Neil Moran gardens in northern Michigan and is anxious to see gardeners succeed in the cold climate. To this end he has published two books on gardening in the north country and an ebook on how to save money when buying garden tools and other products. He also taught horticulture for over 12 years and conducts garden workshops.


Garden tips for late July
by Neil Moran - posted 07/19/13

The sweltering heat of late makes it a little difficult to get in the garden and weed and do other garden chores. If we can get in the garden in the cool of the evening or early morning and weed we’ll be rewarded with a good crop of vegetables and flowers. In other words, hang in there!

                Here’s a weeding  tip: once you get the weeding done, lay down some cardboard or newspaper between the rows or plants and mulch over it. You should be good to go the rest of the season.

                We got a good rain where I live (over two inches) just recently. However, if it is dry where you’re at and some of your crops, particularly your cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage) are looking  like they’re not developing fully, mulch them with straw and water well. You’ll be surprised at what a difference this will make.

                Now is also a good time to side dress your vegetables one last time with an organic or inorganic fertilizer. Make sure you apply the recommended rate. Granular fertilizers should be watered in. Soluble fertilizers work well for this also.

                Tomato tip: always water near the base of the plant, avoid getting water on the foliage, especially as it is fruiting. Also, tomatoes don’t need or want to be constantly moist: water well, then let the soil or potting medium dry out between watering and water again. You can cut right back on watering after the fruit has matured but not yet red.

                If you experienced the heavy rains we did in the last 48 hours, stay right out of the garden to avoid spreading disease. Beans are particularly susceptible.

                I hope you’re enjoying a good growing season.

                Happy gardening,




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