Hot days and warm nights make July a great time for outdoor living, so spend some quality time outside and don’t forget to water!
Hanging baskets, containers, vegetable gardens, and flower beds are reaching their peak, but are especially vulnerable to weather stress. From lead-free hoses to expert advice and complete irrigation systems, we can help make it easier to give your plants the water they need. If your plants are struggling from the heat, stop in for help with recovery or replacements—we have a great selection.
July To Do List in the Garden
Hanging baskets, window boxes, and flower pots provide vibrant color around the deck, porch, and patio.
- Pick up a drop-in pot for instant gratification and use it as-is or set it into a glazed pot for an elevated look.
- Buy a hanging basket and hang it near a seating area, or take the hooks off and set it on a plant stand or end table.
Pro Tip: Hanging baskets or arrangements with Million Bells or Fuchsia are all but guaranteed to attract hummingbirds. Place these arrangements in view of a window or chair and sit back and enjoy the entertainment!
PLANTING & MAINTENANCE
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 the leaves, to avoid disease. Water deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth.
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 and geraniums with Bonide Captain Jack’s Deadbug 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.
In the landscape, deep watering less often is more effective than frequent shallow watering. In extreme heat/drought, even mature trees and 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, Lupine, etc.). Bring bagged sample into the garden center for assistance.
Spider mites can be a pest to evergreen and deciduous shrubs and on vegetables, fruit plants, and other 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).
For late-Summer harvest, plant: Snap Beans, Kale, Lettuce (from starts), Radishes (from seed). Water new seedlings well and shade them from hot afternoon sun until established.
Plan for Fall and Winter crops to replace radishes, peas, and other early Spring plants. Sow seeds: Beets, Broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery (starts), Radicchio, and overwintering Cauliflower and 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 and Pear trees, as needed. Use Bonide Captain Jack’s with a hose-end sprayer.
Cover blueberry bushes and raspberry plants with Harvest Guard or netting to keep birds from eating all your berries!
Lawn Care in July
If a green lawn is desired, supply adequate water (about 0.5 to 1.5 inches per week June–August) either through your irrigation system or with a clean hose-end sprinkler.
Apply a ½-inch thick layer of compost to help provide a cooler root zone and act as a mulch layer for shallow, sensitive grass roots.
Organizing 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.
Indoor Gardening in July
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 for treatment or prevention.
Take succulents outside and let them get a few months of natural light—they’ll be more colorful than when grown indoors!
Propagate by taking cuttings or divisions of rapid growing or large plants.
What to Do for Fun in July
Pick fresh herbs from the garden and make flavored simple syrups to add to iced tea, sparkling water, or cocktails:
- Use equal parts sugar and water, plus fresh herbs (more or less depending on desired flavor strength). In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt sugar in the water until fully 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.
Take evening photos of your garden: As dusk settles in, photograph your favorite flowers, leaves, and landscape vignettes. Notice the way white flowers in particular stand out as the light changes!