July is generally the start of our summer rainy season – that means it’s time to get out in the garden!
No, I am not crazy! My July kitchen garden tips are all about taking advantage of our monsoon season. For many seed varieties, the monsoons allow for a second summer growing season after crops planted in March and early April have matured and been harvested. These varieties have adapted over the centuries to the sudden burst of seasonal moisture and warm temperatures of late June through July. So get out there and start planting!
During our monsoon season, heat tolerant varieties can be started outside. Soil and ambient temperature aren't the same, so your plants will be just fine!
What are good options for your monsoon kitchen garden?
Just remember your ABC’s - amaranth, beans, corn, and squash. While there are many other options, these crops can really thrive now. Varieties that are from Southern Arizona and Northwest Mexico, where the North American monsoon season is most prevalent, are particularly well-suited.
It's important to purchase seed varieties that have a short growing season and can take full advantage of the few months of moist weather. I highly recommend searching the Monsoon Collection at Native Seed's. You can find them right HERE.
What To Plant in July
While planting more established plants, the sweltering temps time of year can be a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, seed starting now helps your plants acclimate to our climate and takes advantage of monsoon season. Below are some seeds I'm starting in July, as well as a few transplants that can handle our summer heat.
Black Eyed Peas
Bonus Kitchen Garden Tips
I always use water trays for my seed starting. Water trays helpful because you can water from the bottom, leaving the seeds in their cozy spots and undisrupted. If you're starting your seeds in reusable pots, make sure to clean between seed starts to prevent pests and disease. And don't forget sure to label your seed starts! New seedlings of various types often look alike, and labeling them will help to decide the right location to transplant them in your Phoenix kitchen gardens. Lastly, if you do not have space to seed start outside you can start seeds inside using grow lamps.
Ready for a garden adventure, but not sure where to start? Head to the PKG homepage or call 602-722-7971 to book a consultation.