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July Gardening To Do List

December gardening

Zone 1
  • Reap herbs for maximum flavor by harvesting them as the first flower buds appear
  • Lanky annuals need your help! Pinch them back now to encourage bushy growth and more flowers.
  • Don't forget watering chores: potted plants, especially, dry out quickly in warm weather
  • Set out warm season vegetables and annuals
  • Harvest veggies as soon as they're ripe to encourage further production
  • Avoid weed-infested gardens: weed before you leave on vacation
  • Mulching around trees prevents mower damage and weed whacker blight
  • The best time to cut flowers for vases? Early in the day when stems are firm and water filled.
  • Maintain a thick layer (3 to 4 inches) of mulch on flower and vegetable gardens. It conserves moisture, reduces weeds, and adds organic matter to the soil.
  • Deadhead the faded roses you haven't cut by taking off the spent flower stems down to a five-leaflet leaf

Zone 2

  • Create your own gardener's gold! Start a compost pile.
  • Now that temperatures have warmed, plant summer-flowering bulbs and tubers
  • Sow biennial seeds (hollyhocks, English daisies, foxgloves, violas, Canterbury bells, and sweet William) for flowers next year
  • Tall flowers, such as lupines and foxgloves, need staked support against the wind
  • To maintain freshness, cool fruits and veggies (except tomatoes) as quickly as possible after harvest
  • Relax -- there's no need to fertilize the lawn in midsummer
  • Harvest veggies regularly; avoid rotting produce that attracts insects and reduces yields
  • Cut stems of annual herbs just above a pair of leaves, allowing 4 to 6 inches of plant to remain for regrowth and additional harvest
  • Leave the larvae on dill and carrots for beautiful fall butterflies
  • Note the native plants in bloom this month and include them in your own wildflower garden

Zone 3
  • Now's the time to start seeds of cool-season vegetables for fall growing
  • Rogue out (remove) virus-infected plants from the garden and control leaf-hopping insects to prevent virus spread
  • By pruning off faded blooms from annuals, you can prevent seed formation and coax additional flowers
  • Mulch flowerbeds with dried grass clipping or compost to maintain moisture and reduce weeds
  • Save maintenance and water by allowing perennial rye and Kentucky blue grass lawns to go dormant during the summer
  • Raspberries are ripe when they pull readily from the central core
  • Prune water sprouts (upright, vigorous shoots) from apple trees
  • Avoid deep cultivation around shallow rooted trees and shrubs such as evergreens
  • Add a water-soluble fertilizer to hanging baskets and patio pots every 2 weeks to keep plants blooming their best
  • Cut flowers for drying at their prime or when just opening

Zone 4

  • Add one last planting of gladioli bulbs for flowers into fall
  • Harvest veggies as soon as they're ripe to encourage further production
  • Avoid the sight of a weed-infested garden: weed first before you leave on vacation
  • Harvest sweet corn when silks are brown and punctured kernels produce a milky juice
  • Prevent blossom-end rot on tomatoes by providing plants with at least an inch of water each week
  • Let melons ripen on the vine--this is where they will develop their best flavor
  • Start fall garden transplants from seed
  • Petunias, coleus and other summer annuals might be leggy by now. Pinch them back just above a leaf to encourage bushy growth and more flowers
  • Leave faded flowers on those plants that form ornamental seed heads, pods, or berries
  • Provide water in a shallow pan or birdbath for your feathered and fluttering friends

Zone 5

  • Remove annuals with stunted or unusual color; these are usually virus infected and the disease can spread to neighboring healthy plants
  • To control disease on fruit trees, maintain a summer spray schedule
  • Clean hummingbird feeders filled with nectar solution regularly to ward off mold and bacteria
  • Consider drip irrigation and/or soaker hoses for watering in the flowerbed and vegetable garden
  • Bats help control mosquitoes; attract these friendly mammals with bat houses
  • Muskmelons and cantaloupes are ready for picking when the stem "slips" easily from the fruit with gentle pressure
  • Harvest veggies as soon as they're ripe to encourage additional production
  • Sharp mower blades prevent leaf blade damage and lawn stress
  • Prevent diseases on susceptible rose varieties: apply fungicide every 7-10 days
  • Lanky annuals need your help! Pinch them back now to encourage bushy growth and more flowers

 

