While June temps can still be on the cooler side in some of the milder climates, July is the great equalizer. No matter where you live, July’s strong sun and high temperatures make gardening a bit of a challenge for both the garden and the gardener alike. But no worries — we’ve got a July garden checklist to keep you cool and on track!
Remember the garden journal we talked about last winter? Now’s the time to use it — record what you planted and where, how things are growing, and any unusual pests, diseases, or weather issues that you notice. Take photos to keep the details fresh, and jot down notes for the fall garden.
Continue to stay on top of weeds so they don’t take over your veggies or flowers. Water deeply but less frequently to avoid stressing your plants, and water earlier in the morning to give everything a better chance to withstand the afternoon heat. Get your container plantings and annual flowers on a regular fertilizing schedule using organic materials. Remove and dispose of any dead or diseased plants, mulch or use cover crops to protect soil surfaces, and collect seeds from plants that are doing well. You’ll be happy next year that you did!
While most of our garden activity focus outdoors, there are still indoor garden chores to do, particularly if you are planning ahead for your fall garden.
Zones 4-6: May pre-sprout peas (snow and sugar snap), and start seeds for broccoli, carrots, spinach, lettuce, kale, and beets.
Zone 7: Can start seeds for cabbage, and cool-season annuals for the fall garden.
Zones 9-10 can start seeds for pepper and tomatoes for the fall season.
Most zones can plant almost anything right now, from veggies and fruits to perennials and annuals. If you live in areas of high heat, avoid planting trees and large shrubs during this time, however — the soaring temps will stress them too much while they are getting established.
Zone 4: Can set out transplants of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage as well as a second crop of green beans and summer squash. Seeds of kale and Asian greens can also be sown for fall harvest.
Zones 5-6: Can plant cilantro, bush beans, and summer squash, as well as carrots, kale, beets, and chard for fall harvest.
Zones 7-10: Can plant tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant for late summer harvest, and beans, squash, turnips, beets, carrots, and lettuce for the fall.