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Garden Tasks for July

I don't know whether nice people tend to grow roses
 or growing roses makes people nice.
- Roland A. Beowne


  • Weed, water, & fertilize as needed.

  • Deadhead to promote extended flowering.

  • Sow the seeds of cool-season plants for fall blooming.

  • Watch for signs of pests and diseases, especially spider mites.

  • Cut flowers early in the morning for longer-lasting arrangements.

Vegetables and Herbs

  • Cultivate lightly to control weeds.

  • Mulch to conserve moisture. Water in the morning, using drip irrigation if possible.

  • Harvest mature crops and young shoots from herbs.  Use or preserve as soon as possible (before flowering) for best nutrition and taste.

Patio and Container Plants

  • Monitor plants daily for water needs and pest control.

  • Apply water-soluble or foliar fertilizer, such as "Miracle-Gro" to plants as needed for healthy vigor—usually 2 to 4 weeks.

  • Pinch back straggly plants and deadhead spent blooms to maintain neat appearance.

Tree and Shrubs

  • Apply plant starter or root stimulator to new plants.

  • Control spider mites on junipers and other shrubs by spraying with an insecticidal soap such as "Concern" or "Bonide Bon-Neem".


  • Continue watering weekly as needed.

  • Apply granular fertilizer such as "Rosetone"

  • Watch for mildew, Japanese beetles, and aphids.  Spray as needed, diluting fungicides by 1/3 to prevent burning the foliage.

  • Prune old garden roses after they bloom.  Cut off failing, old canes on climbers and tie in new ones.


  • Water deeply during dry spells to maintain even moisture and reduce blossom-end rot and fruit cracking.

  • Watch for ripening fruit. heavy foliage can make ripe tomatoes hard to spot.

  • Continue to prune, tie, train, or cage plants as needed.

  • Watch for diseases, particularly blight, on lower branches. Check for insects like hornworm caterpillars.

Perennials and Bulbs

  • Weed, water, and fertilize as needed.

  • Deadhead or cut back after flowering to promote plant vigor and possible re-bloom.

  • Watch for signs of pests and diseases, especially spider mites.

  • Check for mildew on phlox and spray as directed.

  • Sow seeds of perennials for fall or spring transplanting.


  • Check mower blade for sharpness; grass cut by a dull blade is susceptible to disease and insect damage.

  • Water as-needed.  if water is restricted, let the lawn enter summer dormancy; it will likely recover when rains return.

  • Minimize fertilizer use; nitrogen stimulation in hot weather makes turf more prone to disease.

  • Increase mowing height by an extra in. during hot, dry periods.

Adapted from Reader's Digest "1001 Hints and Tips for your Garden," 1998.