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Introduction to a Cancer Garden
The Cancer garden is perfect for those who like summer, the beach, and diversity. Cancer's dates are from June 21 to July 22. The sign starts the summer season, and it is the first water element of the zodiac.
In this hub, I'll go over fruits, vegetables, and flowers that are in season during June and July. I'll also cover what makes the Cancer garden so special including:
- Using seashells as mulch
- Using sand in your garden
- Adding water elements
- Adding plants of contrasting colors
Your garden may have imagery of the moon or crabs, both popular symbols for Cancer. The garden should be a romantic and introspective place. You'll want shaded areas to protect you from the hot sun.
Cancer wants a garden that shows off their inner personality. They want their outdoor space to be creative, enlightening, and meditative.
Designing Your Garden
The Cancer garden is meant to have summer vibes. You want it to feel like you've perfectly captured June and July. A Cancer backyard is complete with a pool, a place to grill meats, and a charming garden patch.
Cancers love the outside world; they crave moonlight. They want a garden they feel comfortable exploring at night.
This is a garden hack. In some places, you can easily gather seashells or get them for free. They're rich in calcium and phosphates for soil. They can also be mixed together to help create lovely pathways that remind people of mermaids and pirates.
Mulching helps hold moisture in the soil. It keeps root temperature even, and controls against weeds. Natural mulch helps create stronger soil structure. As the mulch breaks down, it nourishes the soil.
Seashell have a long shelf life. They can deter snails and insects that don't like sharp shell edges. They're like pebbles: they hold the soil in around a planting bed and keep the soil cool and moist. It is better to select natural seashells than dyed ones.
Maintenance is simple: you can blow off debris with a leaf blower. Seashells are not a great piece in a wet or damp area, as they'll become overgrown with moss. However, if moss is your thing. . . look no further.
It takes years for the seashells to decompose. Sunny sites are best for them.
Sand in Gardens
Sandy loam is considered the ideal garden soil. Be careful: mixing sand and clay will essentially create cement.
Sand is great for hydroponics. Beach sand can be used for gardening only if other variables are in play: organic matter, compost, peat, bio-fertilizers, biochar, and inorganic materials. It can be done by mulching to make the soil fertile.
Good quality soil is essential for gardening. Beach sand is rich in quartz or silicon dioxide. Pure beach sand doesn't provide good space for water and oxygen to travel. For most gardeners, you likely don't want beach sand; it makes it hard for plants to get nutrients.
Beach sand has a high salt content, which can also deter growth. Beach sand should be tested to examine its characteristics before use, otherwise you'll kill your flora. Certain plants and vegetables do flourish in rough sand conditions:
- Root Vegetables: these are superstars for sandy soils. The roots of these vegetables are motivated by thirst. They have taproots and can shift around to get enough moisture. This includes: parsnips, carrots, and beetroots.
- Squash, Tomatoes, and Melons: they grow well in sandy soils if they are regularly watered and get enough sunlight.
- Collards and lettuce: sand warms up and dries quickly, which is perfect for some tender crops.
- Potatoes: they like acidic beachy soil. It prevents potato scab.
- Mediterranean herbs: grow well in dry and light soil. These herbs do not require amended sandy soil, but additions will likely better support the plants. Lavender is one herb to try in sand.
- Salt tolerant vegetables: spinach, asparagus, kale, peas, broccoli, and cabbage. Plant in amended sand soil.
Cancer is ruled by the moon. This sign craves reminders of the natural satellite. One beautiful way to do so: the moon gate. It's a rounded entrance that was popularized in China. The design used to belong only to the wealthy elite.
Moon gates add excitement. They invite people to draw closer to the garden and help build expectations about what to find behind the door. Moon gates can look pretty with flowers and vines climbing on and around them.
Cancer is the first water sign of the zodiac. It embraces water in its garden space. This sign should have flowers and plants that are eager to drink H2O.
Adding water features can add excitement to your outdoor space. You likely will want to install timed sprinklers, as many of your plants will likely need the consistent water.
Add mist machines to keep the moisture in the air and to help it circulate into the ground. Many of the plants, fruits, and vegetables that fit for June and July need moist and well-drained soil.
Beyond sprinklers, consider adding fountains and ponds. You likely don't want crabs walking around your garden space, even if you do live along the coast. Instead add ponds with beautiful and colorful fish. Summer signs embrace color; water signs, of course, embrace water.
