Gardener’s to do list: July
With temperatures up above 80 degrees and the sun beating down from on-high, it is tempting to just sit back and enjoy the garden. July’s one of the few months when we can just kick our heels up here in Michigan, and there isn’t a better time of year to relax and enjoy a few hours of basking on the lawn.
A gardener’s work is never done though. Even now – at the height of summer – there’s plenty you can do to help your plants along. There’s lots of prep work for the fall too, particularly if you’re growing veg and want to make the most of our notoriously-short growing window.
Looking for inspiration? Worry not. We’ve put together a checklist that walks you through our list of top gardening jobs for July:
1. Feed your lawn
The growing season redirects a lot of your lawn’s spare energy; tempting grass to shoot up and start seeding. This leaves you with a beautiful, green space but it also means that your lawn has very little in the way of reserves come July/August. Sudden drought or a few days of unseasonably high temperature can quickly leave your grass looking parched, and there’s every chance that it could actually die in the event of a prolonged dry-spell.
Adding a generous helping of a good, fast-acting lawn fertilizer really helps to offset the chances of this happening: Feeding your lawn’s roots and providing the extra nutrients needed to endure a This is also true of liquid fertilizer, which can be added to your watering can and poured over your lawn once every 6-8 days.
If you’re feeling really gung-ho, you could also look at aerating your lawn to improve the flow of oxygen and ensure that moisture can get down into dried out soil. Aeration is a fairly involved task though, and it’s not strictly necessary unless your trying for a competition-worthy lawn.
2. Dead-head early-flowering border plants and perennials
If you get in quick and dead-head early-flowering border plants, there’s every chance you’ll trick them into flowering again. This also works for perennials too, and July’s the perfect time to try it as you should just be approaching the part of the season where they’d normally start self-seeding.
3. Pick early-blooming veg
Zucchini, the first radishes and any leafy greens need to be harvested around now. Zucchini, in particular, as they’ll turn into marrows if they’re left alone for the summer.
July’s also a really good opportunity to go round and tend to veg like peppers and tomatoes: Nipping any stems growing below the veg itself, and removing any dead leaves to improve airflow and prevent disease. Although these veggies are still busy fruiting for you, they still appreciate a little care and maintenance.
4. Add mulch to quick-drying beds & borders
If it’s unexpectedly warm, you can help to lock-in extra moisture with a thin layer of mulch. For best results, we tend to pack ours around the stems of any ailing plants to help prevent evaporation from around the root network.
5. Plant out the first of your Fall crops
We have a relatively short growing window here in Michigan, but careful planning and good use of the sun means that you can get another round of radishes, carrots and other fall veg into the ground before the sun vanishes for the winter. We’d start looking to plant any root veg around now, and remember to give those seeds plenty of water in the first two weeks!
If you’ve got any gardening questions, or need advice about any of the tasks listed here, remember to get in touch! We’re always more than happy to help with any enquiries and we’d love to hear your thoughts.