I feel July is one of those months that we should all focus more on enjoying the sunshine and warm breezes Michigan summers are known for, and let the weeds have their moment (but only a moment). Soon we’ll be shoveling snow from driveways and praying our cars make it up steep, ice-covered streets. Seriously, enjoy the sunshine while you can.

If you’ve been caring for your garden for the past few months, then you should be harvesting delicious produce by now. Cucumbers, tomatoes, bush beans – your barbecues will likely feature home-grown goodies if you’ve been putting your green thumb to good use.

It’s hard to believe that autumn is just around the corner, but it will soon be upon us. To make the most of our growing season, now is the time to sow carrots, beets, kale, and tender greens for fall harvest. You may also get another run of cucumbers, bush beans, and summer squash in if you pop some seeds in the dirt. If you have fruit bushes or trees, now is a great time to make sure old canes are pruned and the base of fruit trees are kept free of rotting fruit.

Remember to harvest your garden goodies in the morning when temps are cool. If it’s been dry, water plants weekly and keep a water source available for pollinators (like a bird bath). Be careful to drench your plants at their base, avoiding the fruit and leaves so thirsty bugs and critters aren’t tempted to munch on your healthy produce.

Now’s the time to think about where you’d like new spring bulbs (garlic, anyone?) and fall-sown flowers to pop up next year as next month is the ideal time to order what’d you like to plant. If you find you have an abundance of herbs on your hands, plan to dry or freeze them (there are great instructions online) so they can be enjoyed during fall and winter months.

I hope you’ve had some success in the garden thus far! Life is so much easier when your produce aisle is just out back.

Happy harvesting!

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