Zone 6

  • Deadhead blooming annuals and perennials for repeat flowering
  • Harvest veggies immediately when ripe; rotting produce attracts insects
  • Avoid weed-infested gardens: weed before you leave on vacation
  • Water hanging baskets and patio pots daily during warm weather
  • Fertilize annual flowerbeds with an all-purpose fertilizer to encourage more blooms
  • Harvest lavender stems for use in bath sachets or drying
  • Sharp shears make quick work of herb and flower harvests
  • Mow cool season grasses at 3 inches during the summer to shade and insulate the soil
  • Enjoy a glass of tea flavored with mint, pineapple sage, or lemon balm from the garden
  • Provide birds and butterflies with a shallow water source

Zone 7

  • Remove faded flowers from perennials after they finish blooming. Deadheading redirects energy towards healthy roots.
  • Maintain a 3 to 4 inch mulch layer around trees and shrubs to protect them from mower and weed whacker damage.
  • Check plants regularly for insect problems; hand pick or use suitable control measures if found
  • Fertilize warm-season grasses
  • Plant butterfly nectar and larval food plants such as asclepias, buddleia, and passionflower
  • Replace spent annuals with heat-tolerant lantana, verbena, pentas, and hibiscus
  • Consider drip irrigation and/or soaker hoses as efficient watering alternatives
  • Harvest raspberries and blackberries daily to avoid attracting insects to overripe fruit
  • Prune water sprouts from apple trees
  • Water flowerbeds and vegetable gardens deeply. This encourages a deep root system

 

Zone 8

  • Start basil seedlings for a fall herb garden
  • Mow warm-season grasses at a height of 2.5 to 3 inches; apply at least an inch of water a week
  • Prevent rose diseases with a fungicide spray program
  • For longest vase life, harvest cut flowers just as they begin to open and condition them in floral preservative
  • Fertilize container plants every two weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer solution for best bloom
  • Keep annuals in bloom by removing faded flowers
  • Bats help control mosquitoes; attract these friendly mammals with bat houses
  • Help trees survive the heat by mulching heavily over the root system--avoid mulch too close to the trunk
  • Water your garden more efficiently with drip irrigation or soaker hoses
  • Save space in the garden with trellises, fences, and stakes-harvest is easier too

 

Zone 9

  • Cultivate your own tropical paradise going by planting palms, bananas, and fruit trees
  • Start tomato transplants for your fall vegetable garden
  • A sunny yellow garden of cosmos, sunflowers, and zinnias brightens up the summer landscape
  • Mow warm-season grasses at a height of 2.5 to 3 inches; apply at least an inch of water weekly
  • Inspect plants for possible insect pest problems
  • Attract butterflies to the garden by providing caterpillar food plants like carrots, dill, and parsley
  • Beat the heat with durable annuals like zinnia, sunflower, and celosia
  • Hibiscus makes a great addition to hanging baskets, patio pots, or flowerbeds
  • Clean hummingbird feeders regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth
  • Get the most from garden space by installing trellises and stakes for plants to grow up on--harvest is easier too

 

Zone 10

  • Start tomato seedlings for your fall garden; consider container varieties for your patio
  • Remove dying foliage regularly from water garden to maintain a healthy pond pH
  • Water gardens and yards early in the morning before the wind comes up; apply at least an inch of water weekly
  • Remove grass from around trees and shrubs and replace with moisture-conserving mulch
  • To build up delicious nutmeats, thoroughly water nut trees
  • A mixture of flower colors, sizes and bloom times provides butterfly nectar throughout the season
  • Plant a variety of basil flavors for a fall herb garden
  • Check the filter in your water garden for clogs
  • Install drip irrigation in the vegetable garden and flowerbeds to water more efficiently
  • Plant morning glory vines to provide nectar for hummingbirds

Zone 11

  • Gasping fish at the water garden's surface need additional oxygen from cleaner water
  • Inspect plants regularly for potential pest problems
  • Fertilize container plants every 2 weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer for best bloom
  • A mixture of flower colors, sizes, and bloom times will attract butterflies throughout the season
  • Remove grass from the area directly around trees and shrubs and replace with moisture conserving mulch
  • Keep an eye on the water garden during hot spells and provide additional aeration and/or mist the water to help cool it
  • Hummingbirds love shrimp plants, four o'clocks, and morning glories; include these in your garden and you're sure to have regular visitors
  • Water gardens and yards early in the morning before wind levels increase
  • The best time to cut flowers for vases? Early in the day when stems are firm and water filled.
  • Lawns should be cut at 2 1/2 to 3 inches; mow frequently enough to remove only 1/3 of the leaf surface at any one time

 

 


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