You can also mimic the properties of water in you garden:
- Consider adding mirrors or reflective devices.
- Add glass pieces, which mimic the properties of ice.
- Blue and black are associated with water in feng shui.
- Add rounded objects into your garden.
- Add items that give off the sound of rain.
- Put winding paths in your garden; leave the more straight and logical paths for earth based signs.
Hermit Crab Sanctuary
I wrote that you don't really want crabs roaming around your garden. You could, however, have a hermit crab terrarium. They do best in tropical environments. They're social creatures, despite their name.
- Choose a terrarium with at least 5 gallons of space for every two crabs.
- It should have a hood to keep humidity in and keep your crab from escaping.
- They need climbing room and substrate to bury themselves for molting, humidity, heat, and much more.
- Never release a captive crab back into the wild.
- A hermit crab costs about $1 to $30. A tank will set you back about $60-$100+.
- They prefer bowls of water and saltwater.
- Add a heating pad and overhead light. Hermit crabs are cold blooded and need warmth.
- Calci-sand is what pet stores use for crabs.
- They don't bite, but they will reach out and try and hold on with their pincher claw. Warning: if they are held incorrectly, they will grab your skin to hang on.
- With proper care: your hermit crab can live up to 20 years. Without proper care, his life is greatly reduced (whether in captivity or a natural habitat.)
Cancer's Main Colors
Green, blue, and white make the Cancer happy. You should be able to easily achieve green in your yard, especially during June and July when chloroplasts should be full.
The sky will also give you plenty of blue. You may want to add decorations or plants that add even more of these colors. You may have to work a little harder to get white into the mix think: lilies, garlic, seashells, pebbles, pathways, containers, and images of clouds.
Green, blue, and white should be in abundance to get the right effect. Cancer is open to more color, as are all summer signs. The sign ultimately wants variety: it wants days with thunderstorms, wind, rainbows, sunshine, clouds, and birds chirping. Cancer is a nature lover at heart and borrows some of its love from the spring signs: Aries, Taurus, and Gemini.
Cancer loves flowers. The sign wants to feel like it can nourish life. It wants everyone to feel welcome and like they belong. This is why variety is a really good idea in the Cancer garden.
You can design your garden in a million different ways, you just don't want it to look like any ole garden in your neighborhood.
Be Consistent with Your Garden
You want to be proud of the variety. Neglecting a garden is a sin to the Cancer. They want flora and fauna. They don't need lots of fancy devices or gadgets. They're pretty okay with keeping things traditional and simple. They want a fragrant garden; they want a memorable garden.
20 Fruits and Vegetables in Season in Summer
Cancer is the season of fruits, melons, and green veggies. If you have the space in your backyard to plant a fruit tree, go for it.
Summer signs like for their garden to have a plethora of colors. The fruits and veggies have a high water content. You want sweetness: watermelons, raspberries, cherries, and mangoes.
Fruit trees can be hard to grow, so you'll want to do extensive research. You can speed up the process by going to nurseries and getting young trees to plant in your gardenscape.
Apples: the popular fruit is in season all year long. The fruit produces best when grown in full sunlight. Apple trees need six or more hours of direct sunlight. Plant seeds or trees in a north facing corner. Trees need to be in well-drained soil, but should be able to retain moisture.
- In cold northern climates, spring is the best time to plant apple trees.
- In less severe climates, early spring or late fall planting is recommended.
- Apples are notoriously difficult to grow. You may have worm or bug bitten crops. Apple trees are very sensitive. Extensive research is recommended before planting.
Apricots: the fruit grows well in places that have warm spring seasons and plenty of available water. Apricots are stone fruits, similar to plums, cherries, and peaches. The fruit needs deep, moisture loving soil that's well-drained. Your soil should be slightly alkaline. Apricot trees need about six to eight hours of sunlight.
- Apricots do grow well in containers. These trees are good for gardeners who have limited space.
- You don't need a second apricot tree for the blooms to produce fruit, at least for most varieties.
- Fresh apricots are at their peak from May through August.
Bananas: your climate might not work for bananas, but the peels do add a good source of phosphorous and potassium to gardens. The peels decompose quickly.
As for planting bananas: sow the seeds about 1/4 inch into the ground. Cover with dirt and compost. Keep the ground moist, but not drenched. You need damp conditions to grow banana trees.
