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July in the N&C Midwest...

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July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/30/2011, 7:22 pm

Where did June go? I blinked and it disappeared. Locally, we are getting another real dose of heat and humidity. Supposedly, July will finish the month near average, but this start isn't promising. But, it's July....whatchyagonnado? Here's what to expect and/or what we can do this month as summer sets in for all of us....

- Insects and diseases are at their peak and water is crucial now. Don't panic with the insects, though. We really tend to freak out when we see one bug. Many times insects are all around, but the plants are hardly affected. Use the forum as a resource before losing your mind...and sleep....over bugs. And, remember, you cannot overwater Mel's Mix. If some of you went compost-heavy, I can't help you with watering. If you are by the book, though, I can tell you to drown the heck out of things during hot weather and I have no fear that you will be just fine against all the heat and humidity summer can throw at you. Hence, the reason we follow the book here as closely as possible.

- While many may be longing for the cooler temperatures of fall, fall vegetable gardening is upon us. The conversations will really heat up as the month wears on, but it's not too early to start planning what you want to do. Start seeds for fall vegetables this month. Sow beets, carrots, peas, parsnips, rutabagas, brussels sprouts, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and salad greens by mid-July, especially the farther north you live in the region.

- Fall gardens aren’t as easy as early spring gardens, because it is hotter and drier, but also diseases and insects are waiting to attack. Monitor your garden frequently and catch problems as they arise. Mulching will be a huge help in the garden now, keeping water in and weeds out.

- Start cutting and drying herbs for kitchen use. Frequent cuttings help encourage new growth.

- It's not recommended to harvest rhubarb or asparagus after July 1st. The plants must have foliage to bring energy into the rootstocks to survive the winter and remain vigorous for next season.

- Pests are at their peaks, as already mentioned. But, don't forget about mosquitoes and standing water. Don't do them any favors.

As always, let's see those updates. We should be having some great harvests now!!

Enjoy the Enjoyment!!

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  unmadecastle on 7/1/2011, 9:15 pm

I can't believe it is July already!

It has finally warmed up here and my garden is loving it! This is the fist time my boys have ever had fresh peas right from the garden.




My pepper plants have finally started growing this week. The cucs are getting bigger and I have flowers on my bush beans.


My corn just might make knee high by the 4th of July! I pulled the lettuce this week so have empty squares ready for fall planting.


My tomatoes are looking good! Here is my first cherry tomato just starting to ripen.


I planted all of my flowers in Mels Mix and they just love it. All of them are just beautiful!


Happy 4th of July everyone!!

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  fiddleman on 7/2/2011, 10:52 am

Finally some heat has made it to my portion of Michigan, and most things are coming on strong. After some of the coolest weather I can remember in June, all the plants were growing slowly... especially the cucumbers.

In expectation of a lot of growth coming soon, about a week ago I finally put up the cucumber trellis.
It's 8 feet tall, made out of 1x3's garden fencing and should be more than strong enough to deal with any amount of cuke's which make it up to the top. The cucumbers should be dropping through the fencing and making it easy to pick!

[img][/img]

A picture from the back... just out of the frame, the drop support posts are resting on some patio blocks to keep them from sinking into the ground.

[img][/img]

A closer look at the top portion of the trellis... reinforcement of the top to keep everything all squared up.

[img][/img]

I have been very happy with this type of set up, and am looking forward to a bumper harvest this year out of my SFG. Already the garden has greened up more since this photo was taken a week ago, the warmer temps allowed a great deal of action by the plants. Double everything, and you'll get the idea of what it looks like now. In a couple of weeks, I'll take another picture of the trellis and hopefully it will be filled with plants and flowers!

[img][/img]

Happy Fourth of July!

[img]%5Burl=https://servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=23&u=16354990][/url][/img]

Mark

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/6/2011, 4:05 pm

Here is my salad garden....looking empty still as I ready the conversion to fall stuff soon. And, a cucumber pic for fun. I will also say it looks like a couple pepper plants will recover. What I'll get I don't know. But, they technically survived the dog!





