It’s finally starting to feel like summer now that it’s July. How is your garden growing?
Now is the last chance to get short-season (50 days or less) summer crops like cucumbers, bush beans, and even squash. We are only transplanting gourds at the BOG, but expect them to grow like animals in July! Lettuce greens can be planted, but can immediately blow away in the heat, especially if they are in full sun.
July is the time for water and heat management. To avoid both water loss and heat stress, water deeply first thing in the morning, mulch to reduce evaporation, and reduce competition for water by pulling weeds early. If we get another “heat dome” in the forecast, particularly delicate plants may benefit from a parasol.
It seems strange to think of autumn when summer is just beginning, but that’s the way of the gardener, who always thinks of a coming season. Now is the time to start those seeds for the cool season garden, such as fall crops of beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, peas, spinach, Swiss chard and turnips can all be planted now to be enjoyed later. Remember that most seeds need to stay evenly moist to germinate which can be difficult in the garden in July, and some seeds may do best started indoors in a tray in a shady location and transplanted after germination .
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About the BOG
The Ballinger Organic Garden is a volunteer-led effort to develop a community garden at Ballinger Park. The BOG, in partnership with MLT Recreation & Parks and the MLT Senior Center and funded by a grant from the MLT Community Foundation, is currently in “Phase 0” while larger construction activities (creek restoration and trail installation) are completed. Phase 0 includes maintenance of existing raised beds and a garden plot on the south side of the MLT Senior Center in Ballinger Park. Phase 1 will involve the installation of a larger garden with plots available for community members to maintain. Want to volunteer, or do you have an idea of what you would like to see in the future garden? Please let us know.
To stay up to date on what’s happening at BOG, including what’s developing, working groups and events, follow us on Facebook or Instagram.
— By Robyn Rice
Robyn Rice grew up in eastern Washington, pulling weeds and picking rotten fruit as part of the dreaded chores assigned by her father, a master gardener. Today, Robyn is a fisheries biologist for an environmental consulting firm and has been gardening in the Seattle area since 2010. Her scientific background leads to endless research into the “right” way to do things, but her enthusiasm and her sense of adventure leads her to gardenfearless because hey, what could be worse?