The summer lull is passing, the rains are here and the harvests are starting to roll in with no effort from me, many pounds of Summer Squash, Zucchini, Kale, Cabbages, Chard and a tomato or two! I really don’t do much in the garden in July, maybe prune some tomatoes, thin some beets and water as much as I can, ( in addition to irrigation I often run the sprinkler just because my plants seem to scream in the heat) I kind of dry up myself and just sit in the river and wait!…But then the light changes, the heat softens and the world turns just enough to feel the shift and I return to the garden again.
So many folks tell me this time of year, ” Oh I really didn’t garden this summer, (with a sigh) maybe next year….” It’s not too late, in fact no better time really!! Warm soil, falling rain, golden light and rainbows! It is a second spring and even better than the first if you ask me! We still have three more months of growing season here! I pull out cabbage and make room for carrots, I scratch in beets seeds, spinach, cilantro, lettuce, arugula under burgeoning Basil plants and next to heavily harvested Kale. I sneak in things where ever I can, in fact underneath is a great place to plant now because other plants can provide some shade in the heat and protection from the soil drying out too quickly for germinating seeds… some plants will be pulled out in a month or two and by then your understory will need the waning light. Now is a great time to dig in some compost and plant a whole succession of fall salad greens. You can use row cover as shade cloth and to help keep moisture in for germinating, remember the secret to getting seeds to germinate in a hot garden is that they must NEVER dry out completely… but if you are back from vacation you can handle a little watering every day! If you plant every two weeks for the next two months you will surely supply yourself with salad for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!! What a better gift than your very own food for your family!