Hands in the Dirt: MLT gardening tips for July 2022

It’s finally starting to feel like summer now that it’s July.  How is your garden growing?

Now is the last chance to get in short season (50 days or less) summer crops like some cucumbers, bush beans, and even some squash.  We are just transplanting squash at the BOG, but expect them to grow like animals in July! Salad greens can be planted, but may immediately bolt in the heat, particularly if in full sun.

July is time for water and heat management.  To prevent both water loss and heat stress, water deeply first thing in the morning, mulch to reduce evaporation, and reduce competition for water by pulling weeds early.  If we get another “heat dome” in the forecast, particularly delicate plants can benefit form a sunshade.

It seems weird to be thinking about fall when summer is just starting, but such is the way of the gardener, always thinking a season ahead.  Now is the time to be starting those seeds for the cool season garden, like fall crops of beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, peas, spinach, swiss chard, and turnips can all be planted now to be enjoyed later.  Remember that most seeds need to stay evenly moist to germinate, which can be difficult in the garden in July, and some seeds may do better started inside in a tray in a shady spot and transplanted after germination.

Have a question about gardening? Ask it on our Facebook page.

About the BOG

The Ballinger Organic Garden is a volunteer-led effort to develop a community garden at Ballinger Park. The BOG, in partnership with MLT Recreation & Parks and the MLT Senior Center and funded by a grant from the MLT Community Foundation, is currently in “Phase 0” while larger construction activities (creek restoration and trail installation) are completed. Phase 0 includes maintenance of the existing raised beds and a garden plot on the south side of the MLT Senior Center in Ballinger Park. Phase 1 will involve installation of a larger garden with plots available for community members to maintain. Want to volunteer, or have an idea of what you want to see in the future garden? Please let us know.

To stay up to date on what is happening at the BOG, including what’s growing, work parties, and events, follow us on Facebook  or Instagram.

— By Robyn Rice

Robyn Rice grew up in Eastern Washington, pulling weeds and picking up rotten fruit as dreaded chores assigned by her Master Gardener father. Today, Robyn is a fisheries biologist for an environmental consulting firm, and has been gardening in the Seattle area since 2010. Her science background leads to endless research about the “correct” way to do things, but her enthusiasm and sense of adventure leads her to gardenfearlessly because hey, what’s the worst that could happen?




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