July Gardening Tips
Relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Deep watering of your vegetables and plants is the most important gardening task to do as we head into the hottest part of the year. The tendency is to let the garden grow all by itself. This won’t help your harvest one bit.
There is plenty of time for planting veggies, especially those that are tired or done producing. You can still sow radishes, spinach, lettuce, and squash, as well as transplant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, beans, and cucumbers.
It still is a good idea to stay in the habit of weeding, checking for pests and fertilizing. Just don’t overdo the nitrogen, keeping it around 1 pound per 1000 square feet.
Because hanging baskets have a confined growing space, they really need to stay fed and watered if you want them to last through the summer. On very hot days, you may need to do it more than once.
Looking for what blooms this month? Download our monthly plant bloom calendar to help you decide!
Keep The Moisture In
A thick layer of mulch like compost, mint straw, or bark not only keeps the weeds down, it also does a great job of keeping the soil moist during periods of dryness. If you are planning on using a mat of any kind to keep weeds out, you want to keep it covered in organic mulch of some kind. If it is exposed to sunlight, you run the risk of it deteriorating and rendering it ineffective, and the covering will look more attractive than a plain mat.
When you water, water deeply. The best way to do this is by watering the soil directly. You avoid foliar diseases by avoiding wetting the leaves and do not lose much water to evaporation.
Another important tip to remember is that before you place transplants in the garden, give them some time to adjust to the wind and sunlight. They are tender and need time to adjust. Especially if you happen to pick a hot day to do it. They could easily wilt or burn.
General Plant Care
If you want your annuals to keep blooming, remove the dead flowers as soon as you see them (deadheading).
In addition to watering, you also want to be fertilizing roses, container gardens and Mums regularly to keep plants healthy and full of color. Follow the instructions clearly on the bottle before you begin your fertilizing program.
If crawling insects like roaches, ants, slugs, silverfish, fleas or spiders are a problem, try using Diatomaceous Earth (sold at Johnson Brothers as “Natural Guard Crawling Insect Control”). DE is safe to use indoors and outdoors.
Trees and Shrub Care
If your flowering shrubs are done blooming, now is the time to prune and shape them. Look for any dead or diseased branches and remove them as needed. Rhodies and Azaleas are ready for food right after they finish flowering. Use a fertilizer specific for Rhododendron or evergreen shrubs.
When deadheading Rhodies and Azaleas, be careful not to damage buds which may be hidden. Fruit and nut trees need to be monitored for moths, worms and other pests. The Extension office is a great source of information for specific pest control methods.