July is the peak of summertime weather, which presents its joys as well as its challenges. Rainfall becomes scarce as temperatures rise, leading to a greater need to water lawns, flowerbeds, baskets, vegetables gardens and more.
But the need to care for your garden in July isn’t limited to watering. There are opportunities to plant winter vegetable crops, as well as the need to scout for various pest and disease issues and treat for them if found.
And that’s just for starters. It’s a busy and beautiful time to get out there!
- For a green lawn, water frequently during periods of heat and drought stress. You can irrigate ¼ inch 4–6 times per week from June through August. To measure your water use, place an empty tuna can where your irrigation water lands.
- To reduce evaporation, water vegetable and flower gardens in the early morning. Water the soil rather than the leaves. This reduces disease. Water deeply and infrequently to encourage root growth.
- Pay careful attention to watering and feeding hanging baskets of flowers or vegetable plantings during extended periods of hot weather.
- Mulch with paper, plastic or sawdust to conserve soil moisture.
- Now is a good time to plant beets, bush beans, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, kale and peas. This will provide fall and winter crops. OSU Extension has a guide to winter vegetable production, which you can download here.
- There are a host of steps to take for pest monitoring and management, to deal with cutworms, tomato blight, maggot flies, filbertworm, peach tree and peach twig borer, codling month, scale insects, root weevils and more. You can read them here. It’s also a good time to cover blueberry bushes with netting to stop birds from eating the entire crop.
- Read the whole article for the complete list of tips. Questions? Be sure to use your Master Gardener hotline as a resource.
Don’t assume we’re past the time for planting vegetable crops. You definitely can plant a number of seeds or starts. Portland Nursery’s helpful Veggie Calendar (PDF) has you covered. You can pick up the seeds and starts you need from many of our local garden centers.