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July is for planting the Denver garden, again

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It's July in the Denver garden. The lettuce has stopped producing new leaves. The tomatoes are getting closer to harvest. Guess what time it is? Time to plant broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and more for a fall harvest. What can I plant in July? Anything that holds up well to fall weather or needs a little cold snap to crisp it up. Of course, with the Denver growing season lasting until late October, I'm always re-planting. July, however, is what I call a crux month.

Gardening season may be half over elsewhere. In the semi-arid Denver climate, it's only just begun. I grew up back east where summer is short and somewhat chilly at either end. I love, love, love this longer growing season. It's not quite the tropics, but it makes me very happy in my garden. In fact, this is the time of year when my garden gets a look over and a fresh start.

I've already started with the lettuce. I've pulled up whatever has stopped producing and start re-planting seeds. Hopefully what we have left will hold us until the new stuff comes up and out in 10 days or so. My fingers are crossed because I'm not a big fan of store bought produce. Having fresh veggies from the garden is the best benefit to summer.

My peas didn't do so well in the heat wave. That's OK, I'll re-plant them too. Likewise with the cucumbers. I'm so lucky to live in Denver where we still have plenty of time to re-plant in July. Peas and cucumbers are big fans of cold snaps too, which is what we'll be having at just about the time they're ready to harvest.

Next I'll move on to bigger things. Big things with heads, that is. I used to plant all my veggies at the beginning of the gardening season. I've gotten smarter about that. Head veggies like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli do much better when planted in the middle of the Denver growing season. Head lettuce does better too. They wilt in the hot Denver summer sun if they're too mature at that point.

Is there any room left? If so, I'll fill in with some late blooming flowers to give everything that finished look. It's so nice to live in Denver where gardens are blooming well into the fall. Know what else is nice about this longer growing season? It gives all my late bloomers time to catch up. That means I'll have second and possibly even third harvests this year!

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