The garden on August 1st

What can I plant NOW? There is life after lettuce!

Your lettuce is going to self-destruct in the heat, your peas too. But you can keep your plot going through the whole season.

Plant from seed (direct sow into ground) in July

  1. Green (bush) beans. If you sow them now you will have a crop at end of August. Easily grown and productive. You can sow up to July 15 if you get full sun. If you have partial sun, best to sow right now. Later in July, maybe, but you may not get a full crop depending on the weather.
  2. Green onions (scallions, aka bunching onions). You can sow now through July or into August for spring use. The beauty of scallions is that they last through the winter. What you don’t harvest this fall you can pick through the winter until early Summer 2022 (when they go to flower and aren’t edible anymore).
  3. Kale. Same as green onions — it survives the winter and can be harvested through to summer 2022, when it goes to flower and seed.
  4. Radishes. Fast growers.
  5. Greens of all kinds. Chinese cabbage, arugula, Swiss Chard, etc.
  6. Lettuce. You can start a new crop of lettuce at the end of July and early August.

NOTE: Try a light mulch over your seeds and water often, every 2 days or so, ’til seedlings are up.

Gardening in Mid-Summer – some tips


  • Watch the leaves of your tomato plants for signs of leaf spot diseases.
  • Pick off and dispose of sick leaves in the brown bags. (Try to find varieties that are disease resistant in the first place – this will make it easier. to succeed.)
  • Monitor for insect damage. Remove sick plants and dispose in the brown bags.


Flowering requires lots of energy so it can be quite helpful to fertilize flowering plants (including tomatoes, eggplants, squash, etc).


A garden needs one inch of rain or water each week. Early morning is the best time to water. Evening watering makes the plant more susceptible to fungus diseases. Water deeply twice a week as needed. Sprinkling lightly encourages shallow roots and makes the plants less drought tolerant.


Mulch your plot to reduce water losses and boost yields. Mulch can be straw, saltmarsh hay, buckwheat hulls, pine needles, old leaves, even newspaper. But not plastic. Do not use plastic in the community garden because it can break down into smaller and smaller plastic bits that remain in the soil.

Early May in the garden

We have a new plot for a pollinator garden. It’s all planted, so watch this space!
There are still some Romaine lettuce starters from Gotham Greens.
This kale over-wintered and now has gone to bolt. That is one healthy specimen…
Amazing tulips
Check out the new flower plat. Love the edging!

When will the water be turned on?

This from MJ Robinson, the city’s Community Gardener in Residence…

“The Parks Department has about 50 water connections that we start making as soon as the weather allows. This process requires coordination with Water Supply Board and balancing with our other responsibilities and capacity. Generally, we try to have all water connections flowing by Mother’s Day at the latest. This year, that is May 7. Our priority is on gardens that are needed for food security in some of our neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by COVID. I know all things green are popping earlier, but we ask for your patience as we work our way through the City.”

URI Cooperative Extension modifies seed giveaway

From their press release…

For more than 20 years, the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension and its Master Gardener Program have teamed with the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation to give away more than a million packets of vegetable, flower and herb seeds to schools, youth groups, community gardens and individuals throughout Rhode Island and beyond.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the organizers to modify the distribution of the seeds in 2021 to reduce the risk to the volunteers who traditionally sort, pack and distribute the seeds.

Read the full article.

What can I plant NOW?

Lettuce, spinach, radish, kale, greens, broccoli, beets, cauliflower, peas & snap peas, carrots, potatoes, turnips, green onions (scallions).

  • Peas and snap peas don’t tolerate heat.  Plant by mid April or wait until next year.
  • Spinach doesn’t tolerate heat or long days.  Plant now and choose varieties that say “long standing” or “slow bolt”.  You can plant again at end of summer. 

Basic gardening information from the University of Illinois Extension

Spreading Wood Chips

Every year we spread wood chips on the paths between the plots. This is done to keep the path from getting muddy and to keep the weeds down.

This year, the city delivered a load of wood chips and garden members helped to spread them. Many hands made light work!

Here’s the pile that we started with.
Look at those nice, fresh wood chips!
This kale survived the Winter and looks ready to eat!
We all made a big dent in the pile