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Welcome to your Monthly Gardening Guide – July! Below you will find information on what I will be doing, (or trying to do) for the month of July. These are goals, not standards and some months I am on top of it and other months I blow it. But somehow, and thankfully, the garden is forgiving.
Your garden to-do list may look different than mine, and that is okay. Perhaps you will glean something from my list and please, if you have any suggestions, opinions, tips & tricks feel free to contact me! I would love to hear and learn from you. Now, let’s get our hands dirty and get growing!
Our main goal this month is to mulch, mulch, and mulch some more. Then fertilize weekly your garden/raised beds and fertilize every time you water your patio or potted plants. Being in pots, the plants only have a finite amount of water and nutrients. That’s where we come in as caretakers of the garden. We also need to keep protection foremost in our minds this month. From critters and intense heat/sunshine. Along the same vein, some of us in different states and areas may be experiencing drought or at least a huge lack of rain, so watering is your constant chore. Oh, and did I mention you will start to have harvest coming in?? Yep!! Those tomatoes are starting to ripen (or almost), so keep your harvest basket handy, check your gardens daily so your not feeding the critters. And you better eat your Wheaties, this month is full!
Prepare for keeping your plants watered by using a timer. Get your watering, or at least some of it on a schedule that YOU don’t have to think too much about. This is a huge help. I have all my gardens on a timer set for early, early in the morning. I then go out after dinner in the early evening and check everything and water MORE if necessary.
Do morning and nightly walks of your garden. You will always find something that needs to be done. This is a good time to be on the lookout for insects, also for disease, plants that need to be pruned or perhaps you get to harvest a few things!
Check your plants leaves, check the soil, check the drip/soaker hoses. Eyes wide open for anything not right. Take a garden journal with you or at least your phone. I take my phone so I can capture pictures of my garden and maybe if I am lucky a butterfly or dragonfly too. I also keep notes on my phone so I don’t forget things that need to be done.
It’s in the middle of an enormously hot summer, what in the world are you planting?? Well here in Texas we can grow a FALL GARDEN! Thank goodness. Another chance for a good harvest. This month, hopefully before the 15th is my date on the calendar, we start seeds indoors. Here is my more or less normal list:
- More Okra
- More Cowpeas
The first 5 (except okra that I will sow by seed) I will get into the ground as soon as they are ready. They will appreciate the lingering warmth of fall. Our Fall Season never really gets “warm”. The last three “brassicas” will stay inside for at least 8-10 weeks (or if they get too big go into the greenhouse) and be planted out in September around Labor day.
You’ll notice I don’t start new peppers. I usually keep my peppers going all summer into fall. One of the reasons I pinch or top my peppers. They grow stronger and longer and produce into fall.
Continue planting flowers everywhere by seed. Zinnias, Cosmos and Marigolds are my favorites.
Plant heat tolerant annual flowers for color and for the bees.
It’s one of the gardens never ending chores. Pruning! This month continue to prune out too many tomato branches. Keep them up off the ground and keep an area in the middle free of too many branches for more air flow. Watch for the suckers too. If you accidentally let them go when you prune them, root them in water and you have a free plant for the fall.
Prune out the yellow and diseased leaves on squash and zucchini. Also open up the plant for more air flow too.
Prune by 1/3 your flowering perennials. This will encourage new flowering before fall/winter. Don’t be shy on this, go at it!
Not necessarily pruning, but deadhead all your annual flowers. This will encourage flowering.
Now is the time to prune your Blackberries. I am new to this so I am learning right along with you. I have 4 25 gal potted blackberries that were planted this spring and doing great!! Being first year growth I do not prune, but will next year. If you have 2 year old vines, here is a good article on what to from Suzanne Fellows over at GrowOrganic.com
Prefer a video? I gotcha covered:
Remember all that watering we are doin? Yep, we need to be feeding just as much. As we water, especially in container plants, we wash away or deplete our plants of nutrients. We need to feed them again and again. Around this time of year we are focusing mainly on fruit production. Not the plant and leave growth that supports fruit production. So remember to feed appropriately for your plant. Be on the lookout for yellowing leaves on peppers and tomatoes. They may need a good shot of “tomato fertilizer” that is more high in phosphorous and potassium. I usually side dress with an all purpose organic fertilizer and maybe some epsom salts and then water everything in well with fish fertilizer. I then will subsequently water weekly with this liquid fertilizer:
I use BioAdvanced 32Oz All in 1 Rose Care, but here is a product similar to the BioAdvance.
Feed your pots, feed your containers, feed your perennials. Just feed, feed, feed!!
THE LOOK OUT FOR’S & TO-DO’S
Y’all, the grasshoppers are here. Yep, they are here and they brought their babies. Which eat, and eat, and eat! The best way to get rid of these pests, and they are pests is the good ole fashioned stomp on them and squish them! But if you have a heavy infestation you might try some of these tips from Grow Organic Peaceful Valley:
MONTHLY GARDEN CHECK-LIST FOR JULY
- Plant: Add some summer color that is heat tolerant. Continue to succession plant what you can. I have more cucumbers ready to go.
- Prune: As needed to shape growth, but leave heavy pruning till Fall. Prune areas of tomatoes and other veggies to open up space and increase air flow or to eliminate diseased areas. Don’t forget to deadhead flowers and prune back by 1/3 your perennials.
- Fertilize: Fertilize everything and weekly. All your plants need it now.
- Pests: For mosquitoes use Sandalwood Sticks, Mosquito Bits or Dunks. For chiggers use Dustable Sulfur for control and wear socks, long pants and shoes when working in heavy vegetation. Remove promptly when going inside. When the temps are over 90 try using a systemic insecticide for scale. For the fungus among us use Serenade which is an organic fungicide.
The month of July is a challenging month with so much going and growing! Write things down, keep lists, keep a schedule and the beautiful thing about our gardens are that they want to grow and will grow with a little help from us!
I have included a FREEBIE this month, a little TIP SHEET as my way of saying thank you for taking the time to read my Monthly Gardening Guides. I hope they bless you and I hope you enjoy the Tip Sheet.
May you find joy & wonder in your garden and may your hands always be dirty,
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