To many gardeners, July is a synonym for summer ushering in sunshine, hot weather, and in many cases, drought. Dry midsummer weather happens in the north, south, and the center of the country, making irrigation one of the top items on everybody’s July to-do list. Don’t expect regional garden chores to echo each other across the country though.
Regional Garden Chores for July
Gardening in different regions varies according to where you live. Here are short lists of “to-dos” for each region.
July is the time those in the Pacific Northwest are happiest with their climate. The weather is moderate versus sweltering, and humidity is low. What to do in July in the Northwest?
- Weed, weed, and keep weeding to give your plants space to grow.
- Deadhead annual and perennial flowers as blossoms fade to support new blossom growth.
- Harvest veggies as they get to size, they lose flavor if they grow too big.
The western region includes California and Nevada, which get little rain in July, and some parts of the region, like northern California, can get a drying wind too. Organize your irrigation efforts accordingly. Southern California and Nevada are quite a bit warmer than the San Francisco area. In Northern California you’ll want to:
- Keep sowing heat loving crops like tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers.
- Feed brambles like raspberries and blackberries.
- Spray grapevines to prevent mildew.
In Southern California and Nevada:
Much of the Southwest is desert. In the high desert, summers are hot. July can be blistering with little rain. Regional gardening chores for the Southwest include:
- In addition to watering regularly and well, use mulch to lock moisture into the soil.
- If you have young perennials and succulents in the garden, give them some afternoon shade.
Northern Rockies and Plains
Even areas with the Northern Rockies and Great Plains get occasional extended heatwaves, so keep watering. Be sure to water your container plants since they dry out quickly, especially small ones.
Work on your compost pile by turning it regularly. Stop fertilizing perennials as July ends. It can stimulate new growth that will get hit by a frost in autumn.
Keep ahead of your watering in the hotter areas of the Upper Midwest to avoid losing any plants. Check your automatic irrigation system. It needs to be functioning properly during the peak of the summer heat to make sure your young plants don’t succumb.
Other things to do include:
- Deadhead bulb plants when the flowers fade; don’t chop off the leaves until they turn yellow.
- Come late July, you can sow fall crops like peas.
As in many other areas this time of year, watering well is key to avoid losing your garden flowers and crops. Here’s a couple other things to do in July across the Central Ohio Valley:
- Look out for groundhog and rabbit damage, as these pests can devastate your crops quickly, think fencing.
- Buy on-sale annuals to nurture through summer for use in autumn beds.
Gardening in different regions in July simply means different levels of hot. The Northeast, like many other areas, sees its hottest weather in July. July tasks start and finish with irrigation.
Other tasks include:
- Harvesting all crops regularly, from veggies to berries
- Check garden centers for on-sale annuals and nurture them through summer, then plant in fall gardens
- Spray a natural soap and water mix on harmful bugs in your flower or vegetable garden
What’s on the July to-do list in the Southeast? Irrigation is important unless heavy rain is falling. In times of rain, look out for fungal diseases. Thin flowers and crops to let the air pass through.
In times of heat, water in the mornings so that the leaves are dry by evening. With sun and rain, weeds thrive. Weed in early morning or evening to stay out of the hottest sun.
There will likely be extended heat waves in July across the South-Central region. Keep your plants adequately watered to avoid losing investments of time, energy, and money in them.
Additionally, you’ll want to:
- Sharpen your mower blade to prevent damage to your grass when dry spells arrive. Mow your grass but move the lawnmower blade up to provide longer length grass. It helps with drought.
- Prune waterspouts from fruit trees.