Not only do we celebrate our great nation’s birthday this month, we also will be starting to harvest our gardens!  It’s always such a great feeling picking fresh zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and more!

In addition to picking our crops, there are a few other things that we must do in July to keep our gardens green and producing!

  • Watering your garden is your top priority!  Gardens should be watered either early or late in the day when less will be lost to evaporation. 
  • Keep the weeds at bay!  Unfortunately, keeping your garden free from weeds is a never-ending task, those little rascals grow so darn fast and can impede your plants growth if not removed.  Weeds are easier to pull when the soil is damp, so make it a habit to pull these after your daily waterings. 
  • As some of your plants grow taller, it’s important to stake and support them so they do not fall or break.  When you stalk your plants, make sure to keep ties loose so the plants are not choked as they continue to grow!

July also means that the kids are out of school and most likely are a little bored.  Why not include them in your gardening activities?  What a great way to spend time with your kids by having them involved in the garden!  They will look forward to each day as they watch “their” garden grow and produce! Here are some fun things to do with your kids:

  • Vegetable Scrap Regrowing- This is a no-cost, minimal effort that will help your kids entertain themselves while you finish lunch or dinner!  Some vegetables that can be regrown are carrots, basil, avocados, mint, cilantro, celery, onions, pineapples, romaine lettuce and more.  All of these can be started in the kitchen and eventually transferred to pots.  When you chop your vegetables, keep the base of the vegetables.  Many can be started in water or a small amount of dirt, while others can be dried a day or two and planted. 
  • Grow Potatoes in a Ball Jar- Do you have some potatoes that have a lot of eyes on it?  Don’t throw them away! These are perfect for regrowing!  Use toothpicks and pierce it around the sides in the middle.  Place the potato in the mason jar so that half of it is inside the jar.  Fill it with enough water to cover the bottom of the potato.  Place the jar in a sunny windowsill where it can stay warm.  In about two weeks, it will begin sprouting greenery.  Keep changing the water out so that it remains clear too. 
  • Sprout Some Seeds- Sprouted seeds are a great way to boost you and your kids’ immune systems because they are rich in enzymes!  Plus, your kids are more inclined to eat them since they GREW them! What are sprouted seeds?  They are germinated seeds of sunflower, broccoli, alfalfa, clover, mustard, radish, dill, pumpkin, and various beans such as kidney, pinto, navy and more.  You can get these seeds at the Marshall County Co-op and they can be sprouted in as little as 3 to 10 days!  What a great indoor activity for the kids!  They will love it as they watch the tiny seeds open and sprout.  These can be eaten in a delicious smoothie or raw in salads and more.  
  • Garden Stone Painting- Have your kids find some stones (take a nice walk with them and collect them together).  Set them up an outside painting area and let their imaginations flow!   Use them to identify plants in the garden, or to just decorate your garden! 

If at any time you have any garden questions, need garden supplies or fertilizers, etc., remember that the Marshall County Co-op is there for you.  Knowledgeable employees and all your necessary gardening supplies. 

Take the time this summer to connect with the earth and your kids.  Summer won’t be here forever, so enjoy each and every day.

And Happy Birthday America!  GOD BLESS THE USA!