These were taken before the holiday weekend. And, I can tell you that in 5 days the cucumbers have hit the top of the trellis and are starting back down. I must have 24 flowers....and that's conservative. No apparent females yet. Hopefully, the bees will get busy and I'll have an update in a week.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  jymarino on 7/7/2011, 11:37 am

My cukes are doing well, but so far I only have two fruits. I looked for females this a.m. and didn't find any additonal ones. I planted the burpless type, so I hope we like them.

Tomatos are doing really well, esp the sweet 100's

Broccoli are still producing which really surprises me. Maybe I won't have to plant new ones in the fall? Can you get new broccoli plants from cuttings from an old one??

Peppers are slow but are getting there.

Carrots are doing better but still pretty slow.

We planted some heat resistant lettuce but it hasn't come up yet. Still looking for heat resistant spinach.

Eggplant is giving me issues, can't figure out if my pollination attempts are working or not.

Onions are pretty much done I believe, I just haven't pulled them all up yet. they are pretty small so maybe next time I will plant them in a tub.

Tub potatoes seem to be doing o.k., but now I wish I had a taller tub...

Caulflower is still going.

Snap peas are still barely producing. I don't know if I can replant them in another area or not.

That seems to be all of it. Have a great day everyone!!

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/7/2011, 3:00 pm

I find it amazing that your cauliflower, broccoli, and peas are still going despite all this ridiculous heat we've had the past 10 days. The first heat wave we had scared mine right into the compost pile.

Sounds like you're having a great and successful summer, jy. That's awesome!!

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  jymarino on 7/7/2011, 4:59 pm

It could be because the broccoli and cauliflower are in the more shady area of the garden. The peas are being overshadowed by the Sweet 100's so they are getting a lot of shade as well. That is likely why they aren't as upset as they could be.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  Smartchick on 7/11/2011, 12:45 pm

Well, let's see. I have pics but I have to upload them yet. And a monsoon-like storm tried to wipe us out last night at about 1:30 am (it didn't succeed!) But here is the update for July:

Peas got attacked by a wicket case of powdery mildew like I have never seen before (we left for two days and came back to shelling peas that looked like they had been "flocked".) Pulled them out and into the trash can. I got a couple of cups of peas before they died so I plan to try some more this fall.

The acorn squash is trying to take over the world - it easily grew 2 feet this week and is producing blooms like crazy. I'm hand pollinating some to help nature along this year and so far so good. The cukes are just starting to compete with them.

The corn is over 5' tall (6' if you count the tassel) and lo and behold, there are actually ears on most of them! They are a little "leany" after the storm last night but fortunately I had put up stakes and horizontal trellis like the book says so they are still doing OK.

Broccoli is still producing side shoots - almost as big of a second harvest as I had for the first. I'm just going to let them go and see what happens - the leaves look like Swiss cheese thanks to the lovely caterpillars, but I don't care.

One bucket of potatoes is blooming. I harvested the reds this weekend as the vines had all died - only got 8 or 9 "new potato" sized ones - I think I'm done planting reds as this is typically all I have gotten no matter where I planted them.

Harvested beets, carrots, lettuce (yep - still - Black Seeded Simpson rocks!) this weekend and pulled up a couple of onions that were bigger than a golf ball and also one zucchini.

Tomatoes all have blooms on them and some have 'maters too. Can't wait till some of them are ripe! I have bacon that needs a tomato sandwich!

Everything else is growing strong (pumpkins, cantaloupe, chard, nantes carrots, peppers, etc.)

I'll try to post some pics later tonight.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  Goosegirl on 7/11/2011, 1:05 pm

SmartChick - Same monsoon hit us about 6:30 pm, on its way down to you! Shocked My peppers were flattened by the overflow from the house gutter that could not keep up - it just poured right off the roof in a sheet! My dragon's tongue beans are leaning severely to the SE, and we lost 2 4" diameter branches from our tree, one of which hit my car (no broken glass, just a minor fender crunch). Garden is looking 'angular' but as far as I can tell the plants look like they are just bent, not broken! I am just glad that the branches went for the car instead of the whole tree going for the house!

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  Kelejan on 7/11/2011, 2:02 pm

fiddleman, I just love your cucumber trellis and will be trying it next year.

