Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July Gardening To Do List

How is your garden holding up this season?  Here in the Northeast a cool and rainy spring caused our gardens to be about three weeks behind schedule.  Lawns are green and growing abundantly.  We've been mowing a couple of times per week to keep our yard looking tidy.

My roses have gone by.  Just today I deadheaded the rose bushes and cut back some of the lanky growth.  It certainly doesn't look like much today, but hopefully this will encourage a second bloom.

The vegetable garden has produced spinach, lettuce, radishes and snap peas.  We may have picked the last of the snap peas today.  The tomato plants are growing tall and setting fruit.  We have cute little baby jalapenos on the pepper plants.  The basil plants you see in the picture below were cut back this week to make my first batch of pesto.  I pulled a couple of the onions today to use in a mixed vegetable stir fry for dinner.  It's early too early for the onion, but the young onions added nice flavor to the vegetables.

Here's a list of the things to consider doing in your July garden here in the Northeast.

  • Plant and tend your warm-weather vegetables.  Peppers and tomatoes will start doing really well now that the cold and wet weather has finally moved on. Pinch plants back when they are small to encourage fuller and bushier plants that will support a heavy load of vegetables better. This is important to remember with your herbs as well.
  • Plant another round of cool-weather crops. If you have a shady spot in your garden that gets some sun during the day, consider sowing one last crop of cool-weather crops, such as spinach and lettuces.   I'm going to find a spot in one of my shady perennial gardens.
  • Tend your flowering bushes.  Keep your flowering bushes deadheaded so the plants direct their energy into foliage and root growth instead of seeds. Prune them after the blooms fade.  Now is the time to cut back any dead branches.  You can safely prune up to one-third of the bush.
  • Deadhead perennials. Deadhead and prune all of your spring-blooming perennials.  Prune flowering vines such as clematis and wisteria once the blooms have faded.   Pinch back or lightly prune herbs like rosemary and basil to keep the plants bushy and full.
  • Tend your roses. As soon as buds appear on your roses, fertilize them,  Cut off (deadhead) the fading blooms  instead of leaving them on the bush to encourage the plant to continue blooming. 
  • Deadhead your annuals.  Annuals need frequent deadheading.  Don't let your petunias get long and spindly.  Keep annuals well fed with fertilizer or compost to encourage continual blooming. Daily watering may be required, especially the ones in pots, baskets and window boxes.
Do you have a garden?  If not consider planting some herbs and vegetables in pots.  I planted a zucchini plant in a large pot on my deck and it is growing beautifully.

And my potted herbs are doing well.  Here is a picture of my mint plant.

Whether you have pots on your patio or deck, a little raised bed vegetable garden, or 5 acres of garden, July is a month that will reap the rewards.



  1. My garden is sprouting, but nothing edible yet. We did plant herbs in an herb pot. The tomato sauce with real basil is exquisite.

  2. Stephanie, I hope you get enough basil for pesto. Oh, my, you will be in heaven then!


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