July Tips & Tricks

Attention Gardeners! Perfect Vegetables for Planting in July

Extending the harvest season can be as much fun as it is time consuming, however when you focus on the right items, you will be eating fresh from your garden all the way into November! When you plan your garden to include fall crops, July is the time to sow many of your seeds. There is a wide selection of vegetables and herbs to plant throughout the month to ensure you can stay well fed with delicious fresh food. 

To help get you started, here’s a list of cold hearty veggies, including cut off dates so that you don’t plant too late and miss the window for optimum production.

Beets

The greens will hold well into the fall and the roots store well all winter long in the fridge. Try to harvest all beets shortly after the first frost.

Plant beets before July 20 for best results.

Carrots

If you do it right, you could still be eating carrots from last year’s fall harvest! You can safely leave carrots in the ground until mid-November, assuming your region doesn’t experience early winter temperatures.

Plant carrots by mid-July at the latest.

Radish

It’s a great, quick-growing crop that can mature in 30-55 days depending on the variety. Not all varieties are great for storage, but they all thrive in cooler temperatures.

Plant radishes right up into mid-August.

Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Kale

These cruciferous vegetables are some of the most reliable fall crops.

Direct seed (the sowing of seeds directly into the soil) these in mid-July for harvest in September and October.

Lettuce, Arugula, and Spinach

Enjoy fresh garden salads all summer long!

These greens can all be planted throughout July and will give you multiple harvests from one planting.

Beans

Most bush beans can be planted into the second week of July. It will be a short but bountiful harvest in the fall — try freezing excess beans for winter meals!

The keys to success with any edible garden are good soil, weed control, and adequate water. Keeping this in mind, and planting on time, you could easily find yourself with a bountiful fall garden and homegrown meals well into the winter.

10 TIPS FOR JULY

Ontario receives its hottest temperatures in July. Save beach trips for the hottest days, but water your plants before you leave. This month also calls for stepping back and taking stock of what is in bloom, with an eye to adding to that floral color in future years.

July brings long, warm days that continue late into the evening — perfect for pottering in the garden after work, hosting barbecues, and enjoying your beds and borders as they reach their peak. 
We gathered our staff and came up with our Top 10 things to focus on in July here in the 6a / 5b region of Ontario:

1. Moisture + Heat

The combination of lots of moisture followed by heat will cause weed and flower seeds to germinate quickly and prolifically.  Pull the weeds and unwanted seedlings when they appear.  The garden will look tidier for your effort and the unwanted seedlings won’t be taking nutrients away from your plants.

2. Do Not Fertilize Your Perennials

At this time of year, most perennials neither need nor want to be fertilized.  An exception would be delphiniums which will appreciate a feeding after their first bloom period.  Use a balanced organic, water soluble fertilizer.

3. Peonies

The spent blooms on peonies should be removed and the foliage can be trimmed back a little so that it can stand up.  DO NOT cut the peony foliage down to the ground until fall.

4. Encourage Fall Blooms

Pinch back Chrysanthemums and Fall Asters for to encourage more branching and more blooms.

5. Propagate Shrubs with Cuttings

Take softwood cuttings of shrubs such as buddleia, weigela, rose-of-sharon and roses. Place them in pots of moist sand or potting soil, then cover them with a plastic bag, glass jar or large plastic pop bottle, creating a mini-greenhouse. When strong roots have formed, move to a protected spot in the garden.

6. Groom Tomato Plants

Continue to pinch out, or cut off, side shoots from tall growing (indeterminate) tomatoes. It’s not necessary to remove them from bush type tomatoes.

7. Flopping Perennials

Some late spring/early summer perennials such as golden marguerite, some shasta daisies and artemisia ‘flop open’ or lay down.  Cut them down to the crown when the bloom period is over.  If this action is done early enough in the summer, the plant will produce new growth.  The foliage on other perennials such as the Centaurea montana will become extremely unattractive after blooming. Cut such foliage to the ground and allow new growth to occur.

8. Keep Up with Weeding

Pull weeds as they grow and use mulch in your flower beds to prevent them from sprouting. If you can’t pull them all, at least cut off their tops to prevent them from seeding; this will mean fewer weeds next year.

9. Stake Floppy Perennials

Delphiniums, lilies and even big flowering peonies, have a tendency to flop over and require support. It’s best to provide it as early as possible, before the plant becomes too big. Simple bamboo or plastic-coated metal stakes and grids are inexpensive, as well as easy to use and to camouflage among the plants. For a more rustic look, you can prop up plants with the forked branches left from pruning your shrubs.

10. Pinch Back Herbs

Periodically pinch basil if you don’t harvest it weekly. Pinching keeps it from flowering and ensure you have a full, bushy-looking plant. Mint, oregano, and savory can also be pinched to promote bushier growth.