July 2015 Newsletter

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Upcoming Events

MAITC Summer Teachers' Institute: August 3-7

School Garden Open House: September 21-25

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July in the Garden

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Most of you have completed the school year, planted your garden, and you can finally relax. Your biggest concern school garden-wise is making sure you’ve lined up summer volunteers to water, weed and pick produce to share with your local food pantry, needy school families, or other outlets. Make sure hoses, water cans, and sprinklers are functional and that you have all the tools volunteers will need. Provide task lists and information about where things are, such as keys to garden sheds.

July is a good time to start a new garden area by using a permaculture method called lasagna layering or sheet mulching. This is a method of building a rich garden soil by layering materials such as cardboard, compost, seaweed, manure and newspaper. Let the layers decompose and it will be  ready to plant next spring. In addition to starting a new garden bed, mulching over bare ground can help the soil retain moisture during the hot and dry summer months. Learn more about permaculture methods from the Resilience Hub.

Continue succession planting crops during July. Try to have your final batch of fall crops in the ground by the middle of the month (cabbage, broccoli, carrots, etc). Continue sowing short season crops like lettuce and radishes through the end of the month. It’s best to check seed packets for info on days to maturity before planting so you can count days back to know when to sow them. Johnny’s Select Seeds has planting charts to help you with this.

Summer Watering

The ideal way to water vegetable and flower gardens would be to have a drip system on a timer. If that is not an option, here are some basic tips to conserve water, use your time wisely, and help prevent plant diseases:

1. Water in the early morning hours whenever possible.

2. Water deeply so that you need to do it less often and the root system gets the water. The usual recommendation is an inch of water per week for established plants. Newly planted seeds and seedlings need more water, as do many annual flowers.

3. Pay attention to Mother Nature. If you’ve gotten substantial rainfall, adjust your watering.

4. Water the soil around the plant rather than directing it onto the leaves and flowers. This helps cut down on plant pathogens. If using an above ground sprinkler, water earlier in the day. This ensures that in most cases plant leaves will dry off prior to nightfall. Avoid midday watering since leaves can “burn” and water is lost to evaporation.

Don't Miss This Event!

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Summer Teachers' Institute

Armloads of Curricula! Online resources!
Local Ag Tours!  Guest presenters! 
3.6 CEU's or 36 Contact Hours for Re-certification
$200 cost ($450 value) Scholarships Available
Registration form available at