July is coming to an end and that means it’s time for a garden update. This is the month where the garden truly starts to come into its own. The plants are getting well established and if the conditions are right, might be flowering or starting to produce. One of the biggest struggles this month was the heat and lack of rain. Only in the last week of the month did we get any rain. Growing a garden that focuses heavily on cool-weather crops and then having steady heat in the summer does not mix well. So how is the garden holding up in these conditions? It’s time to find out with the July 2021 garden update.
July 2021 garden update
What’s growing well
The beans are doing really well. Though perhaps a bit smaller at this point compared to previous years, the plants are growing well. A few got eaten by pests but overall they are doing the best out of all the plants in the garden. In fact, there is a hint of flowers forming on some of the plants now.
The onions are also doing well. They were one of the first items to be planted and see to be enjoying the heat. I do need to start giving them regular nitrogen feedings to ensure we get nice large onions at the end of the season.
What’s doing ok
The sunflowers are doing alright. The ones I planted along the border of the garden were ravaged by something, probably an insect. However, they are now recovering and starting to grow. There should be plenty of time left for them to catch up to the ones in the pots and produce flowers.
The broccoli and cabbage are also looking okay. I feel like these plants are also behind where they should be at this point. This is more than likely due to the warmer temperatures we have had all month. Broccoli is a cool-weather crop after all, so it doesn’t like being hot. I have been covering the plants during the middle of the day with a makeshift shade cloth made out of weed fabric to help them through this. It seems to be working as the plants are still growing decently but haven’t started to produce any heads yet.
Another plant that’s doing ok is the zucchini. The plants are flowering but are significantly smaller than what grew last year. I think we will get a decent harvest in the end.
The tomatoes that I started from seed are looking good but are quite small. Whether we get any fruit from them is still up in the air, but I will let them go and see what happens. Meanwhile, the basil that I planted among the tomatoes is doing pretty well. A few have been nibbled on by insects but overall the plants are healthy.
The snap peas are another plant that isn’t doing as well as it normally does. Usually, by now, the plants are nearing the top of the fence and producing tons of flowers. This year, they aren’t even halfway up the fence.
Another vegetable that hasn’t done as well, as usual, is the radishes. Again, I feel like the heat has played a role in this. The radishes are growing, but by now they should have been huge and likely harvested. However, they are still fairly small.
The lettuce had been struggling with the heat. The plants have not grown at all since the end of June. Even harvesting the leaves hasn’t prompted it to grow anymore. The Swiss Chard and spinach also bit the bullet this month. They bolted in the heat, so they were pulled.
One bed of carrots is not doing so well either. I remember something similar happening last year. It’s so strange that the two beds of carrots were planted on the same day, get the same amount of sun and water and yet one is barely growing while the other is doing well. My only thought is that the soil in this bed doesn’t have enough nutrients.
The dill is not doing well. I don’t know if it’s from the heat or something else, but 2 out of 3 dill plants are struggling to stay alive. The third plant is doing better and I think it will give us a small harvest later on.
Since only 1 potato plant has come up after planting around a dozen seed potatoes, I will say that these are struggling as well. I have no idea why so many didn’t sprout but I will miss having a nice big harvest of potatoes in the fall.
The front flower bed
As always, this is the garden that gets the least amount of attention. I plant flowers here mostly so it’s not an empty area but then I essentially ignore it until the fall. The flowers did get walloped shortly after being planted by heavy wind and seem to have somewhat recovered from that.
The star of the show is the chocolate mint. Not only did the plant return once again, but I added several new plants this year as well. In fact, it’s doing so well that I really need to harvest it soon. I think we will have a bumper crop of mint this year. The best part is anytime the wind blows or you brush a plant it emits such a great smell. It’s a must-have in the garden. Plus it helps keep spiders at bay.
I hope you enjoyed my July 2021 garden update. What’s growing in your garden?