection, to name a few. Be sure to note varieties that performed exceptionally well.
Leftover seeds from the spring can get you started. Generally, small seeds have a harder time surviving from season to season. You may have lower germination rates with tiny seeds. Review your seed stocks and order now. You might also find seeds at a discount at a local greenhouse. You can even buy a little extra to get you started in the late winter or spring. It’s a good idea to have dates on your seeds and to keep a supply of them on hand.
Keeping your seeds cool and moist is a challenge! Start your seeds in the shade and keep them moist. Shade cloth can help you regulate temperatures and moisture. In the heat seedlings can dry out if not carefully attended to. Pests tend to enjoy tender new plants. Shade cloth or netting can help deter unwanted attention.
Once your seedlings are ready, or your transplants purchased, popping them into the right spots is a snap. Baby these transplants while they adjust in the warm season to their new homes. Give them adequate water and protection from intense light or heat for the first week. Once they adjust, they will provide your garden with fresh life, new beauty, and the next round of interesting things to watch—and eat!