Summer Garden Growing Tips

Summer Garden TipsGrowing a garden in the heat of the summer can be challenging. The further South you live the summer rains will bring more bugs and fungus. In the rest of the country summer is the best time to grow your garden. To get the most productive output from your garden during these months, you’ll want to be vigilant about a few things.

The first and most important item to consider when growing a Summer garden is to plant the vegetable varieties that are most suited for summer conditions. We have chosen vegetable varieties for the Summer Seasonal Garden Kit that will flourish in the hotter summer months.

Make sure your plants are getting adequate water. Most plants need 1 to 1 ½ inches each week. Soaker hoses are a great way to deliver this water to the plant through drip irrigation. The hoses allow water to seep out, slowly. This method is very effective because it places the water at the soil level. Evaporation is eliminated, the root zone is soaked, and the foliage stays dry.

Besides drought, the other major threat to your garden in the summer is pests. This is one of the reasons, planting warm season crops right after the risk of frost is gone is such a good idea. Many pests common in summer gardens won’t become a big problem until later in the season. By then, vegetables planted early are already beyond the point where they are at the most risk. But, for the various pests you may see in your garden, there are several ways to control them.

Inspect your garden for pests as often as you can, to control populations, and minimize damage as early as possible. Be sure to identify the bug you think may be a pest. Actually only about three percent of bugs and insects are considered pests. The others are beneficials (good for the garden) or neutral. Whenever possible, handpick any pests you can. Dropping the offenders into a cup of soapy water will finish the job. This works well for most pests including squash bugs, potato beetles, and cutworms.

The second line of defense in pest control is to use the least toxic methods available. One effective organic product is Insecticidal or Safer Soap comprised mostly of fatty acids. These products act on contact, by paralyzing the insects. They ultimately die of starvation. These soaps work well for pests such as aphids, and whiteflies, and spider mites.

Next in your arsenal of pests defenses should be insecticidal or horticultural oils. These products are derived from plant and petroleum oils, which kill eggs and immature stages of insects, by blocking their supply of oxygen. Don’t apply these products to plants during times when temperatures are below 40 or above 85 degrees F, or when plants are under stress, such as from drought. Applications at these times can damage the plants.

For the best soil possible in any hardiness zone we advocate Woodchip Gardening. You can learn more about this amazing God-given technique through the Back to Eden project. The steps that they list are suggestions, not instructions, based on Paul Gautschi’s experiences with creation and the Creator. They encourage people everywhere to spend time in the garden. Feel free to experiment, follow your intuition, learn from your mistakes, adapt to your local environment, and ultimately let God direct you on your journey back to Eden!

Self Reliance Strategies offers Seasonal Garden Seed Kits that are carefully selected to thrive in each particular season. We also offer Specialty Garden Seed Kits which are designed for specific situations (harsh climate, survival stockpiling, hydroponic gardening, etc.). Our seed kits are:

  • 100% Heirloom (non-hybrid)
  • 100% Non-GMO
  • Hermetically sealed to last up to 30 years, if stored properly
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