July Gardening Tips

Gardening tips for July


Did you know…

95% of this year’s weeds come from seed dropped last season. Yank those weeds before they go to seed!

Herb & Vegetable Seeds for July Planting

  • arugula
  • basil
  • beans
  • beets
  • borage
  • carrots
  • chard
  • cilantro
  • dill
  • sage
  • salad greens
  • summer squash
  • thyme

Flower Seeds for July Planting

  • cleome
  • cosmos
  • four o’clocks
  • hyacinth bean
  • marigolds
  • morning glory
  • nasturtiums
  • sunflowers

Drip Irrigation

Good drip irrigation systems can be bought online at affordable prices. Suggested sources are:

  • Lee Valley
  • DripWorks

July is the time to focus on garden maintenance, watering, and enjoying your garden. With the high heat and scorching sun this month, avoid most gardening tasks during the warmest hours, drink plenty of water, and use sunscreen – wearing a wide-brimmed hat is also a good idea. This is not a good time to divide or transplant (except for bearded irises), fertilize, or do any major pruning.

Must Do

  • Deadhead all old flower blooms (both perennial and annual) to encourage new flowering. Many plants will rebloom later if deadheaded or sheared back now. Even plants that don’t rebloom will benefit from a good “haircut” to keep them looking tidy.
  • Keep weeding. This is probably a gardener’s least favorite task, but also one of the most necessary. Don’t let weeds go to seed or you’ll be dealing with them for years to come.
  • Don’t forget to water. Plants usually need at least 1 inch of water per week, but during the hottest days of summer, 2-3″ is better. Drip irrigation systems are most efficient and can be easily installed without any professional help. See suggested sources to the left.

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Should Do

  • Although most perennials should not be fertilized during the summer, some will benefit from a good feed. In coolers zones, the following plants should be given a healthy dose of organic fertilizer: roses, butterfly bushes, delphiniums, repeat blooming daylilies, and any other repeat-blooming heavy feeders.
  • Divide bearded iris.
  • Keep fertilizing containers with a slow release fertilizer (e.g., Osmocote) or a liqued plant food (e.g., Miracle Grow). Liquid fertilizers should be applied each week, along with plenty of water, especially while the weather is hot.
  • Raise the lawnmower blade to its highest setting (usually 3″ or higher). Taller grass shades the ground, crowds out weeds, and reduces the need for irrigation.
  • If you’re planting this month, only plant containerized plants, plant on a cloudy day or later in the day, and puddle in the new plant (dig the planting hole, fill it with water, let it drain, then plant and water again). This will make water immediately available to the roots.

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Nice to Do

  • If you want to reduce your water usage, let the lawn go dormant over the summer. A 15-minute soak every two weeks will keep the roots and crowns alive but let the lawn remain dormant until the fall rains arrive. Don’t worry, your lawn won’t die, but it will look rather brown so this is really an aesthetic decision for most homeowners.
  • Some herbs and vegetable seeds can be planted in July for harvest later in the summer, as can a range of annuals – see list to right.

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Note: The July gardening tasks described here are for gardeners in zone 6. Tasks may be done earlier, or later, if you live in warmer or colder areas.