- It takes about 9 months to grow a banana plant.
- Buy seeds for bananas, don't try to cultivate from a store bought banana.
- Bananas flourish in warm to hot conditions. 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cantaloupe: these melons are sprawlers. Plant them 3 to 4 feet apart in fertile, well-drained soil. Your soil should be mixed with several inches of compost and other rich organic matter. Cantaloupe needs to be nourished with nutrients. The popular summer fruit also needs plenty of vitamins from sunlight.
- The best time to plant cantaloupe: warm and hot times of the year.
- Give the cantaloupes one to two inches of water weekly.
- Spray Epsom salt on cantaloupes and watermelons to protect them from insects and rot. (6 1/2 tablespoons of Epsom salt + 3 1/2 tablespoons of borax, 5 gallons of water.)
Celery: plant celery indoors if you live in a colder climate about 8-10 weeks before the last frost. Celery needs three to four months to grow, if you want it by May or June.
For a winter crop, sow seeds in September or October. Make sure you plant in a loose bed of soil. Pat 2-3 seeds into each cell. Don't push them down hard! They should be out in the open so they can see the sun.
- The seeds need direct sunlight to germinate.
- Put a fluorescent grow light over them to give them the light they crave at night and in colder months.
- Don't plant too many seeds around each other: it will give you more work to do. (Lots of thinning.)
Cherries: the popular red fruit needs plenty of sunshine. Avoid planting trees in the shady areas of buildings. The trees should be in well-drained soil. Space the sweet cherries 35 to 40 feet apart, dwarfs, 5 to 10 feet; tart cherries 20 to 25 feet, dwarfs 8 to 10 feet.
It takes cherry trees three to five years to produce edible fruit. You have to plan ahead if you want fruit trees.
- Cherry trees are likely going to be easier for you to plant and help mature than apple trees.
- Sweet cherries: suited for mild temperatures and low humidity. Tart cherries: cooler temperatures, need 2 months of winter temperatures under 45 degree F.
- Don't plant cherry trees next to walls, buildings, or other structures. The further away, the better.
Corn: plant in several short rows, not in one or two long rows. Corn seeds should be 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 inches apart from each other. It takes about 60 to 100 days to grow corn: it depends on the weather and other climate variables. Don't plant corn near tomatoes; they'll attract the corn earworm and tomato hornworm. Also, don't plant them near broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower.
- Water twice weekly. Water the corn more if it's hot and dry outside.
- Normal plants: grow fast with dark green leaves.
- Before planting: soak dry seeds at room temperature overnight.
Eggplant: also called aubergine. Plant when the soil is moist. Water regularly. Avoid overhead watering to prevent disease. Use mulch to keep soil moist, warm, and to prevent weed growth. Eggplants are sun worshipers. Improve native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost.
- Space eggplant seeds 2 to 3 feet apart.
- Harvest when fruits stop growing and their skin looks glossy.
- Remove ripe fruit with shears. Leave a portion of the stem attached.
Garlic: a good garden wards off vampires. Garlic takes about 90 days to grow. It is easy to grow and doesn't require a lot of space. Garlic grows from individual cloves broken off from a whole bulb. Each clove will multiply in the ground and form a new bulb that consists of 5 to 10 cloves.
- It's best to plant from bulbs, not grocery store leftovers.
- You can plant garlic in pots.
- Soak the cloves for at least eight hours. 12 to 16 hours is ideal. Your bulbs will start to produce roots as they soak.
Green Beans: another crop that loves the sun. Beans need eight hours of direct sunlight. They do well in fertile, well-drained soil. Raised beds are ideal. Green beans can be grown in pots and planters. Green beans grow compactly; they don't require extra support like a trellis. Pole beans grow as climbing vines that may reach 10 to 15 feet tall.
- You can plant these once the soil has warmed up in spring.
- Green beans are frost sensitive.
- It takes about 55 days to grow green beans.
Honeydew Melon: they grow vines that require a great deal of space. They're best grown in raised mounds or on trellises, spaced 3 to 4 feet apart. It takes about 65 to 100 days to grow fruit. Its companion crops are: butternut squash, catnip, chives, cilantro, onions, oregano, peas, and pumpkin. Honeydew melon and watermelon are enemies (as well as cantaloupe, cucumbers, and potatoes).
- Honeydew melons are best planted in warm, temperature weather. The perfect 65 to 75 degrees range.
