Every month requires different care for your garden. In the month of July, here is what you need to ensure great health of your plants and flowers.
1. Deadhead Perennial Flowers
If you haven’t done so already, remove the faded blooms from your spring perennial flowers such as peonies, bearded iris, and Asiatic lilies. When you remove the dead flowers, you make plants look better and you prevent them from trying to make seed that can sap the plant’s energy. Removing faded perennial flowers encourages the plant to send energy to its roots so it will bloom better next year.
Trial Garden Tip: Some perennial flowers, such as salvia, will often bloom again later in the season if you clip away the faded blooms now. Trim them back by one third of their height.
2. Harvest Daily
As summer heats up, vegetable and fruit crops go into overdrive in the North. Check your garden and harvest daily. Vegetables such as cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, eggplants taste better when harvested young. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries also benefit from daily picks; harvest at peak flavor.
Trial Garden Tip: Cover berries or other prized produce with netting to protect them from hungry birds or rodents.
Note: In subtropical areas such as Central/South Florida, later this month is a good time to start vegetable seeds indoors (then transplant them outdoors come fall when temperatures start to cool).
3. Pot Up Succulents and Cacti
Succulents and cacti love hot, dry weather. These easy-care beauties thrive in adverse conditions and won’t die if you leave them unattended when you go on vacation. They come in an almost unlimited selection of shapes, sizes, and colors so you can create your own magical miniature landscapes in pots and planters.
Trial Garden Tip: Cacti and succulents can tolerate almost anything — except wet soil. Make sure your pots have plenty of drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
4. Plant a Personal Oasis with Container Plants
Transform an area of your yard into a personal getaway. Find a comfortable chair, surround it with container plants, such as palms, add a small fountain, and kick back and relax! When fall rolls around, move your palms indoors to enjoy all winter long. Some of the easiest palms include: Majesty, Chinese Fan, Cat, Areca, Lady, Kentia, Christmas, and Fishtail.
Trial Garden Tip: In the fall, don’t wait until frost threatens to bring your palms indoors. Move them inside several weeks before frost is predicted so they can slowly become adjusted to indoor conditions.
5. Mulch, Mulch, and Mulch Some More
A wise gardener once said: “You can never have enough mulch.” Actually I made that up, but the lesson is true. Mulch is the key to a low-maintenance and healthy garden. By adding several inches of mulch over your beds and borders, you’ll increase soil moisture, reduce weed competition, and improve the quality of fruits and vegetables. Mulches come in two classes: those that decay in one season (such as straw, newspaper, or leaves) and those that take a few years to break down (such as bark chunks, cocoa bean hulls, and shredded bark). Use quick-decaying types in vegetable and annual flowerbeds so that you can till it all under after the season is over. Long-lasting mulches are best used in permanent landscape settings.
Trial Garden Tip: Buying mulches by the bag can become expensive. Look for sources that sell mulch by the truckload and deliver directly to your home.
Get gardening and follow the above tips in the month of July.