There are many tasks and types of maintenance you will need to provide for your garden spaces in July.
The summer heat will begin to reach its zenith, and with it will bring a whole host of problems for your plants.
Harvesting Herbs In July
You can generally depend on being able to harvest the following herbs in July.
In alphabetical order:
- Lemon balm
- Sweet alyssum
Planting In July:
Vegetables and herbs that yield multiple harvests can still be planted in July. These edibles will be ready for the fall garden.
July is a good time to plant wildflowers.
Alyssum, red poppy, zinnia, and cosmos are quick-blooming flowers. So you will still have time to enjoy these flowers as they will bloom in a matter of weeks.
My favorite annual to cut and bring inside to enjoy are zinnias in their riot of many colors.
Check your hardiness zone to read what you should or should not plant in regard to your particular region.
Tips For The July Garden:
Tie up and train new growth of climbing plants to keep them off the ground.
It goes without saying that there will be lots of watering and weeding during the month of July.
In July the weeds will be quickly multiplying and can get out of hand quickly. Young weeds with roots that haven’t yet developed are much easier to pull out of the ground than weeds that are fully mature.
Go out early or late in the day to keep dehydration at bay.
Protect Plants From Extreme Heat:
You’ll want to protect your plants from extreme heat.
This year I’ve planted vines in a few of my containers to help shade the plants in front of them.
The morning glory and the moonflower vines are creeping up the trellises now, so hopefully they’ll be supplying shade by sometime in July.
Mulching helps the soil retain water and acts as a sun shield. This shield helps reduce moisture evaporation and keeps the soil cooler.
When growing plants from seed, it’s important to thin your seedlings.
“Thinning” is when you remove crowded seedlings so only the healthiest and strongest ones have room for their roots to properly develop.
If you don’t remove crowded seedlings, they will compete with one another for nutrients, water, air, and root space.
In addition to concerns about competition, crowding seedlings also increases the risk for disease.
Thinning seedlings provides better airflow for your plants. A lack of airflow creates problems such as wet or damp foliage and spores settling on leaves.
The two primary reasons plants need air is to photosynthesize (make food) and to breathe.
Deadhead Spent Blooms:
Deadhead annuals and perennial plants to keep them from self-seeding. This will also encourage more blooms.
Rarely a day goes by that I don’t walk around my garden spaces to see if I need to do a little maintenance for each individual plant.
How To Dead Head Properly:
As blooms begin to fade, I pinch or cut off the flower stems below spent flowers.
To deadhead your blooms properly, make your cut just above the first set of healthy leaves.
Most flowering vines, periwinkle, and impatiens do not need deadheading.
Some perennials that should not be deadheaded so that they reseed for the following year are hollyhock, foxglove, cardinal flower, and forget-me-nots.
Fuchsias, bedding lobelia, and salvias tent to neatly deadhead themselves.
Deadhead hydrangeas during the blooming season. However, stop deadheading hydrangea shrubs mid to late fall.
Leave spent hydrangea blooms on the plant.
If you’re storing seeds from the yield in your garden, you have a choice for how to store them.
You can put them in seed envelopes. And you can also store them in airtight mason jars.
Just make sure the seeds stay dry until you’re ready to use them.
Store them in a dry, dark place like a basement. Be sure you’ve written down the seeds that are kept inside, and the date you put them in there.
This is also the time to dry and freeze herbs for those aromatic winter soups and stews.
Caring For Hanging Baskets:
Rotate hanging baskets for even growth.
These plants will also dry out fast, so check the moisture level often. Water hanging baskets until water seeps out the bottom.
Storing Rain Water & Mulching:
Stored rainwater will be particularly beneficial during July because the progressive heat will sap the strength of most plants.
If you haven’t already, mulch around your plants to reduce water loss.
Then prepare yourself for the “dog days of summer.”
Many consider the Dog Days Of Summer to be the 40 days beginning on July 3 and ending August 11.
This is soon after the Summer Solstice in late June, which also tends to be the beginning of the worst of summer’s heat.