Gardener’s To-Do List for July

Here’s a zone-by-zone to-do list for the month of July.

February 3, 2012

If you don't know what USDA hardiness zone you live in, check the map here to find out.

July To-Do List for Zone 3

  • Hill soil around potatoes and carrots to prevent green shoulders.
  • Continue to stake and tie up tall plants, such as raspberries, roses, dahlias, and peas.
  • Brighten your home with bunches of cut flowers.
  • Don't cut grass lower than 2 1⁄2 inches tall.
  • Water lawns, trees, and shrubs in dry weather.
  • Water annuals at least three times a week during periods of intense heat with no rain.
  • Continue to add organic matter to the soil to retain moisture.
  • If collecting seeds from mature plants, harvest only from the most healthy plants; label storage containers.

July To-Do List for Zone 4

  • Sow a second planting of green beans and summer squash.
  • Use Bacillus thuringiensis on cabbageworms and other caterpillars.
  • Divide crowded iris and daylily clumps.
  • Spread mulch and irrigate to keep soil moist in dry weather.
  • Set out transplants for fall crops of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.
  • Sow seeds of kale and Chinese cabbage for fall harvest.
  • Add new perennials to flowerbeds.
  • Remember that you can still plant potted or balled trees and shrubs, but water them well.

July To-Do List for Zone 5

  • Reseed dill and cilantro every few weeks for continuous harvest and to attract beneficials with blooms.
  • Sow autumn peas; presoak seeds for a faster start.
  • Harvest summer squash and cukes while they're still young and tender.
  • Start seeds of Shasta daisies in a coldframe, where they'll overwinter until large enough to plant next spring.
  • Harvest vegetables and flowers in the cool of the morning.
  • Shear back tired-looking impatiens and petunias by half, then boost their regrowth by feeding with fish emulsion.

photo: (cc) vincelaconte/flickr


July To-Do List for Zone 6

  • Keep harvesting veggies and annual flowers regularly to keep plants producing.
  • Plant last runs of bush beans and summer squash.
  • For fall harvest, sow carrots, kale, beets, and chard for fall crops; also set out transplants of cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.
  • Prune out old, woody raspberry and blackberry canes.
  • Presprout and then sow, snap, shelling, or snow peas.

July To-Do List for Zone 7

  • Savor the last summer berries, then prune out old, dying canes.
  • For fall-bearing berries, lightly feed newer canes with fish emulsion or compost tea, then mulch with straw.
  • Harvest potatoes when leaves begin to die back.
  • At month's end, sow seeds of collards, carrots, and rutabagas.
  • To keep carrot seedbed moist, cover it with cloth or a board until seeds sprout.
  • Stay on top of weeds.
  • For bloom next year, start seeds of biennials, such as foxglove, hollyhock, evening primrose (Oenothera spp.), and lunaria.

July To-Do List for Zone 8

  • Set out fall tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants late this month.
  • Sow Halloween pumpkins.
  • Clean up the garden, then mulch the bare soil to conserve moisture.
  • Mulch perennials and new trees with a layer of compost topped with bark mulch.
  • Don't overstimulate dormant plants with unnecessary water or feeding; they'll resume growth when the weather cools.
  • Tend the compost pile so it will be ready to work into the soil in preparation for fall planting.
  • Set out ageratums, balsam (Impatiens balsamina), cockscomb, croton, feverfew, marigolds, petunias, wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata), pinks (Dianthus spp.), portulaca and vinca (Catharanthus roseus).
  • Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch to retain water.

July To-Do List for Zone 9

  • If foliage of midsummer-blooming roses begins to yellow, check soil pH—add sulfur if it tests much above 7.
  • Keep roses well watered to promote bloom into late fall.
  • Early in the month, cover fruit trees with nets to protect fruit from birds.
  • Spread compost on areas where you plan to grow fall veggies and flowers.
  • For fall harvest, plant lettuce, carrots, beets, turnips, early beans, brassicas, and summer squash.
  • Protect peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and lettuce from sun scald by providing partial shade.
  • Remember that you can still sow fast-blooming portulaca and sunflowers.
  • Prune back chrysanthemums for bushier plants in fall.

July To-Do List for Zone 10

  • To grow roses here, be sure they're grafted onto ‘Rosa ✕ fortuniana' rootstock, which is nematode-and disease-resistant.
  • Feed roses with compost, fish emulsion, and seaweed spray.
  • For late summer planting, start seeds of collards, okra, eggplant, southern peas, and heat-resistant tomatoes.
  • Pay attention to gardenias, walking iris (Neomarica caerulea), and monstera (Monstera deliciosa)—all are susceptible to iron deficiencies and may need supplemental feedings.
  • Harvest full-size monstera fruit, bring it indoors, and put it in a paper bag with an apple slice to finish ripening.
  • Turfgrass is growing fast—mow high and never remove more than one-third at a time.
  • When working outdoors in heat, take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.

Keep Reading: 7 Secrets of High Yield Vegetable Gardens

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