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🌿Summer Gardening Tips🌿

Janet Melrose led our May workshop for Garden Plot members!

She specializes in garden consulting, education, and horticultural therapy, and is the author of the "Prairie Gardener's Go To For" series, available on our shop! Her workshop covered sustainable gardening practices, emphasizing natural methods and techniques to enhance plant health and productivity.

Read about the key tips shared during the workshop! 👇


Covering and Mulching:

- Use floating row covers to reduce bitterness in plants and water needs.

- Straw mulch conserves moisture and minimizes watering.

- Combine no-till methods, straw mulch, and row covers for higher-quality produce.


Pest Control:

- Employ biological deterrents for pest control.

- Use shade cloth and hail netting instead of plastic covers to prevent overheating.

- Companion planting effectively controls insects.


Planting Strategies:

- Time plantings to avoid pest infestations.

- Plant trap crops like tomatoes near aphid-preferred plants.

- Support plants with physical structures like the "Three Sisters" method.

- Maintain soil health for strong plant growth.

- Space out plantings to reduce pest attraction.


Companion Planting:

- Use companion planting to confuse pests and attract beneficial insects.

- Maintain proper plant spacing and group compatible plant families.

- Use intensive planting and living canopies to conserve water.


Organic Approaches:

- Avoid synthetic pesticides and fertilizers; rely on natural plant defenses.

- Implement integrated pest management techniques.

- Pull back mulch when planting seeds and use burlap strips for rows.


📚 Want to read more on organic gardening methods?

Check out Janet Melrose's reading picks:

- "Year-Round Gardener" by Nikki Jabbour

- "Great Garden Companions" by Sally Jean Cunningham

- "Gaia's Garden" by Toby Hemenway

- "Small Space Gardening, Vegetable, Soil, Herbs" by Janet Melrose


Additionally, we've got some summer gardening tips to share:

1. Plant Heat Lovers: Get those tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and cucumbers in the ground! They thrive in June’s warmth. Keep them hydrated and cool with mulch.


2. Harvest Early Crops: Time to pick lettuce, spinach, radishes, and peas. Regular harvesting keeps them coming!


3. Mulch Madness: Beat the heat with a thick layer of mulch. It conserves moisture, suppresses weeds, and keeps soil cool. And with water restrictions estimated to last


4. Weed Weekly: Stop weeds in their tracks with a quick weekly pull. It’s easier now than later! After you weed, cover your soil in wood mulch stop weeds from germinating!

5. Water Watch: June’s weather is tricky. Check soil moisture and water deeply when needed, preferably early morning or late evening.


6. Pest Patrol: Look out for aphids, caterpillars, and beetles. Natural methods like companion planting or neem oil can help.


7. Prune & Deadhead: Keep your garden neat and encourage new growth by trimming back overgrowth and removing spent flowers.


8. Plan for Fall: Start thinking about your fall garden now. Prepare for cool-season crops like broccoli, carrots, and kale for an autumn harvest.

Join our community today and unlock access to monthly workshops with local agricultural experts!

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