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July

Oh, those lazy, hazy crazy days of summer. . .

 

                                          Nixon             Roxy            

                                                                In Memory of Nixon and Roxy, Chandler AZ                                   

Highlights

* Perennials:  daylily, red bee balm, sweet william, rudbekia, gaillardia
* Harvest broccoli, Swiss chard, collards, rhubarb
* Bug Watch continues
* Direct seeding lettuce and mizuna in garden
*  Seed perennials, fall crops indoors
* Drying herbs
* Butterflies
* Naturalizing in meadow

* Deer browsing in meadow
* Herbal Vinegars
*  Farmers Markets open
*  PYO strawberries

Tip: The cursor hand will point to photos that can be enlarged--unless editor goofs in code.

Butterflies


Bee Balm and Butterfly            Milkweed 
and Butterfly         Butterfly on Verbena

         in bee balm                          on common milkweed        on verbena.

 In the Kitchen

Putting up Herbal Vinegar


Canning season begins this month with Herbal vinegars.






Drying and freezing herbs and browsing the recipe file for broccoli and greens.



  In  the Seeding Room

Perennials and fall vegetablesshould be seeded no later than the 10th of this month for transplanting in September.   should also be seeded for transplanting next month.

In the Garden

Cycles

Born in our Wetland


This quiet critter completes its cycle from our lower-field wetland to our upper field garden. The most natural form of mosquito and bug control we could wish for.




Drought and insects are fed by weather and life cycles. As weather conditions become more extreme (code for global warming), staying ahead of the game becomes more critical.

Toolkit


July is peak heat for Zone 4-5.  We continue with June pest management controls.   

 

 

 

Asian Garden Beetle   This weevil-like insect that was first discovered at the base of our pepper plants in the top 1/2" of soil.   It was identified by a Master Gardener at the NH extension service as an Asian Garden Beetle.  

Mike used Intel PX3 microscope to magnify the beetle.

 

 




Extending the growing season:

*  Beets,Chard, lettuce,kale, spinach and Oriental greenscan be seeded directly into the soil.  The soil should be amended with fresh compost before planting. 

*  According to one extension service, an old trick for germinating seeds in mid-summer is to plant the seeds, water them well, and then place a board over the row until the sprouts just reach the soil surface. At that time, remove the board.

* Black-seeded Simpson and green bibb lettuce mature in 6-7 weeks, just in time for tomato harvest!

Harvesting

This is a moving target and varies from year to year. 

Generally, broccoli, Swiss chard and collards can be harvested later in the month. Lettuce harvest from plants set out in early June can begin to be harvested.

Herbs:  Cut tops of some growth, leaving some flowertops for the bees,  to produce a second crop later in the summer.   Oregano, thyme, and lemon balm are best preserved by drying.   Parsley, cilantro, chives, and tarragon are more flavorful if frozen.   Chamomile, lemon balm, and cinnamon basil are the foundation of our herbal tea mix. 

In the Perennial Beds

Perennials require so little maintenance other than weeding and watering that there is little to do here.

Perennial Bed  

For the first time in growing wooly lambs ears for 20 years, these bee-loving perennials did not bloom in 2003.    In 2004, they peak this month, but with so much rain, the bees kept a low profile.  Red bee balm peaks later in the month.








In the Meadow

Planter may be located in the Northeast, but the Granite State has its share of  desert or beach-like environments.   Naturalized gaillardia and rudbekia begin their mid-summer tour de force. 

The challenge to any landscaper and gardener in this harsh environment is to plant  naturalized perennial varieties, like the gaillardia and rudbekia, that can survive heavy snowfall in the winter, browsing deer in the spring,  and extended droughts in the summer. The red at left of photo are bee balm. A member of the mint family, it has adapted to the dry conditions,thanks to an occasional watering. 'Sensation' cosmos (pink) are interplanted. Annual California poppies (orange) are moderately successful, growing only to about 18" in height.

 Naturalized Meadow

Dig a good hole for them, mulch them well, and hand water them the first couple years, and you will be richly rewarded in the years to come.  Those that reseed themselves in adjacent weedbeds seem to do even better than those in prepared beds.   We're working on a theory that minimum weeding is better for naturalizing.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) are tall, stately biennials that make an attractive landscaping addition to the perennial bed or meadow.   If handled carefully, they can be transplanted when they first appear.    Its leaves were used to make poultices in the past.  Flowers are used in tea as an expectorant. The basal leaves are used for respiratory disorders ,and, at one time were made into herbal "tobacco" and smoked for asthma and tuberculosis.

                                               Mullein             Mullein        

deer002a.jpg (49375 bytes)        

PYOs

It is no coincidence that so many recipes contain strawberries and rhubarb.  We try to get to our favorite strawberry PYO in Gilford, the Smith Family Farm to make Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam.

Local Farmer's Markets

. . . are the best place to find healthy, fresh food no matter where you live.  When we lived in metropolitan Washington DC, the mobs were there when the bell rang at 9:00 am -- even on a Sunday!  Here in rural NH, the mobs are reduced to a steady stream of people.  But the end results are the same.   Farmer's Markets provide customers with fresh produce, much of it organically grown.  They help reduce reliance on foreign oil imports by decreasing interstate transportation.   And, they are a great place to exchange information and recipes.  Gardeners and cooks can commiserate over sluggish tomatoes, or learn new tricks from other kindred spirits. 

    Warner Festival-Kearsarge Gore Farm 

 

 

The Warner Farmer's Market is open every Saturday morning through Fall Foliage Festival.  

Kearsarge-Gore Farm Stand

 

 


Weather and Pest Log