July Garden To-Do List

  • Flowers – Cut back perennials (e.g. hardy Geraniums, Delphiniums & catmint) after the first flush of flowers to encourage new growth and further blooms.
  • Deadhead annuals to encourage blooming.
  • Trim – Shorten stems of fall flowering plants like asters, mums, Joe-Pyeweed and goldenrod to keep them sturdy and compact.
  • Wisteria – Throughout the summer, remove the whippy side-shoots from the main branch framework to about 20 cm from their base (about five leaves from the main stem). Wisteria not blooming? Read our wisteria factsheet for help.
  • Lilacs – Remove the old flower clusters as soon after flowering as possible. Prune just above the two new shoots that angle out from the stem that ended with the old flowers.
  • Compost – Keep adding a mix of ‘browns’ and ‘greens’ to your compost pile.
  • Lawn – Mow high-3”/7.5 cm to shade out weeds and leave the clippings on the grass to return nutrients & water to the soil. WATER LESS and let lawn go dormant in dry hot spells (turn brown). Water dormant grass when: the blades don’t spring back upright when you walk on it and when the blades fold to show their lighter blueish-green underside. More info here.
  • Veggies – Water during dry or hot weather to avoid stressing plants. Do not over fertilize tomatoes as it can lead to blossom end rot.
  • Garlic – Stop watering 2-3 weeks before harvest. Harvest when tops turn brown (about mid-July) For more information go to; Producing Garlic in Michigan
  • Water – Avoid watering in the hottest part of the day; water any spring planted trees& plants regularly, & existing trees less frequently, but deeply; water the base of plants, not the foliage, or use soaker hoses.
  • Birds – Keep feeders and bird baths filled &clean.
  • Pests–Try and identify the insect before taking action. That ‘pest’ may be a butterfly caterpillar! For pests that are a problem, something as simple as a strong spray from your garden hose to knock them off will do the trick and does not kill beneficial insects which will keep your garden in balance.
  • Japanese Beetles/Gypsy Moth/Aphids/Squash beetles – Check our June newsletter for suggestions.
  • Visit a local garden centre – Many plants are on sale in July! Why not add some butterfly host plants to your garden this year.
  • Enjoy and assess – Take a minute to sit and enjoy your garden. Assess your garden’s appearance and function.
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