- Bad honeydew: turns a dark yellow, the rind will be soft and collapse, it will smell foul, it will taste bland or even vinegary.
- Honeydew melon = green / Cantaloupe = orange
Lima Beans: grow in full sunlight. They can grow in partial shade, but the harvest won't be full. Lima beans do well in loose, well-drained soil. They take about two to three months to grow. They're not difficult to grow, but they don't like frost.
Do not soak seeds before planting. It will cause them to crack. Do not over water them after sowing.
- Keep them moist until germination. Give them about 1 inch of water a week.
- In hot, dry weather, give them more water and mulch around the roots.
- If the soil is too wet, the beans might not grow.
Mangoes: it takes five years to produce fruit off a mango tree. You don't necessarily need two mango trees to produce fruit, but it won't hurt to have two. Mangoes are monoecious: producing both male and female flowers. Mango trees will outlive you: they live about 100 to 200 years!
- Mango trees less than 10 years old may flower and fruit every year. After that, they may alternate, or become biennial.
- Mango trees need at least six hours of sunlight each day. They prefer eight to ten hours of sun. In the winter, you might need a grow light.
- Young trees should be fertilized once a month for the first year.
Okra: it's easy to grow and looks lovely during the growing season because of its flowers. It's rich in vitamin A and low in calories. It's good for your diet, so there are a lot of pluses. Okra takes about 50 to 65 days to grow. The plants can produce for ten to 12 weeks. It grows and bears seed pods until the first frost. Start harvesting a few days after the okra blooms fade.
- Plant in hot weather. It thrives at 60+ degree F.
- Space okra plants 10 inches apart
- Mix in aged compost and rich organic fertilizer.
Peaches: select a type that is more cold or heat tolerant for your growing needs. Peaches need at least 600 chilling hours at 45 degrees F. You should pick a peach tree that grows naturally in your climate. Plant in late winter or early spring. Your planting site should have plenty of sun. After planting the tree, water the soil and fill in the hole. I recommend getting a tree from a nursery rather than starting from scratch.
- Most peach trees are self-fertile, so planting one tree is all that's needed.
- The tree doesn't need to be watered every day, but it will need more water if it's dry outside.
- In the United States, the top four peach producing states are: California, South Carolina, Georgia, and New Jersey.
Plums: plant plum trees in loamy, well-drained soil. Plums don't have a fighting chance in clay-heavy soils. Plums also worship the sun. They need six to eight hours of direct sunlight.
It takes four to six years to grow a plum tree. Plums also need winter chill, pruning, and the right climate.
- Many of the tree varieties are self-fertile. You only need one plum tree, most likely.
- Some plum trees won't produce fruit for more than a decade!
- They need the soil to be moist. Water should go down 2 feet. In the summer, use a sprinkler.
Raspberries: the fruit must be planted in an area that gets ample sunlight. They can grow in partial shade, but the bushes won't produce as much fruit. The soil should be rich and well-drained. Bushes should be about 3 to 4 feet apart. Raspberries are perennials, but their branches only live for about two summers. New primocanes are produced each year, so fruit production continues annually.
- It takes about two years to grow raspberries from scratch.
- The best time to plant is in spring.
- Don't plant near potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and strawberries.
Summer Squash: it takes about two months to grow. They're harvested during the summer while still young. Plant in well-drained soil with a healthy amount of compost. Plant them in a place with ample sunshine. They cannot tolerate frost. Drench plants in liquid fertilizer when they begin to blossom.
- Sow seeds 1 inch deep into the ground in spring, well after the frost has gone.
- Water consistently.
- When vines grow to 5 feet, pinch off the growing tips. This will encourage fruit-bearing side-shoots.
Tomatillos: the crop takes about three to four months to grow. Plant at least two tomatillos for a good harvest. Contact with the ground prevents spoiling. The food is ready to harvest when the papery husk surrounding the fruit turns from green to tan. The fruit will be bright green, purple, or yellow depending on the variety.
- A mature tomatillo will be the size of a cherry tomato (or larger).
- Don't plant near fennel or dill. They have oils that can prevent root development and kill neighboring plants. Don't plant near potatoes or eggplants either.
- Good plant companions: garlic, cilantro, peppers, onions, oregano, tomatoes, and basil.
