July Gardening

We are all doing our best to keeping ourselves, our family and our communities free from COVID-19 and gardening keeps us at home.
July will be hot.   The tomatoes will ripen!

  • Cut back your asters and chrysanthemums before the middle of July.  Cut them about 6 inches back to a node where a leaf emerges.  That is the point where new growth will start.  Cutting back will encourage branching and produce bushier plants with more flowers.  Chrysanthemums have a tendency to flop over.  Cutting back helps with this problem.

  • Are you battling earwigs now?  Earwigs feed at night and hide during the day so they are not evident but the damage they do certainly is.  If you have mysterious holes in leaves or chunks out of them, it may be earwigs.  Check the Garden Recipes in the Gardening Info section of this site.

  • Be sure to check your roses every day for sawfly larvae.  Note that there is more than one sawfly.  In fact, I have three different sawfly larvae on my roses:  little green ones that eat the edges, see-through guys that skeletonize the leaves, and another little green jobby that is usually curled and loves to eat the buds.  I monitor the roses and pick these guys off whenever I find them.  Finding is easy:  I can spot eating evidence and especially frass (bug poop) below their location.

  • Irises are finished blooming.  Now is the time to lift the clumps and divide them.

  • Remember to deadhead your annuals to keep them flowering.

  • Water your hanging baskets every day.

  • Renew your mulches as needed. Remember to leave a few bare spots for ground bees to make homes.

  • Tie up your tomatoes.

  • Pick your first zucchini.

    Pollinator Patches

    "Be the change you want to see in the world." When Mahatma Ghandi said that he must have been thinking about Pollinator Patches. You can make a difference in your world this year by creating a Pollinator Patch -- a habitat for native bees.

    To help you build your own Pollinator Patch, see our Roadsides Guide.

    Roadsides Guide to Creating Pollinator Patches

    The first Pollinator Patch was planted in Barrie, Ontario, in May of 2010. Visit the Roadsides site, read the blog, and be sure to look at the gallery to see pictures of the creation of Pollinator Patch from Year 1 to the Weaning Year 5.

    Roadsides web site


    The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us. --- E. O. Wilson



    Jottings contains some articles I wrote for the monthly newsletter of Barrie's Garden Club and other projects. I hope you enjoy them.


    It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. Ansel Adams (1902-1984)


    Hints & Tricks

    This is a collection of neat ideas and crazy tricks that I've collected from various sources. Many are amusing, and most are useful. We gardeners just love to learn neat little ways of doing our gardening jobs more effectively. My most popular talk was just that: "Hints and Tricks."

    Most of the hints I've used myself or know someone who will vouch for them. All of them are fun to read and almost as much fun to do.


    We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it's forever. Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)


    Gardening Info

    This is a miscellaneous section of odds and sods of information I've collected and would like to share. I've found most of the information in magazines and on the internet or in the many gardening books I can't resist buying!

    You'll also find some of my favourite links on the Gardening Info page.


    "Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A.’s job." ~ Philip Angell, Monsanto's Director of Communications (October 1998)


    The Blog

    I guess the whole site is a sort of blog, isn't it?

    But this new section is a more conventional blog -- a space to put my thoughts and new ideas as I learn them or think them.