Trim, Trellis, and Stake (oh, and water!)
With the exceedingly high temperatures and lack of rain we’ve been experiencing it is
important to water your plants regularly, sometimes every day. If you have plants in pots, you may even have to water in the morning and again in the evening depending on the size of your pot, and what the weather has been like that day. To learn about tracking rainfall at home, read our previous post.
If you can detach your hand from the watering can, July is a great month for garden maintenance. If you have been able to keep your plants healthy and happy in this late spring/early summer heat than they have grown significantly and will need some help from you to keep orderly and produce a big crop.
Vining crops like cucumbers and pole beans should be grown on a trellis or other support to save space, keep their fruits off the ground and ease harvest. Vines with larger fruit, like pumpkin and other winter squash, can be left on the ground. To increase the size of your winter squash, you can trim the vine down to one main leader, and then encourage secondary branching off the main vine.
Tomatoes also benefit from thoughtful trimming. Try to encourage one main stock and prune any suckering undergrowth or non-flowering stocks. You should also stake and support your tomatoes as they grow taller to keep them upright and stable.
In Phipps’ Edible Garden, the sunflowers are in bloom and are being thoroughly enjoyed by the birds. Our cardoon plants are also in bloom. If you’ve never tried (or seen) cardoon, we highly recommend it. It is a fun, attractive, and tasty addition to any garden. Check out this recipe for cardoon dip.