What To Do In Your Coop In July

What To Do In Your Coop In July

It’s July, and the middle of summer comes with it’s own special chores. Here’s what to do in your coop in July so you raise a healthy flock of hens, ducks, geese, and more!


Keep out pests with herbs and spices

Use cinnamon, peppermint, wormwood, and other herbs to prevent pests. You can also use a blend such as PestsBGone.



Fly strike can be (and often is) deadly, but you might be able to prevent it if you’re vigilant. If your hens have any cuts or abrasions, be sure to clean the wound thoroughly DAILY and cover if possible.


If it looks like your chicken or duck is excessively bothered by flies, bring him or her inside, clean the wound (get a vet’s advice if you see maggots at all) and keep her inside until the wound is healed.


If you have roosters and/or drakes, be sure to check the bellies of your hens for cuts. If your hens have bare skin on their bellies, consider isolating them from the roosters.


Clean coop thoroughly to keep out flying pests.

Daily is best to reduce flies. Sweep out old bedding and sprinkle with an all natural coop refresher to reduce ammonia.


Clean out nesting boxes

Clean nesting boxes to reduce the fly population. If broody hens are sitting on eggs, don’t clean the nesting boxes, but apply herbs to try to freshen. You don’t want to disturb the hen and accidentally cause her to abandon her nest.


hens in nesting boxes

Use fans to try to increase circulation in very hot coops

If possible, use a fan in the coop. Be sure it can’t be knocked over, and that it has a safety cover.


Check on chickens regularly throughout very hot days for possibility of heat stroke and provide extra ice water if needed.

Heat stroke can creep up suddenly. If your hens seem disoriented, are laying down and won’t get up, or suddenly can’t walk, they might be heat stressed. Try to prevent heat stress by providing ice water and lots of shade.


Make frozen treats out of beef tallow or other solid fat with a high smoke point

Use frozen peas, corn, or other treats to entice your hens to eat the frozen treat. Beef tallow treats don’t melt easily, and chickens love the taste.


Create extra shade in the run with tarps, wood, etc to prevent heat stroke

It looks ugly, but it might save a life.


Fill nesting boxes with extra herbs (such as Scent of Spring) to promote egg laying

Your chickens might need extra support in the summer heat. Nesting herbs also provide a healthy living environment.


Provide an extra calcium supplement such as oyster shells, dried eggshells, or Best Eggs Ever Nesting Herbs!

In addition to extra nutrients (see above) your chickens might need extra calcium to lay eggs.


Add electrolytes to water on very hot days & thoroughly clean waterers that are dirty.

Electrolytes might help your hens avoid heat stress, and they’re easily administered in water. You can find electrolytes in your local farm store.


Keep chicks in shade as much as possible

Chicks especially are vulnerable to heat stroke. Place chicks in an area that’s always out of direct sun, and provide water with electrolytes.


For ducks, provide a pool or flood part of the run so they have a cool place to lay down

You can do this for chickens, also! You’ll notice your ducks laying down to keep cool. If you can flood an area under a tree or other shade, that’s even better.

20 Vegetables You Can Start In July For A Full Fall Harvest

20 Vegetables You Can Start In July For A Full Fall Harvest

It might be July, and you might be thinking your gardening window has slammed shut, but don’t despair: There’s still PLENTY you can plant for a full fall harvest.


(This article is an excerpt from my #1 Amazon Best Selling book Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening. You can grab it on sale on Amazon by clicking here!)


We’ve finished harvesting the cool weather crops we planted in March, so there’s lots of space opening up in our garden for a fall garden full of leafy greens, root crops, and more.


Our planting season lasts longer than other areas of the country because we can harvest veggies well into November (the temperatures don’t get really freezing until January).


Even if you haven’t started a garden at ALL this year, there’s still plenty of options that you can start right now – and they’ll be ready in less than 90 days.


In this article, I show you 20 vegetables you can still start in July for a full fall harvest, PLUS which veggies are hardy down to 25 degrees.

Remember: Even if your area has early frosts, you can use a cold frame to keep them growing. In this article, I show you which vegetables do well in cold frames.


Not sure what crops to grow in May? Here's a guide!


20 Vegetables You Can Plant Right Now


You have options for leafy greens, root veggies, and vegetables you can ferment for a healthy snack all winter long (great for kid’s lunches too!)


Each vegetable listed takes between 60 to 90 days to mature, so you can expect a reasonably large harvest (depending on how much you plant) by the time frost hits.


Here’s what you can plant in July for a full fall harvest:


  • Herbs in pots
  • Beets
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Collard Greens
  • Green Onions
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips


What Vegetables Will Survive Down To 25 Degrees


While some of the veggies listed will survive in colder temperatures than 25 degrees (we’ve successfully overwintered spinach without a cold frame), they probably won’t grow too much when the temperatures really dip low and the ground freezes.


With the root vegetables, such as radishes, it’s important to make sure you harvest them before the ground completely freezes. You also don’t want the ground freezing and then thawing – that can cause rot.


And Remember: You can continue to grow these veggies in a South-facing cold frame well into winter in some areas! Make sure your cold frame gets plenty of light.


(In Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide to Backyard Gardening, I share full plans to create your own cold frame out of scrap wood as well as directions to build a hot bed with manure).


Vegetables that will survive down to 20 degrees are:

  • Beets
  • Green onions
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Cabbage
  • Collards
  • Spinach


Vegetables That Will Survive a Light Frost (30 degrees or higher)


While not all vegetables can survive below 30, there are some that CAN survive a light frost, and are even enhanced by it.


