Mid July activities in the square foot garden

If you’re anything like me your probably spending just a little less time in your garden at this time of the year because of the heat. This is a good time to plan what you want in your garden as those tomatoes start to produce and ripen. If you can shade your garden at this time of year, you’ll be able to still grown lettuce and radishes. I was surprised that I was able to still grow radishes in temperatures in the high to upper 90’s. Just make sure you water and shade them more and you should be able to successfully grow them. And when those tomatoes come pouring on in a matter of a couple of weeks, will you have any lettuce ready to harvest? Sure you can just purchase store bought lettuce, but you can still grow your own. And it’s better than anything you can buy at the store. When the weather gets this hot, germinating lettuce seeds is the biggest challenge. Once again, shade and extra water will get you what you’re after. Once the lettuce seeds germinate and break the soil, a lot of your hard work is done. It will grow quickly in this kind of weather but you should still keep the sun off it if you can. At least the hot afternoon sun. You’ll keep your lettuce from tasting bitter and will reap the rewards of great home tasting lettuce. The other fun thing that might be showing now in your gardens are flowers. I don’t grow many, but most of the ones I do all have a specific function. Nasturtiums-edible, nicotiana-fragrance, daisy, bachelor buttons, and sunflower seeds-attracts bees(pollinators), and finally celosia. The reason I like celosia is it’s brilliant red color later in the fall. I’m partial to reds and whites, so I place white alyssum at the base of my celosia. They’re all easy to grow and will reward you with great color as we get into the fall season. Come to think of it, we’re not that far off from that. Keep those compost units working so that you’ll be ready to harvest and amend squares as you pull from your garden. And the timing is such that if you’ve worked your compost correctly, you’ll be just in time to prepare for your fall gardens with finished composted material.

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6 thoughts on “Mid July activities in the square foot garden

  • Pingback: How Tall Is A Mongolian Giant Sunflower? | Weekend Homestead

    • by Jim This is post author

      No question about it-the sunflowers helped a lot with attracting bees to this years garden. I saw more this year than any other year I can remember

  • by RDG

    Jim,

    In my experience once the flower is done it is done. Basically if you only have one main flower that is all you are going to get. Last year I had an issue where some of my sunflowers were pruned by a varmit. They grew back and had multiple small heads. The flowers were all done at the same time.

    When the sunflowers are ready the heads can be cut off and hung to dry some place that is bird proof (like a barn or garage). You can then use your thumb and rub out the seeds. Or if you have chickens you can just toss the whole seed head to them :-).
    Helpful post about when to harvest sunflowers from waldeneffect

    • by Jim This is post author

      Thats good to know Rand…what a bummer, all that effort to have a great looking plant only to have it go bye-bye so quickly…Jim

  • by RDG

    Great pic of the sunflower. I am still waiting for mine to flower.

    I am trying nasturtiums for the first time this year. I read that they are good companion plants for cucumbers.

    I also have a square of marigolds next to my tomatoes. I chose an heirloom variety from Seed Savers Exchange that should be a good companion for the tomatoes. The marigolds are supposed to attract and kill harmful nematodes.

    • by Jim This is post author

      Hi Rand…yep, I’m with you-I also grow marigolds but forgot to mention them. I don’t even know all the rules for what flower protects what plant, etc. Because everything is spaced so close in a square foot garden, a marigold-if it indeed does protect, is going to be close to everything around it. I do have a question for you. This is my first year growing sunflowers. When the original flower dies, what do you do? My plant is still living back there and I don’t know if more yellow sunflowers are going to follow or not? Do they just keep going?

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