July Gardening Tips

Adapted from The Farmer’s Almanac

If you have any houseplants sitting directly in the window, make sure the light is filtered or the plant is moved to a site out of direct sunlight. The windowpane intensifies the heat, and you don’t want to scorch your plants. Water your containers twice a day. Apply a slow-release fertilizer every 2 weeks.

You can sow a fall crop of bush beans now. Plant seeds two inches deep to protect them from the hot Sun. You can sow other vegetable seeds for an autumn yield, too, by planting them just a little deeper than you did in the spring. The best time to plant is after a rain shower.

Don’t water your melons at the base of the stems. Doing so can cause rot. Build up a little earth around the stems to keep water away.

Once melon vines have set three or four fruits, remove any new blossoms. The remaining fruits will benefit from this, and you will still have plenty.

As the weather warms up, do not neglect your watering. Water deeply in the morning and avoid light sprinklings.When there is less than an inch of rain in a week, water extra. Water in early morning. Water at the roots, not on the foliage. Generally, trees and shrubs need deep watering every 10 to 14 days to a depth of 3 inches with a hose at the roots. Do not fertilize, so that they can start preparing for winter dormancy.

Harvest tomatoes, zucchini, beans, and other fruiting crops frequently to encourage production and avoid attracting pests.

Sow vegetable seeds for your fall garden: carrots, beets, turnips, collards, Chinese cabbage, snap beans, radish, kohlrabi, endive, kale, rutabagas, and summer squashes.

Set out broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower transplants for your fall garden.

Lightly fertilize tomatoes and peppers. Don’t overfertilize.

If your tomatoes have “blossom end rot,” avoid uneven watering. Mulch will help moderate the fluctuating moisture levels that nature provides.

Slugs? Put out shallow dishes of beer; handpick in the early morning. Also, deter with a ring of crushed eggshells and other sharp objects around your plants.

Prevent weeds from seeding; this will mean fewer weeds next year. Pull weeds as they grow and use mulch in your flower beds to prevent them from sprouting.

Mulching is an important job to keep up with in July. Organic mulches break down over time, so be sure to check the mulch around your plants. Keep a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around your plants to retain moisture. Also keep a thick layer of mulch around the roots of trees and shrubs.

Annuals and perennials can be planted at any time to fill in blank spaces in the garden.

Garlic and onions are ready when their tops start to bend over. Remove their tops after they’ve dried for a couple weeks and store in a cool place.

During these warmer months, raise the mowing height to 2.5 to 3 inches. Water your lawn with 1 inch of water per week to ensure healthy growth.

Feed your roses at mid-month to encourage more flowering.