What to do in the Garden in July
It’s both tempting and enjoyable to just sit out and admire our landscape, but, as you well know, a gardener’s work is never done and we can always see a few more things that need tending to.
Our long, hot summer will take its toll on some of the annuals in your garden and containers, especially things like petunias and pansies. Just remember that annuals are, by nature, short-lived plants. Although many remain growing and blooming throughout the summer months with minimal attention, others may need some work deadheading, cutting back or replacing altogether.
We have come up with a few mid-summer reminders for perking up the garden.
Let’s start with the basics soil and watering
- Loosen hard packed soil to aerate and allow water to penetrate
- Make sure that weeds don’t get a chance to establish by regular weeding.
- Use mulch to moderate soil temperatures
- Newly installed plants may need more frequent watering during hot spells.
- Check all of your irrigation system is working and is on long enough to keep everything adequately watered (this is the time of year that your irrigation will be on for the longest time)
The main event in the garden is the plants
- Dead-head flowers to prolong the bloom and to increase the number of flowers - Remember when pinching or snipping off flowers to take the flower stem off near a leaf node, don’t leave a one- or two-inch stick where the flower used to be!
- Shear back the flowers on ground covers to stimulate a thicker mass
- Plant the warm weather native grass lawns such as Grama
- Cut back just about every plant in your garden can be improved by being cut back or pinched when they start to become too tall or leggy. Pinching will promote compact growth and a second blooming. Use scissors or shears for a clean cut just above a leaf node.
- Think about replacing any annuals that are no longer aesthetically pleasing. Some annuals (and herbs) simply don’t last all summer long in our climate. Plants that are evolved to grow and bloom quickly may not have anything left after their flowering stage is over.
Try replacing these early season show-offs in mid-summer with later blooming plants. Remember - larger sized plants can make an instant impression!
Don’t forget to use pesticides and fertilizers.
In an ideal garden situation, most annuals don’t require a lot of supplemental fertilizer. Regular (twice month or so) fertilization is a good start, use high quality balanced fertilizer. Use pesticide as soon as you notice a problem, this will help to prevent the spread of the pest and a much larger problem later.
Please use mulch in your beds! Bark or gravel will greatly reduce the loss of soil moisture due to evaporation, and keep the ground cooler as well. Mulch also keeps weeds in check and those that do grow will be easier to pull. Remember organic mulches, such as bark and especially compost, break down and improve the soil structure, giving future generations of plants a nicer home to grow in!
Really, all of this isn’t a lot to do and it will give your garden and plants that mid-summer boost and let you really take the maximum amount of pleasure in your garden for the longest time.