It’s hot out but we still need to manage our gardens, now more than ever. Gardening tasks for the southwest in July are needed regularly to keep plants healthy and hydrated. Gardens in the southwest are blessed with constant warmth but little rainfall and need a little TLC to keep them looking their best.
Gardens in the Southwest
Often referred to as the desert southwest, with searing temperatures and arid conditions, there are many tropical and subtropical plants, as well as edibles, that thrive in the southwest garden. While watering may be the most obvious of tasks, there are several other items to put on your garden to-do list to keep plants blooming, producing, and happy.
If at all possible, you need a watering system. Whether you have an in-ground irrigation plan or a DIY drip system, watering is crucial. Consider buying a timer so watering occurs at night or early morning when the sun’s heat doesn’t snatch away all the moisture and it can seep into the soil.
Most lawns need one inch (2.5 cm.) per week. Pay special attention to tree watering, especially fruit trees. Spreading mulch is also necessary. Not only will it keep the moisture in the soil, but it cools plant roots, prevents many weed competitors, and will gradually compost into the soil, replenishing and nourishing.
Edible Southwest Garden in July
You should be getting tomatoes and some other crops on the plants by now, but it’s also time to plan the fall garden. Many fall plants should be started in July, such as broccoli and cauliflower. You can also plant starts of heat-loving plants, like tomatoes, for another harvest.
Keep up on competitive weeds. Watch for signs of insect damage or disease and treat immediately to avoid permanent damage and crop loss. Use bird netting to cover fruits that may get damaged or eaten.
Southwest Garden To-Do List for July
As in any month, having a list of gardening tasks for the southwest will keep you on track and prevent items from neglect or forgetfulness. The list can be adjusted as needed and new items added when they are discovered. Some basic tasks to start with are:
- Deadhead annuals and perennials to keep them looking their best and promote blooms
- Harvest crops like zucchini frequently and when young
- Fertilize roses and perennials for the last time of the season
- Remove water sprouts from fruit trees
- Divide spent perennials like daylilies
- Plant native plants but keep watering them into fall
- Remove old crowns from strawberry plants
- Start fall crops
- Water and weed
Keeping up on gardening chores guarantees a beautiful garden with happy plants, a crop load of goodies for your family, and prevents plant loss. Tick away at tasks in the morning and evening to prevent heat exhaustion. After that you can kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labors.