Austin Gardening: What to Do in July
The dog days of summer are upon us in Central Texas, which means hundred-plus degree days, drought conditions and water-use restrictions. What’s a heat-exhausted gardener to do? The best July advice, complements of Southwest Austin’s Natural Gardener, is to just let the landscape rest. “We are entering our least productive season for planting here in Central Texas, except for the following tough summer vegetables,” says the website. “Accordingly, the planting recommendations are slim this month. Your best bet is to survive through the heat while you plan for the fall garden!” Gardening To Do List for July - Prepare and plant beds for the fall vegetable garden. - Plant vegetable seeds. Chard, sweet corn, cucumber, okra, black-eyed peas, pumpkin, salsify, New Zealand spinach, summer and winter squash, and watermelon. IN EARLY JULY: Plant eggplant. IN LATE JULY: Plant beans and cantaloupe. - Plant pumpkin seeds around the 4th of July to get jack o' lanterns for Halloween! - Plant vegetable plants: Pepper and tomato. - Plant herbs: Basil, oregano, and thyme. - Plant annual flower/ornamental seeds: Cosmos and morning glory. - Plant annual flower/ornamental plants: Blue daze, portulaca, purslane, and zinnia. - Plant perennial plants: Black-eyed Susan, ornamental grasses, Mexican bush sage, desert plants such as agave, nolina, sotol, and yucca. - Plant cover crops. For cowpeas (black-eyed peas) or buckwheat, plant in bare-soil or fallow areas to improve the soil while preventing and crowding out weeds. Till in the cover crop before it goes to seed - about one to two weeks - before planting there again. - Mulch all bare-soil areas. - Continue to foliar feed with seaweed or seaweed/fish emulsion combinations. Be sure to spray ONLY early in the morning or late in the evening. - Watering deeper and less frequently is better than watering more often for shorter periods of time. Watering in the morning is best. If you must water in the evening, avoid wetting the leaves. Areas that get deep shade will need less water than areas in full sun. - Spruce up the garden. Now is the time to do low-energy activities in the garden, if anything. Prune off dead limbs. Add yard art, a birdbath or feeder, or perhaps a pink flamingo. - Watch out for diseases and insect pests, and use the least toxic solution to the problem. Thank you, Natural Gardener! Check out the website’s information section for additional information. Or, take a trip to see them! Store Hours: Mon-Sat: 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Hours Change Seasonally) Address: 8648 Old Bee Caves Road Austin, Texas 78735 Phone Number: (512) 288-6113 Directions to the Natural Gardener: This gardening store is relatively close for residents of Legend Oaks, the Village at Western Oaks, Sendera, and Olympic Heights. For those coming from other parts of Austin, just avoid visiting the Natural Gardener during rush hour traffic! From South Austin: Take Hwy 290/Hwy 71 into Oak Hill. When you reach the "Y", take Hwy 71 West. Go about 1 mile to the traffic light at Fletcher. Turn right onto Fletcher and go about 1/4 mile until it dead ends into Old Bee Caves Road. Turn left onto Old Bee Caves Road and go 1/2 to 3/4 mile, The Natural Gardener is on the right. From North and Northwest Austin: Heading south on MoPac, take the Southwest Parkway exit. Turn right onto Southwest Parkway. Check the odometer, go 4.5 miles. You will pass Travis Country West and turn left onto Travis Cook Road. Go about 1/2 mile until it dead ends into Old Bee Caves Road. The Natural Gardener is at that intersection on the right. Happy Gardening! Austin REALTORS® at Regent Property Group support homegrown Austin businesses like the Natural Gardener. They also help luxury homebuyers stay on top of the latest in Austin trends from Westlake to Lake Travis. If you’re on the lookout for an Austin home for sale, just check out Austin Home Search!