July is the month when the garden starts to truly take off. Everything has been planted by now and the plants are working hard to establish themselves. The month has been a fairly good one for the garden. The weather started out on the warm side, however, it quickly reverted back to the usual cool weather. It’s a good thing I focus a lot of my growing effort on cool-weather crops. However, these cooler temperatures are not ideal for tomatoes and peppers. There was also quite a bit of rain over the month, which is generally a good thing, however, it certainly helped the weeds get out of control quickly. Overall, I must say that the July 2022 garden is doing well and I look forward to seeing how the plants continue to mature and produce in the coming months.
July 2022 garden update
The main garden
The biggest garden area I have is the main garden – which used to be the only garden area. This is a mix of in-ground gardens, raised beds, and containers.
The in-ground section has been dedicated to growing beans and a few other items each year. This year is no exception. The beans are doing well, though I have noticed a decent amount of pest damage on them, something I normally don’t see until much later in the season – usually around September. I don’t know if it’s the wet, cool weather or something else that is causing the pests this year. Ignoring the pest damage, the beans are growing well and we should be seeing the first signs of flowering soon.
Also in this area, are the cucumbers and sunflowers. The sunflowers are doing well, with the dwarf variety already flowing and the full-sized sunflowers still putting on height and should be flowering soon. The cucumbers are not doing well. They have not grown since I transplanted them and despite having very tiny cucumbers, they also have not gotten any bigger. That’s the thing about gardening, every year is different and you never know whether you will have successes or failures. I am hoping that they will bounce back and produce something.
My heavy-duty tomato experiment seems to be doing well. The plants are growing well, despite all the cool temperatures and many of the plants have started putting on fruit. The remainder of the plants are flowering and likely will put on fruit soon.
Meanwhile, the zucchini is another plant that is having a lot of pest problems this year. Some of the plants have nearly been completely eaten, while others seem untouched. I did spot a small zucchini forming on one of the plants, so I should get something out of them.
The peppers are doing okay. I don’t have a lot of hope for them producing, simply because they were started so late that the plants are much smaller than they should be at this time of the year. However, it’s also too late to pull them out and plant something else in their spot, so I will leave them where they are and see what happens. Next year, I will make sure to start them earlier – what held me back this year was not being able to get my hands on the seeds until late.
The greens growing in the hanging baskets along the fence are doing great. I have been steadily harvesting the lettuce – feeding much of it to our rabbit for her breakfast and dinner, but we have also used some in sandwiches and it’s great.
We have already had our first harvest of radishes from the two containers I started earlier. A few of these radishes did bolt, so I have left them be and will collect their seeds to plant next year once they are ready to harvest. The lettuces have also been routinely harvested and have done well growing back with each picking. Otherwise, the remainder of this garden is still a long way away from reaching a harvestable state.
The new garden
I will admit, that the new garden space is doing better than I expected. First-year gardens tend to struggle because the soil isn’t always balanced. This is why I committed this space to growing greens and brassicas, as they are not heavy feeder plants and can do well with poorer soils. Some of the greens I planted are not doing great. I’m not sure if it’s the wet conditions from so much rain or a pest problem that has them lagging behind.
I have noticed some pest damage on a few of the plants, but nothing too significant. I am keeping my eye on it though, as pests can quickly wipe out a garden or particular plant type if left unchecked.
The front garden
I know I said I wouldn’t grow anything in the front garden this year – and technically I haven’t. However, I wanted to give an update on this space. Despite not plating anything, we do have a few plants growing. The chocolate mint has come back strong again this year and is growing throughout most of this space. Another returning plant is the pansies. These plants are annuals, however, they have been self-seeding and coming back for several years now. The other plant growing here is unknown to us. It has been in this space since we first moved in and despite our best efforts to get rid of it (as it quickly overtakes the space) we have been unsuccessful so far.
What’s next for the garden
One task that still needs to be completed is adding gravel to the paths in the new garden area. I was hoping to have that done this month, but it simply didn’t happen. This ask will be rolled over into August.
I still want to add some fence outside the new garden to separate it from the lawn. Since I haven’t decided exactly what type of fence to use, this task has been pushed into August as well. I may buy a short decorative fence to use along the border or build my own.
Weeding is another task that needs to get done. I did an okay job with this in July, however, with the amount of rain we got, it was difficult to keep up with it. I’ll be doing my best to keep up with the weeks for the remainder of the garden season.
I hope you enjoyed my July 2022 garden update. What is growing in your garden?