I reckon it would be good for all sorts of climbers where the fruits hang down, such as runner beans etc. Then all I need tpo do is stand on a stepstool and havest.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  HouseofWool on 7/11/2011, 4:59 pm

We got hit by a torrential storm Sunday morning and then again with another overnight last night. Some things are a bit "leany" at the moment.

The butternut squash is taking over the box it is in and I am going to have to start trimming the vines that are on the inside of the box to prevent them from overtaking the strawberries.

" border="0" />

The watermelon is starting to put out some female buds, so I am very excited about that.

" border="0" />

The tomatoes are growing like gang-busters. The cherry tom must be an indeterminate because it seems like it will never stop growing. The cauliflower is growing well, but hasn't put out any heads yet. The broccoli in an adjacent bed is growing like crazy. There a total of 4 plants. One my daughter yanked out a baby floret right from the middle. I let it go and it recovered wonderfully. It is putting out a main head and it is about 5" across right now. I harvested the main head on the second plant recently and it is putting out several smaller heads that are around 3" across at the moment. 2 of the plants bolted and were composted.

" border="0" />

The asparagus is like a wild thing. Can I trim it back so that I can actually walk on the path between boxes?

I just finished putting up a cheap chicken wire fence around the entire perimeter because the rabbits were ravishing everything. I managed to find a ready made gate in my parents' shed along with the pegs for hanging it. All told, it is done for under $75.00! Now I am getting rid of the grass between the boxes and will put down landscape fabric and mulch. I boatload of work, but it will make it easier.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  camprn on 7/11/2011, 5:12 pm

About the asparagus, I would not cut it back, the foliage will make the plant stronger and that means spears for you. if you get some tall stakes and string and corral the foliage that would probably be better for the plants.
Congratulations on your bountiful garden! Very Happy

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  CindiLou on 7/12/2011, 6:17 pm

Wind didn't hit my area, went just north.

Peas are done and pulled up, last of the lettuce is done. That bed is ready for fall planting.

Garlic done, onions done.

Pole beans finally going! Cucumbers are only about 8" high! I have no idea what the deal is this year!

Zucchini had a couple of little ones that fell off. Rofl...row gardening cousin gave me some (found out her secret, FERITLIZER) so they aren't organic like I like but I'll not turn them down!

Squash just starting to bloom.

Patio tomatoes are loaded (determinate), purple cherokee and bandywine blooming.

Broccoli still going with side sprouts. Cauliflower working (one was really weird, pulled)

Bush beans (first planting) have beans, more to plant this week. No sign of any brussel sprouts yet.

Carrots still growing. I think I'll check on them tomorrow.

It is only suppose to be high of 80 tomorrow so going to fill my 4x6 finally. It will get planted with turnip and kholirobi(sp).

So still gardening.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/12/2011, 11:09 pm

Here's what's goings ons in mys gardens this weeks...

Seems like hundreds of male cucumber flowers, but this is the only female I can find...


Today's bean harvest..


We got a little rain shower this evening, and the birdies came in for an evening snack right after the temperatures dropped about 25°. Wet and cute. I figure I can post some more now since the feeder almost literally hangs above my garden. I figure the more birds drop seeds in/near the garden, the more birds come looking for seeds on the ground and happen across my bugs. I can also, occasionally, show you what else is going on in the garden....if you think in all three dimensions....lol.

Tufted Titmouse..


Not my best shot, but the long lens and low light forced me to use such a slow shutter speed there was no way I could remain completely still. (The slightest twitch can cause blurry photos. If you look closely, nothing in the photo is super sharp....a sign I jiggled ever so slightly.)

Here's a better one from this week...