Mustard and kale are two leafy greens that actually benefit from a light frost – it enhances their flavor. You can keep them in the garden longer than other vegetables, but once the temperatures will consistently be below 32 degrees, you will want to pull them out of the ground or take your chances in a South-facing cold frame.


All the veggies listed in the previous section can survive a light frost. Other vegetables that do well when frost hits are:


  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Turnips


Here’s What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: July

Here’s What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: July

Throughout my experiences with gardening and working at a farm, I’ve learned that not everyone understands what fruits and vegetables are in season.

When I worked for a local farmer, I was asked many times if we had locally grown corn. In January. Now in somewhere that’s warm year round that might fly, but where I live it’s a little bit to cold for local corn in January;)


Each month I’m writing an article about what fruits and vegetables are in season during that month. Obviously this will vary depending on where you live, so this is a very general guide of what might be in season in your area and what you should look for when you head out to your local farmers market.


Eating locally grown food supports local farmers and it tastes SOOO GOOD!

Since this is a general guide, I recommend that you check out The Seasonal Food Guide. All you have to do is put in your zip code and the time of year and it will tell you exactly what foods are in season in your area! It’s an awesome resource that I use all of the time.


I always try to cook meals based around the foods that are season, so I’ve also included recipes for each fruit or vegetable that’s in season this month.

Alright so let’s get going! Here’s what you should buy at the farmer’s market in July!


July is one of my favorite months because of all of the fresh local food. In my area, July is when farmer’s markets really get going and there’s a farmer’s market going on somewhere almost every day. July is awesome because of all of the yummy fresh fruits and veggies are getting started! There’s nothing better than a locally grown watermelon on the Fourth of July (check out my favorite Fourth of July recipes here).




Oh corn. It’s one of my absolute favorite things about summer. There’s nothing better than some delicious corn on the cob. I love corn on the cob so much that I actually freeze my corn on the cob (in the husk!) so I can still eat corn on the cob once it’s out of season!

I take my leftover corn on the cob and use it to make my own corn syrup. I know, I know, corn syrup isn’t great for you, but especially if you make your own candy sometimes it’s necessary. And making your own is way better than buying the processed stuff from the store. Check out my guide on how to make your own corn syrup.


Grilling corn on the cob tastes AMAZING! Check out this awesome recipe for the BEST grilled corn on the cob ever!



Cucumbers might be my favorite vegetable ever. They’re just SOO good! Now in my area cucumbers start showing up at the end of July or the beginning of August and that means it’s time to make some homemade pickles. I love pickling vegetables and you can check out some of my favorite recipes here. Also check out this quick and easy homemade pickles recipe!




Now eggplants are something that I don’t have a lot of experience with. But I’m dying to try them out! I’ll definitely be picking a couple up this month at the farmer’s market so I can try out this amazing baked eggplant parmesan recipe!



Plums are in season in July! I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with plums. I love eating them raw, but I’m dying to try this plum crisp recipe. It looks like the perfect dessert for a summer night!




If you’re lucky, tomatoes should start popping up in your farmer’s market in July, usually later in the month. In my area they don’t start showing up until August, but I’ve found a farmer who grows early tomatoes in his greenhouse, so I can fulfil my fresh tomato cravings until the plants in my garden start producing;)


I LOVE tomatoes and I wish I could have them all year long! One great way to preserve some of your fresh tomatoes is to dry them! Dried tomatoes add an amazing burst of flavor to meals, so I love having them around. Check out my tips on how to dry your own tomatoes here!

I’m dreaming of eating fresh tomatoes right now, but come August I’ll probably be drowning in them. I love this Quinoa Stuffed Tomato Recipe because it’s DELICIOUS and it’s gluten-free.


And since I’m a tomato fanatic I also make my own homemade tomato sauce so that I can have tomatoes all year long.


Summer Squash


Summer squash is in season in July! Honestly, y’all probably don’t even need to buy these from the farmer’s market. Wait until yellow squash and zucchini are producing like crazy and your neighbors will be practically begging you to take some of their squash;) I love summer squash and it’s an easy plant to grow especially for busy people (because it doesn’t take a lot of work and it’s very productive).


Got more zucchini on your hands than you can handle? Try out this easy zucchini and parmesan soup. It’s so easy to make and it’s a great way to use up your extra zucchini.




Depending on your area, you might be able to get watermelon in late July! The second I see fresh watermelon at the farmers market I buy A LOT because my family can go through watermelon fast! I’m a huge watermelon fan and it’s the perfect treat for a hot summer day. Check out this amazing watermelon sherbet recipe that’s sure to help you cool off after a long day out in the heat.




I LOVE herbs and mint is one of my absolute favorite herbs to use for chickens. I use it with lavender to stimulate laying (I sell dried peppermint in the store here), and I use it as a natural fly repellant. I also use it for when I have an upset stomach. I chew on mint leaves or I’ll infuse it in my tea using my tea infuser. It works wonders at settling down an upset stomach!

Green Beans


I’ll admit I was never a fan of green beans growing up. We had the canned ones from the grocery store and honestly, they’re just gross. Then I tried fresh green beans and man they are so good!


This roasted green beans with parmesan recipe looks amazing! I’m so excited to try it out once green beans start showing up at my local farmers market!




I LOVE peppers. Mostly because I love chips and salsa way more than I should. Homemade salsa is amazing and fresh, locally-grown peppers make it even better. Check out this quick and easy homemade salsa recipe for a yummy side dish for your next barbecue.

Do you eat locally grown food from the farmers market? I’d love to hear about it! Share what you bought at the farmer’s market this month in the comments below!