July To-Do List
There really isn’t much to do in July. Here in zone 7, the tomatoes, squash and peppers are starting to come in. It’s really too hot to do much planting outdoors and pruning is too stressful on the plants. However, beans, corn and fast maturing squash can still go in the ground. July is really about observing, maintaining and thinking about fall.
- Start thinking about cool weather veggies like kale, lettuce, and other greens as well as carrots and some root vegetables. Make a wish list of what you’d like to eat fresh in the winter months and keep it on your fridge.
- It’s a good time to order seed potatoes.
- Plant fast maturing squash, melons, beans and corn if you live in zones 7 and plus.
- The bulb catalogs are coming out and some of them are give pretty steep discounts. None of us want to think about February and March while we’re lounging under the shade tree with a cold beverage but you’ll be glad you did when those first spring flowers come poking up out of the ground. Get your daffodils and tulips ordered now. Breck’s is my bulb company of choice right now, though I’m always looking around for other eye candy.
- Keep an eye on your plants for caterpillars and other bugs that might do serious damage to your garden and remove what you can.
- Read a new gardening book. I’m waiting on a book on landscaping with native plants by Judith Phillips. She’s a local garden designer and expert on using plants that are appropriate for the Southwest.
- Try new recipes for your fresh veggies. Really. You need to figure out what to do with all that zucchini.
- Sit in your garden and watch. Keep a little diary of what’s working and what needs to change for next year.
- Even though it’s hot, don’t overwater your trees and perennials. Once every 10 days is still fine. They’ll be forced to develop a sturdier root system.
- Put a bird bath or small fountain in your garden. Having a water source nearby will keep the birds from devouring your fruits and juicy tomatoes. Its also fun to watch them splash around and stay cool.
- If you haven’t already done it, mulch! We have bark everywhere we have plants right now but are going to be removing the bark around the veggies and replacing it with straw. Mulch will keep the roots cooler and slow down evaporation so that water stays where it needs to be.