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July Gardening Chores

July 15, 2022


Review The Garden!

The plants have hit their summer climax, so now is the time to determine where the holes are and what needs transplanting, consolidating, pruning, or completely removed because it’s a jungle out there. Not to mention it’s July. The garden is hot, full of weeds, and in a full-on battle for space. Don’t give up. The payoff is coming. Here are your July garden chores.


July 15

  • Enjoy fresh vegetables from your garden and farmers’ markets
  • Plant rutabagas for harvest in early autumn
    Cut back vigorous shoots of wisteria to check their growth
  • Sharpen mower blades if lawn appears brown after mowing
  • Examine trees after severe thunderstorms for damaged limbs
  • Sow parsley, dill, and basil in pots for use indoors during winter
  • Allow broccoli to develop side shoots after central head has been harvested
  • Pinch mint, oregano, and savory to promote bushy growth
  • Share your harvest with a hunger center
  • Continue fruit tree, rose, and vegetable spray/dust programs. To stay completely safe, follow the instructions on the labels. Watch the vegetable garden for developing insect or disease problems.
  • Protect developing fruit from birds by using vinyl bird netting
  • Keep fertilizing that gorgeous garden that is the envy of the neighbors. Potted plants especially use lots of fertilizer as you water them so frequently
  • Don’t forget to water trees deeply, especially newly-planted trees and the oldest ones
  • Make new flower beds by starting with cardboard boxes. Once you line the beds with cardboard, add mulch to start making the foundation of the bed. After the next rain or add water from your hose, the soil will be added, then another layer of mulch.
  • Change the water in your bird bath regularly to keep mosquito larvae from growing there, and keep it filled

July 22

  • Keep annuals blooming by removing spent blossoms
  • Prune suckers and water sprouts from apple trees
  • Enjoy local peaches
  • Plant Chinese cabbage, endive, snap beans, kohlrabi, lettuce, and radish for fall harvest
  • Cut back mints, oregano, and savory to promote bushy growth
  • Harvest summer squash when they are young and tender
  • Blanch celery a week before harvesting by wrapping stalks with paper
  • Change your mowing pattern weekly.
    Inspect your garden daily
  • Feed June-bearing strawberries after the harvest, and trim back strawberry runners to keep the plants tidy
Azalea Karen

Perennials & Shrubs

Rule of thumb for perennials; if it is a spring-blooming perennial, divide and transplant in fall. If it is a fall-blooming perennial, divide and transplant in spring. You may need to flag plants to remember their location as perennials begin to die back. 

Fertilize rhododendrons, azaleas, and other flowering shrubs with a ‘Rhododendron’ or ‘Evergreen’ type fertilizer. Pinch off developing seed pods on rhododendrons and azaleas, but be careful not to damage next year’s buds. “Summer blooming shrubs should be pruned for shape after they have finished flowering. 

Annuals, Roses, & Bulbs

Annuals need to be dead-headed, which means removing dead flowers, to encourage them to put out more blooms. Cut faded annuals back and fertilize, especially those in container gardens.

Roses will need to be fertilized each month through the summer. Floribunda roses (these roses have small flowers carried in large sprays) will flower all summer if they are deadheaded regularly.

Feed your mums lightly every two weeks in July. To promote large flowers, remove all side buds as they begin to develop. You can also fertilize container gardens with all-purpose plant food.

Trim back iris plants and transplant them during July. Try planting a clump of moisture-loving Japanese iris where it can catch the water dripping from your air conditioner.

Order spring bulbs now for the best selection, and you’ll be ready for fall plantings.



With this heat, plants dry out quicker than we realize, and new plantings haven’t developed deep root systems to compete for water on drier days. And though we’ve had rain this season, your new plantings still need watering. Remember to water at soil level 2x a week, depending on rainfall (an inch of rainfall a week is necessary, or you need to water).


This is the month to fertilize a second and last time for the landscape plants, then put your fertilizer in a dry place for the winter. You won’t need it again until spring. The key word here is landscape plants. Please continue to water your annuals, blooming perennials, and blooming plants (hydrangeas) with Bloom Booster once every 7-10 days. This fertilizing is for your landscape plants. The first fertilization was in March (hopefully, but if it wasn’t, do it now and mark March for next year) and this will be the last time for the growing season. Be sure to water the fertilizer. If we fertilize much later into fall, new growth occurs that doesn’t have time to harden off before the cold arrives. Do not fertilize after August 1.

Growing Hydrangeas


It’s Japanese beetle time. Best solution? Hand pick each morning and night, drowning them in a bucket of water. Get squeamish over drowning the hateful things? Try the beetle trap. Yes, it attracts the beetles, but they end up in the trap and not on your plants. It also gives you an idea of how bad the population is.

A full bag? Go for a long-term treatment plan. A few in the bottom of the bag? Don’t fret about it. For long-term treatment, try a milky spore that removes the grubs.  Remember, we can’t eliminate every pest in the garden, but we can manage them.

Watch for slug, snail, and tomato hornworm damage in your garden. Look for these pests to show themselves during cool mornings and evenings and after a rain. Hand-pick them off leaves and dispose of them. Or, combine 9 parts water to 1 part common household ammonia and spray it on plants to kill slugs.

New Garden

One of the most important July tasks for Ohio Valley gardening is the planning of the fall vegetable garden. July in the Ohio Valley is the ideal time to start plants such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. Seed starting in warm temperatures may be difficult, but this will ensure an abundant and delicious fall crop of brassicas.