We are really enjoying our early garden fresh tomatoes and cucumbers while looking forward to vine ripened melons soon. The raccoons enjoyed most of our early corn and reminded me why we usually put up electric fencing around our sweet corn. Succession sowings turn from hot weather crops to summer plantings for fall and winter harvest in July. Add carrots and beets to succession plantings early in the month and drop corn and beans at the end of the month.
In early July sow Pak Choy, Mizuna, and Chinese Cabbage for transplanting in 3 to 4 weeks.
By the 3rd week in July finish planting your main Brassicas for Fall (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, savoys) under spun polyester row cover. Continue to sow collards, Swiss chard, leaf beet, kale, radishes, and more Chinese cabbage in late July.
Transplant most Brassicas at 4 leaves (4-6 weeks) and other leafy greens earlier(2-4 weeks). Smaller seedlings suffer less transplant shock in hot weather if kept well watered. To reduce insect damage keep transplants under row cover until plants are large and sturdy.
By the end of the July if all goes well, you should be harvesting abundantly ripe juicy tomatoes, sweet red peppers, baskets of squash, green beans, southern peas, eggplant, chard, fresh herbs and more.
On Saturday July 28 come on out to our first Tomato Tasting of 2018 at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Try some tasty tomatoes then look around the gardens. Volunteers and garden staff will be at both the Kitchen Garden as well as the Permaculture Plot to answer any gardening questions. I will be there with books to sign, seeds to sell and free info about how you can get involved with the Virginia Association for Biological Farming(VABF).