Watermelon: plant from late spring to early summer. Once soil temperatures reach 70 degree F. Space watermelons 3 to 5 feet apart. They need nutrient rich soil that's well-drained. They do best in loamy, somewhat sandy soil. Grow the vines in raised rows. It will ensure good drainage and allow the watermelons to get more sunlight and heat.
- Watermelons are creatures of heat. They do best in warmer climates.
- Watermelons do not survive through winter. They will need to be replanted.
- About two to three melons will grow per plant.
Epsom Salt Is a Cancer Garden's Best Friend
Epsom salt should be fed to plants that crave magnesium, like tomatoes, peppers, and rose bushes. Epsom salt mixed with water and sprayed directly on foliage helps produce bigger and sweeter flowers and fruits.
Before you go wild with epsom salt, do some research to find out which flora wants more magnesium. Some plants do just fine with low levels of magnesium: beans and leafy vegetables, for instance.
Magnesium allows plants to better take in nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus. It also helps with the creation of chlorophyll. Magnesium helps your plants abilities to grow flowers and fruit.
It is hard to overuse epsom salt, unlike most commercial fertilizers.
How Often Should I Use Epsom Salt?
As a general rule: substitute regular watering either once or twice a month. Before using, it's a good idea to get your garden tested for magnesium levels.
Most plants can be misted with a diluted solution of 2 tablespoons once a month. For more frequent watering, cut back to 1 tablespoon.
Flowers in Season
Anemones: plant corms 6 inches apart, with five rows per bed. Cover the plants with a frost cloth during the cold season. The flowers grow back every year if they're taken care of properly. They're very easy to grow, but don't over water the soil. The best period for planting is between June and July, the dates of Cancer.
Carnations: you can grow in pots before planting after the last frost. Sow carnation seeds indoors eight weeks before the last frost. They grow best in an area with four to six hours of sunlight. Carnations need well-drained soil that's fertile and slightly alkaline. These flowers can take a long time to grow from scratch: one to two years. The flora grows well in containers.
Cosmos: sow seeds lightly, about 1/4 inch deep. Spread them about a foot and a half apart from each other. Wait to plant until after the last frost. Cosmos don't need any special soil prep. The flowers don't like soil that is too rich. To give your Cosmos the longest season possible: grow early indoors, in March or April.
Dahlias: give them a head start in containers while soil warms up outside. You want the ground to be about 60 degrees F. Lay tubers on their sides with the stems up. Cover with 2 inches of soil. Wait until you see growth breaking through to water. Dahlias require full sunlight. They need 6+ hours of sun. Less sun will = less flowers.
Hydrangeas: dig the planting holes 2 feet wider than the root ball. They grow in most soils, and thrive in heavy clay. To the soil, add compost. Hydrangeas grow best with light shade. They're easy to grow, and they tolerate a variety of conditions. Colors can be diverse from blue, pink, white, and purple. They make for great shrub borders.
Peonies: they're pretty tolerant. They relish in cold winters; they need chilling to help make good buds. They prefer a sunny location. If a peony is well situated, it could bloom for 100 years or more. What can help their longevity? Good air circulation, well-drained soil, sunshine, and preventing the disease botrytis.
Roses: the rose is the perfect flower for a Cancer garden. They're popular, they smell wonderful, the petals are desirable, and they have the moodiness of thorns. You can get roses in any color. Plant them in a space where they can worship the sun and with good drainage. Rose bushes should receive six to eight hours of direct sunlight. They like rich, organic soil.
Sunflowers: they're heat resistant, pest resistant, and fast growing. They're native to North America. They require sunlight. When young, they track the sun. They're heavy feeders, so they need nutrient-rich organic matter, compost, and manure. You can grow sunflowers in pots. Check the height information on your packet of seeds before planting. (Some get really big and may need more space to grow.)
Tulips: another popular summer favorite. You can pick these in just about any color. They're easy to grow. They need sun + excellent drainage. Plant tulips 8 inches deep with the pointy end up. Tulips come back every year. Tulips multiply and form clumps that grow bigger each year. A process called naturalizing. (Allow the bulbs to dry before storing.)
Zinnias: the lovely fragrant flowers can add a burst of color to your garden. They're annuals, so they will grow back. Plant zinnias after all danger of frost has passed. You can start seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before your last frost date. They don't need a lot of garden prep. As with most items: they need sun + good-drainage.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Andrea Lawrence