See everyone later in the month! Hope your gardens are doing well in the middle of summer.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  HouseofWool on 7/13/2011, 12:21 am

I harvested the broccoli today, taking the main head from the plant my two year old got into. It was at least 6" across! I also got a few florets from the other plant. While cleaning them up for dinner I made the completely unappetizing discovery of cabbage worms. I removed all of the eggs from the leaves I could find and will be picking up some BT because I really don't want to have them migrate over to the cauliflower. And I am planning on planting broccoli again in the same bed (different squares) as a fall crop.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  westie42 on 7/13/2011, 12:45 am

You had me fooled I always thought you took perfect pictures with unbelievably good expressions by the subjects.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  CindiLou on 7/13/2011, 1:00 am

BYBG, I saw a blue bird last Saturday. I don't think I have ever saw one before. Or at least I don't remember. Pretty bird. I was fishing but I didn't have my big camera with me and the point and shoot would not have gotten me close enough for a picture.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/13/2011, 9:37 am

You may very well have seen one. They travel along river banks like highways. I don't get them in my backyard even though I'm near some densely wooded areas with some clearings. I wish I did. And, I know they are around St. Louis and in the metro area, too.

But, when I go near an area river to an overlook, I often see them by the dozens traveling up and down the river bank like it's rush hour. Like you, they are never close enough to get a decent shot of, but I like to watch them. And, I often wonder where they are heading......to dinner or to gramma's? LOL.

They LOVE mealworms, though. If you ever want to attract them, there are places you can buy fresh or frozen mealworms and just place them in a small dish. Lots of birds love the little worms. And, if not, you can always take the leftovers fishing with you.

There is a guy on a Canon forum that has a SmugMug gallery of the most amazing bluebird shots I've seen. He has an intimate relationship with several of the birds. He counts their fledglings and knows all the neighborhood adults by name. He had one recently that lost it's male mate. He said they had raised over 48 babies successfully together over about 6-7 years. He often takes pictures of an entire family feeding on his deck or bathing in his birdbath.

If I can find a link, I'll post it. It's definitely worth 5 or 10 minutes of looking through.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  HouseofWool on 7/13/2011, 11:01 am

My folks have a pair of bluebirds that nest in their yard every summer. It is sweet to see them come back every year. Although Sophie (age 2) may have scared them away by shaking the shepard's crook that the houses hang from.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  Aub on 7/13/2011, 11:40 pm

BBG- My 4 year old would like to know what the bird with the "sharp hair" is called. He likes it and thinks it might be his cardinal's girlfriend. Very Happy

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 7/15/2011, 6:01 pm

It's a female Cardinal. He's right.

Cardinals are very chivalrous birds imo, too. Watch when you see them. The male is never far behind and usually lets the female eat first. They come together and most times leave together. I swear if they drove cars, he'd open the door for her.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  herblover on 7/16/2011, 12:50 pm

@BackyardBirdGardner wrote:It's a female Cardinal. He's right.

Cardinals are very chivalrous birds imo, too. Watch when you see them. The male is never far behind and usually lets the female eat first. They come together and most times leave together. I swear if they drove cars, he'd open the door for her.

Love your bird pics! I get bluebirds frequently because I live near a couple of nature preserves, one of which has bluebird houses. They love my holly berries in the winter.

In the garden I have tomatoes on the vine for which I am anxiously awaiting ripening. A green bell pepper and poblano ready to pick, beans about 8" tall, and onions and garlic about ready to harvest.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  stripesmom on 7/16/2011, 8:25 pm

I picked one Purple Cherokee yesterday. I was going to make some BLT's with it, but the old man wanted to go to a motorcycle show this morning, so that was put to the way side. The tomato is setting on the counter left alone.

I did pick some beautiful cucumbers this morning. One was a fatty that was hidden under some leaves. I don't know how that happened.
I made some nice refrigerator dills with those-
I'm wondering how to shade the garden. It's going to get extremely hot. I watered 2 times today. I can barely stand to do that as it is. Mostly, I just look at my garden from the window. I am so happy with it, the old man says I'm obsessed. Not so much that I can't eat the produce though, lol.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  westie42 on 7/16/2011, 9:09 pm

BBG is this the site you talked about with bluebird shots. There are 13 pages of fabulous pics here.
http://secondcousindave.smugmug.com/Eastern-Bluebirds/Eastern-Bluebirds-in-flight/6385684_TPwxK#440221874_YkA4K
Stripesmom the pickles look luscious.

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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

Post  CindiLou on 7/17/2011, 2:35 am

My purple cherokee is just putting tomatoes on. But I need to get up early tomorrow and pick beans!

First tomato! It is a patio that I planted in a basket (but in MM!)


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Re: July in the N&C Midwest...

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