Long, hot days and warm nights make July a great time for outdoor living, but remember to water! Hanging baskets, containers, vegetable gardens, flower beds, and new plantings are especially vulnerable to weather stress. From lead-free hoses to expert advice and complete irrigation systems, we can help make it easier. If your plants are struggling from the heat, stop in for help with recovery or replacements—we have a great selection.
For Fresh Color
Hanging baskets, window boxes, and flower pots should be thriving and provide vibrant color around the deck, porch, and patio.
- Hanging baskets and containers are especially vulnerable to weather stress—water consistently (daily or more).
- Fertilize every 2 weeks with G&B Liquid Fertilizer.
- Spray petunias/geraniums with Bonide Captain Jack’s for budworms (white moths flying around that eat flower buds).
- Going away? Take hanging baskets down and set them on the ground in the shade or in a shallow saucer of water.
For the Lawn & Landscape
Mulch garden beds to conserve moisture and keep roots cool. Measure how much is needed to cover about 1–3 inches thick with G&B Soil Building Conditioner.
Water vegetable and flower gardens in early morning to reduce evaporation. Water the soil (not leaves) to avoid disease. Water deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth.
If a green lawn is desired, supply adequate water (about 0.5 to 1.5 inches per week June–August). A ½-inch thick layer of Malibu Compost can help provide a cooler root zone and act as a mulch layer for shallow, sensitive grass roots.
In the landscape, deep watering less often is more effective than frequent shallow watering. In extreme heat/drought, even mature trees/shrubs benefit from deep watering every 3 weeks.
Summer weather can bring on plant diseases like powdery mildew (dusty white fungus on leaves of roses, lilacs, azaleas, etc.). Bring a bagged sample into the garden center for assistance.
For the Edible Garden
Slugs are still out there munching, so another application of Slug Magic or Sluggo will be helpful, especially around vegetables and new plantings.
Edibles to plant this month include snap beans, kale, lettuce (starts), radishes; water new seedlings well and shade them from hot afternoon sun until established.
Start thinking about fall and winter crops to replace radishes, peas, and other early spring plantings. Sow seeds of beets, broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery (starts), radicchio, and overwintering cauliflower/broccoli for harvest September through April, depending on the crop.
Later this month, monitor for early blight and late blight on tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers. If present, prune for air circulation, remove affected leaves, and/or treat with organic fungicide such as Bonide Copper Fungicide.
Place traps in fruit trees to catch adult apple maggot flies; use pheromone traps to monitor for presence of pests.
July 17–23: Third spray for codling moth in apple/pear trees, as needed. Use Bonide Captain Jacks (hose-end sprayer).
Spider mites can be an issue on vegetables, fruit plants, and ornamental plants during hot, dry weather. Watch for dusty foliage, loss of color, tiny mites, and fine webbing. Wash infested areas several times with water or spray with neem oil (careful of sun exposure to newly sprayed foliage).
Cover blueberry bushes with Harvest Guard or netting to keep birds from eating all of the berries.
In the Garden Shed
Are you storing partial bags or boxes of unused fertilizer? Use now on plants in need of a boost; use as directed and be sure to water well after fertilizing.
For the Indoors
Keep up regular maintenance and continue checking for pests, especially on houseplants currently outdoors.
Spider mites can become a major problem in areas with high heat or protected areas—look closely and keep leaves clean with soapy water, insecticidal soap, or neem oil as prevention.
Take succulents outside and let them get a few months of natural light—they’ll be more colorful than when grown indoors; keep them out of the rain so they don’t get too much water.
Propagate cuttings/divisions of rapid growing or large plants.
Pick fresh herbs from the garden and make flavored simple syrups to add to iced tea, juice, or cocktails:
- Use equal parts sugar and water (e.g. 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water) and fresh herbs (more or less depending on desired flavor strength).
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt sugar in the water until completely dissolved.
- Add herbs; if using woody herbs such as lavender, thyme, or rosemary, simmer on low for 10-15 minutes; if using soft herbs such as mint, basil, or dill, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain liquid and store in refrigerator (use within a week or two).