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Yes, in garden grow far more than herbs and flowers - kind thoughts, contentment, peace of mind, and joy for weary hours.


From the GTG Garden and Greenhouse

It's HOT in Tennessee, the plants are sweltering. What's thriving? Canna and Brugmansia are laughing at the heat, so are the kniphofia and penstemon plants.

Possibly of all the new plants that we've seen in recent years, knips are winners. If you have memories of huge,weedy-looking plants that are uncontrollable and take over ~~ take another look at the new varieties. Shorter, clumping, blooms from June to frost with evergreen, grassy foliage in warmer zones and available in the warm colors that complement and enhance any planter or bed ~~ go ahead...check them out and plant one in your garden. I'm certain, you too, will be singing their praises soon!

Happy July 4th, Belle
Green Thumbs Galore LLC

Summer Garden Joys

by Dava Stewart

In my mind, July and August are “high summer.” There is more watering to do than most of us can keep up with, temperatures can be scary-hot, and spending more than a few minutes outside makes me feel as wilted as my poor flowers look.

But, at the same time, this time of year is full of so much sweetness. Fresh, homegrown produce on the dinner table (from the grill!) almost every night, trips to the river, the creek, the lake, or anywhere else you can get your feet wet, and lightning bugs make the heat perfectly acceptable. In fact, what with fireworks and watermelons, high summer is arguably the best time of the year.

One important thing you might want to consider doing this month is taking some notes about your garden. July and August are the months that let you know if you made good planting choices earlier in the year. Should you choose more drought resistant plants for next year? Would any of your plants prefer a shadier spot?

This is also the time of year when you find out if you need to tweak your planting schedule, especially when it comes to vegetables and fruit. Staggered planting seems like a great idea, but it can be so much fun sticking those seeds in the ground that we forget...until there are 57 cucumbers on the kitchen table!

Besides taking good notes, there is the watering. In Tennessee, it seems to be never-ever-ending. The air is wet enough here, but the ground is an entirely different story! If you just turn the hose on and mist the plants for a minute or so, you probably aren’t doing any good. A few watering tips:

  • Water in the early morning or evening, so that the ground will soak up the moisture, rather than the sun burn it away.
  • Try to avoid wetting the foliage because the roots of your plants need water, not the leaves.
  • Water consistently, whether that is every other day or daily. Using about the same amount of water at about the same time on a schedule will help your garden grow!

Then, of course, there are the weeds. Weeds are survivors. Humans have been trying to get rid of them for as long as we have been gardening, yet they just seem to thrive. Long, hot days that make tender vegetable plants curl up and turn brown are just what weeds love. A week or two with no water might decimate your flower bed, but the weeds will love it.

Making sure to pluck spent blooms, and to harvest ripened fruit will help keep diseases and pests under control, as well as provide you with a reward for all your hard work. Cutting a bouquet of flowers or bringing in a basket of beautiful squash makes all the watering and weeding worth the effort. I know that harvesting is my favorite part of the whole process!

While there is still work to do, in some ways, July is a month of less garden toil. In the spring, there is digging, planting, mulching, weeding, and so much more to do that the garden can feel almost overwhelming. As the temperature rises, all that work pays off. The mulch you put down helps control the weeds, and helps keep the soil moist. Your careful attention to weeding has reduced the number of weeds there are to deal with now - even if it doesn’t seem like it! It’s true that there is still watering, weeding and harvesting to take care of, but there is also time to relax in the shade and enjoy the full bloom of your labor.


July in the Garden:

Relax with a Cool Drink:
Look at the Kniphofia :

Pineapple Popsicle

Mango Popsicle