July Gardening Tips


Chores and Maintenance:

  • If rain is lacking, practice water-wise horticultural techniques
  • Determine which plants are most important and water them first
  • Water plants early in the day through drip irrigation or hand held hose with shut-off nozzle
  • Re-apply mulch to plantings to help conserve moisture
  • Allow lawns to go dormant; they will green up again when rain returns
  • Continue to remove weeds which compete for water
  • Continue to stake floppy plants and vines
  • Mow lawns regularly to keep grass height at 2-2½ in.
  • Continue to aerate and moisten compost pile to speed decomposition
  • Continue to apply acid mulch to azaleas, rhododendrons, and other ericaceous ornamentals
  • Apply a summer mulch to rose beds to preserve moisture and control weeds
  • Deadhead annuals and perennials to encourage continuous bloom and cut back any rampant growth
  • Continue to spray roses weekly with a baking soda fungicide (See June Tips for recipe)
  • Remove any fallen leaves and debris which can harbor insect pests and disease organisms
  • Pinch back asters and chrysanthemums one last time
  • Finish deadheading rhododendrons and lilacs
  • Continue to apply deer repellent

Planting:

  • Continue to repot any houseplants as needed
  • Continue to lift, divide, and propagate spring-flowering perennials
  • Sow seed of lettuce, kale, broccoli, cabbage, radishes and arugula for fall harvest
  • Sow seed of English daisy, forget-me-not and pansy now
  • Continue to propagate shrubs from softwood cuttings
  • Propagate spring-flowering perennials
  • Propagate herbs from cuttings
  • Continue transplanting container grown plants

Pruning/Fertilizing:

  • Deadhead hybrid tea, grandiflora, floribunda, miniature, repeat-blooming shrub and climbing roses
  • Prune climbing roses after flowering
  • Prune and thin large shade trees to increase light for lawns and planting beds
  • Prune evergreens, and deciduous and evergreen hedges into early summer
  • Prune all raspberry canes which have completed fruiting to the ground
  • Fertilize broad-leaved flowering evergreen shrubs with topdressing of oakleaf compost/and or cottonseed meal
  • Fertilize needle evergreens with acid type fertilizer
  • Fertilize roses
  • Continue to fertilize annuals and container plants each month
  • Fertilize chrysanthemums every 2-3 weeks until buds form
  • Fertilize vegetables
  • Leave nitrogen-rich grass clippings on lawn

* These gardening tips are applicable for the southeastern New York region - USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6a and 6b which include New York City, northern New Jersey, Rockland county, Westchester county, southern Connecticut and parts of Long Island. Plant hardiness zones refer to geographic areas where the growing season of plants is determined by the time of killing frosts in the spring and fall. If you live in a more southerly plant hardiness zone, you can start gardening earlier in the season or in more northerly zones, you can start later. Even within zones, climatic factors such as altitude, proximity to water, wind exposure, winter sun exposure and snow cover contribute to the existence of different "microclimates" and can influence plant adaptability.

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