Today it’s all about what to plant in July. Yes, you can still plant some seeds this month. It’s not too late to harvest a fall crop. By the way, how is your garden doing? I finally got some zucchini this year, I know people grow a ton of that great vegetable. Well, not me, at least the last 2 years. Good grief. I taught myself how to pollinate the flowers this year because we have a bit of a shortage of bees where I live. So, this year I took care of it by doing the pollination myself! And I have zucchini growing like crazy, just like years ago. Mission accomplished. Where I buy my garden seeds: SeedsNow
Soil pH Levels
What Does The Term pH Level Mean
Are you wondering what the term pH level is when gardening? Each plant prefers a different level of acidity to grow the very best harvest. The level of acidity desired varies between each plant. Therefore, you can adjust the pH of your soil by adding lime or sulfur to bring it up or down depending on what your soil needs. You can have your soil tested, possibly by your state extension service, or try and do it your self with a soil tester. pH Tester
How To Hand Pollinate
All you need is a paintbrush or cotton swab (see above). If you need to hand pollinate because you are not seeing any fruit develop, here is something you may want to try. You do this by removing the male blossom (male blossoms do not have fruit behind them). They produce pollen leaving the center covered in the pollen to collect with the brush or swab. Use a brush or swab to apply the pollen you collected to the center of the female flower. This works for squash, melons, and cucumbers every time.
Cucumbers thrive when the weather is hot and they receive a lot of water. Plant them in full sun. If you planted seeds inside make sure you don’t set your seedlings outside until the weather is in the 70-degree range. Check the last frost date and wait two weeks before planting the seedlings or seeds outside. You can plant a second set of cucumber seeds the first week of July and still be able to harvest them before the first fall frost date.
Decide if you want to grow bush cucumbers or cucumbers on the vine. I have always had better luck with bush cucumbers. Bush cucumbers work great in pots or in small gardens. This is why they do better in my raised gardens. I suggest you stagger when planting the seeds because you will have cucumbers bearing at different times during the growing season, instead of all at the same time producing a huge picking.
Compost and Well-Rotted Manure
Cucumbers like compost and composted well-rotted manure. They need well-fertilized soil. Cucumbers grow fast and don’t depend on a lot of care or work to get them to thrive. When watering, try and keep the leaves dry to keep leaf diseases from forming. Male blooms show up first and drop off. No worries, within a week or two, a female flower will appear. If not, you may have to do hand pollination. You do this by removing the male blossom, leaving the center covered in the pollen. Use a brush or cotton swab to apply the pollen you collected to the center of the female flower.
Use metal cages for vines, the cucumbers will hang better on those because they will attach easier to the wires when growing. Plant two to three seeds about one-inch into the soil, and cover with the soil. If the soil is moist and warm you will see sprouts within a few days. Plant the seeds or plants 36-60 inches apart. Bush cucumbers can be planted closer. Cucumbers grow start to finish in 50-70 days.
pH level for Cucumbers: 6.5 to 7.0
I have always grown bush beans, they have a shorter growing time, from 60-70 days. Just enough time if you plant the seeds in the first few days of July.
This is one of my favorite vegetables to grow. When our girls were growing up we grew a lot of green beans. We canned bushels of them in our pressure cooker. They taste so good when they are freshly picked. I only grew bush beans, but you can plant pole beans if you have a way to support them up off the ground. Bush beans grow about 2 feet tall, and the pole beans grow up to 10 feet tall. Bush beans are ready to pick about 50-55 days after planting. Pole beans take a bit longer, so plan on 55-65 days to harvest.
Please remember, if you can stagger the plantings every 2 weeks you can harvest green beans for weeks rather than all at once in one week.
Green beans like a good composted rich soil with rotted-manure. You plant the seeds 1-2 -inches deep and cover with soil. Space the seeds in rows about 6-8 inches apart. Water immediately and keep regularly watering them until they begin to sprout. After they begin sprouting they need 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week. They need full sun, so plant accordingly. They grow best when the air temperatures are between 65 to 85 degrees.
When the green beans are the size of a pencil they are ready. They can toughen up very quickly, so check on them often. You pick them by snapping them off at the vine.
pH level for Green Beans: 6.0 to 6.2
Plant In July-Lettuce Varieties
The nice thing about lettuce is it’s so easy to grow and it sprouts up pretty fast. Just make sure the soil is loosened, loamy, and well drained. Lettuce loves nitrogen and potassium, so keep your eye on the leaves as they start to grow. Work in a lot of organic matter or compost. Lettuce matures in 55 to 60 days. Romaine takes longer to mature, and so does head lettuce varieties.
Summer Lettuce Seeds: Summer Bibb
Other heat resistance varieties, Adriana, Coastal Star, Red Cross, and Muir.
Plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep, tamp them in the soil, and water them in. Easy and simple. Read the package to space according to the lettuce you choose. Seeds will not germinate in soils above 80 degrees F. You can start some seeds indoors and transplant the seedlings into a shady spot when the weather is too hot outside. You may want to choose heat resistant varieties if you live where the temperatures get too hot in the summer. It’s better to pick early than late because the leaves become bitter if you wait too long.
pH level for Lettuce: 6.0-7.0
Zucchini or Crookneck
Summer Squash: zucchini, crookneck, and straight-neck (harvested in the summer before they reach maturity). Yes, you can start a second planting if you plant the summer squash seeds by the first week or so of July.
Winter Squash: pumpkins, butternut, spaghetti, and acorn squash (harvested in the autumn months after they reach maturity).
When you plant the seeds, test the soil to make sure it is at least 60 degrees F. before sowing your seeds. They need full sun exposure. They need loamy soil, rich in nutrients. The soil must drain properly. Plant the seeds in hills (2-3 seeds each) one-inch deep. Space them 2-3 feet apart. Thin as needed to produce the strongest plant. Use a cloche to keep the plants warm in case of cool weather. Mulch the plants to keep them moist and weed free. When the first blooms appear, fertilize the plants.
Water deeply, at least one inch of water per week. The soil needs to be moist 4 inches down. If your blossom ends turn black and rot, then you have blossom rot. It’s usually caused by uneven moisture in the soil. It could be a calcium problem. Water must be consistent and frequent for the fruit to produce. If the fruits are misshapen they may not have received enough water or fertilizer. Check for fruit you can pick daily, they grow faster than you may think.
pH level for Squash: 5.5-6.8
It’s all about being self-reliant, and gardening is a great way to do it. It doesn’t have to be the biggest garden on the block, it can be on a small deck with pots planted with the seeds you love to eat. It can be a shared piece of property or several acres. Whatever we can do to produce our own food is one of the best things we can do to teach our family to take care of themselves. So, if you are wondering what to plant in July, now you know and you can pass this information on to your neighbors. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda