Calloway’s Timely Tips for July Gardeners

Gardening activities usually slow down in the summertime as the temperature continues to climb into the 90′s and beyond. July is often a very dry month and can be very hot. New garden projects are not usually started but there are always maintenance chores to do. The best time to do any kind of gardening or maintenance is in early morning or late in the day after supper.

Proper watering is essential to keep plants healthy. It is best to water deeply and infrequently as possible, as opposed to frequent light sprinklings. This will encourage a deeper root system that can take advantage of water stored in the soil.

One of the best strategies for getting shrubs and young trees through summertime sry spells is to apply a thick layer of mulch over the root systems of plants. Mulches break down over time, so if it has been awhile since you’ve mulched, check all the plants in your yard. A three to four inch layer will prevent most evaporation from the soil and lower the soil temperature in the root zone, reducing stress on the root system.

July is a great time to prepare and plant your fall vegetable garden!  Did you know many fall-grown vegetables have better flavor? Since the days are getting shorter, many vegetable crops store more sugar and have better flavor than spring-grown crops. Vegetables for a fall garden include tomatoes, peppers, snap beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots and lettuce.  Keep your garden well watered before fall begins.  Drip irrigation combined with mulch is an excellent way to maintain high quality vegetable plants. Soaker hoses can be used to provide this water supply for your garden.

Wanting to add some summer color; marigolds, cosmos, vinca, zinnias, purslane and portulaca all do well in the summer heat. Marigolds planted in late summer and carried over into fall tend to have brighter colors than spring planted marigolds. Pinch back and fertilize chrysanthemums this month to promote new growth and more flowers.

Water plants in containers and hanging baskets more frequently in the summer to keep them from drying out.  This can leach out plant nutrients from the soil, so use a water-soluble fertilizer regularly to keep your plants growing and healthy.

Free Clinics at your local Calloway’s or Cornelius Nursery:

Saturday, July 12:  Birding Basics – Creating a Bird-friendly Backyard (10:15am)
A bird-friendly landscape should fulfill all of a wild bird’s basic needs – food, shelter, water and nesting sites.