July Garden Activities

T
his is the last month to plant these veggies for a fall crop if you are in zone 5: snap beans, peas, cukes, carrots, kohlrabi, summer squash, early sweet corn and green onions, among others. Zone 6 gardeners get a couple more weeks of growing season.

Leggy annuals may need to be pruned back to encourage new growth and more flowering. Some annuals don’t take hot weather and may need to be replaced.

Continue to keep the garden adequately watered (that is, if July’s forecasted wet weather is not enough!). Expect plants to do well with all of the extra rain in July but as the summer continues, be sure to make up for what Mother Nature neglects to provide.

Deadhead some perennials, either for continued bloom, or for improved foliage.

Be sure that all tall annuals and perennials are securely staked so that they will remain upright during the afternoon thunderstorms that are so common for this time of year.

During the dry summer months, remember to mow the lawn when it is high and mow less often. Taller grass withstands drought better because its blades shade the soil.

Allow roses to rest in July and August. Do not fertilize, but continue spraying, and give them a light pruning in July to encourage new fall growth. 

TAKE CARE OF THOSE POTTED PLANTS 

Repot houseplants that have been kept outdoors if roots start to crowd their containers. If you have to divide plants, give them a chance to recover from the disruption to their root system by keeping them in the shade for at least a week. 
 
Order bulbs now for fall planting, to get the best selection of varieties. Lots of spring-blooming bulbs are deer-resistant. Avoid tulips and crocus, and enjoy carefree alliums, winter aconite, snowdrops, snowflake, Siberian squill, glory-of-the-snow, Puschkinia, Fritillaria, and Anemone blanda. Grape hyacinths send up fall foliage, but even when it’s browsed, it doesn’t seem to affect their vigor.

Become a student of sequence of bloom.  The abundance of shrubs and perennials in bloom in spring is just a memory now so this month, step back and taking stock of what is in bloom, with an eye to adding to that floral colors that come forth during the summer months.  in future years. Consider plants such as garden phlox that is getting ready to flower now, and the flowers of rose of Sharon that will soon blossom as well.  Both would add interest to your yard  

Check garden centers for annuals such as sweet alyssum that have been put on sale. They may not look like much now, but you can bring them back to health with some TLC and use them in fall plantings.