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What to do in your garden in July


  • Blooms

If you, like us, love to have color from late summer to fall, you can still plant begonias, impatiens in your shade areas, salvia, marigolds, verbena, and zinnias in part shade areas.  For full sun annuals sweet alyssum , cosmos, ageratum, celosia, petunias, marigolds, portulaca would be a good choice.  To add more perennials to you garden plant bearded iris, lavender, coreopsis, statice, gazanias, and gloriosa daisy.

  • Vegetables

For a late harvest of beans, beets, carrots, corn, cucumbers, and summer squash, sow seeds or plant seedlings now.

  • Trees and Shrubs

Because we are heading into the hotter month in the Bay Area, I would postpone the planting of trees and shrubs until fall.


  • Check sprinklers and drip systems to make sure that all outlets are working correctly and not wasting water where not necessary.
  • Check the soil moisture of container-grown vegetables and flowers daily.  As the temperature rises, some plants may need watered twice daily.
  • Divide crowded spring-flowering bulbs and tubers, including bearded iris when the foliage dies off. Transplant bearded iris using the vigorous ends of the rhizomes. Discard the old center portion. Also, do cut the leaves back to about 8 inches (20 cm).
  • Feed roses after each bloom cycle, water regularly, and remove spent flowers. For best results, cut dead flower heads back to the first set of healthy looking 5-leave.
  • To encourage more flowers, cut off developing seed heads of coreopsis, cosmos, dahlias, marigolds, rudbeckia, and zinnias, and cut back and fertilize delphinium and phlox to encourage a second show of bloom.
  • Dead-head petunias to encourage more vigorus flowering
  • Fertilize cymbidiums (orchides) to encourage flower formation for next winter’s bloom; feed them with quarter strength liquid fertilizer every time you water them.
  • Feed blooming annuals at least monthly to keep them producing  flowers.
  • Cut the first flowers of lavender to encourage a second crop.
  • To produce the largest flowers, the main stems of dahlias should be kept free of side shoots, allowing only the terminal bud to develop. In larger varieties, a single stalk is the best. Adequate support must be
    provided to prevent wind damage. Water well.
  • Train and trim plants on arbors. Take care to ensure ties do not girdle branches.
  • After harvesting June-bearing cane berries, cut spent canes back to the ground. Leave new green canes; tie them up when they are tall enough. On ever bearing raspberries, cut out only the upper half of each cane that bore fruit this year.
  • Feed potted plants twice a month with half-strength liquid fertilizer like 20-20-20 or less often with a controlled-release pelleted fertilizer.

Note: If you have been pinching back your mums mid-July is the time to stop so they will be able to develop flower buds for the fall.

Like home crafting projects? July is a good time to begin looking for native and cultivated plants from which you can collect seed pods to use for decorating this fall and winter. Be on the lookout for such material as thistles, cattails, dried corn tassels, and seed pods from locust, redbud, and chaste tree.

Did you know? Many plants are easily increased by layering. Verbenas, euonymus, pachysandra, ivy, daphne, and climbing roses are some of plants that will root if stems are fastened down on soft earth with a wire and covered with some soil.

Lawn Maintenance

  • Fertilize Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia lawns monthly through October.
  • During hot, July weather, be sure to mow your lawn to the appropriate height. This reduces water loss and helps lower soil temperatures.
  • Mushrooms in the lawn can be a nuisance, and the decayed organic material can result in depressions in the yard. Be sure to hand pick them carefully as soon as you see them and before they send out spores. Always wear gloves.

Most importantly!  Protect your home from wild fires by clearing brush away  as recommended by California Fire Department.  If you need help with that, give us a call @ (707) 647-2000.
Happy gardening!


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