This Month in the Garden (July)

“GARDENING REQUIRES LOTS OF WATER?—MOST OF IT IN THE FORM OF PERSPIRATION.” —LOU ERICKSON

  • JulyPageImageTrees & Shrubs
    • Fertilize trees and shrubs for the last time.
    • Mulch to conserve moisture, but do not pack around lower stems and trunks.
    • Remove spent crape myrtle and buddleia blossoms to prolong the flowering period.
    • Take semi-hard cuttings now from aucuba, azalea, buddleia, camellia, clematis, nandina, gardenia, holly and weigela.
    • If shrubs need light trimming, don’t wait any longer; the tender re-growth could be killed back over winter.
    • Watch for powdery mildew and treat as needed.
    • Bagworms may be forming. Apply an insecticide labeled for bagworms. Bags may also be picked off and burned later in the season, if permitted in your area.
    • Spider mites are another problem during hot and dry weather; treat with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.
  • Annuals, Perennials & Bulbs
    • Lightly fertilize chrysanthemums every two weeks. Discontinue pinching your mums imid month so they will be able to develop flower buds for the fall.
    • Continue to dead head your annual plants to encourage continued blooming.
    • Get a second bloom from faded annuals by cutting them back by one half their height, then fertilize them with a liquid 5-10-10 fertilizer.
    • Sow seeds of Hollyhocks, English Daisies, Foxgloves, Violets, Canterbury Bells, and Sweet William into the garden now for next year’s bloom.
  • Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs
    • Start seeds indoors for collards, spinach, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
    • Plant out successions of salad crops for continued harvesting throughout the summer.
    • Inspect plants regularly—aphids, beetles, thrips and white flies are at their worst.
    • Empty areas of the garden, where the crops have finished, should be replanted with either a fall vegetable crop, or a cover crop of clover or vetch to help control weeds. Cover crops can be tilled into the soil later, to add humus and nitrates to the soil.
    • Herbs begin to mature this month—the best time to harvest them for peak flavor/scent is early morning after dew is dry.
    • Side dress heavy feeders.
    • Mulch to preserve moisture.
  • Just for Fun!

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