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MID-ATLANTIC WEATHER WATCH FOR JULY

STORMS,  mainly in the southern part of the region (1,2); hazy, hot, and humid (3,4,5,6,7,8,9) with remnants of hurricane from eastern Gulf, heavy rain (10,11,12). Hot and humid (13,14,15,16,17) with tropical rain (18,19).  Hazy, hot, and humid again (20,21,22,23,24,25), scattered showers (26,27), and hazy, hot, and humid yet again (28,29,30,31). 


MONTHLY GARDEN ACTIVITIES


BEST DAYS FOR FARM ACTIVITIES 

                                                       


THOUGHT FOR TODAY'S 

LIVING  


"The freedoms we enjoy today are the inheritance left us by our forebearers as a result of their sacrifices in achieving them.” 

                                                                                      John Gruber  (1768-1857) 

JULY GARDENING ACTIVITIES

T

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

If your potatoes are not quite ready to harvest, treat yourself to some new potatoes. Carefully loosen the soil under your plants to find a few small potatoes to harvest.

Clean up fallen fruits under trees. Rotting fruits are an invitation for diseases, insects, and foraging animals.

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. 

Slow down and give you and your plants a rest from the heat. It can be very stressful growing and setting flower buds for several months, let alone doing it in heat.

Give plants a mid-season feeding or side dressing of compost, to get them through to the fall.

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

Keep tabs on rainfall and water as needed. Most plants need at lest an inch of water per week, more if the weather is very hot and dry. Remember to water deeply.

Hold off on planting until the fall. It is too hot and dry in July for most plants to handle the stress of transplanting. The exception is potted plants that are struggling in their containers. If you must transplant, keep them well watered.

Check garden centers for mark downs on remaining plants. Be sure to check that they are healthy and not pot bound or full of weeds.