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Garden tips: What to do in your garden in July

Garden tips: What to do in your garden in July
Author: JOAN MORRIS - Bay Area News Group
Publish date: Tuesday. July 18th, 2017

Lots to do this month to keep your garden growing

Hibiscus blooms don’t last long, but the heat-loving trees produce multiple blooms. Now is good time to plant some. Mark Eades/Orange County Register

Half the year is over, but there’s still plenty of gardening to be done. Here are some things to do this month:

  • We are coming into the hottest days of the year, so check your irrigation systems to make sure you deliver enough water at the right times. Watering early in the morning will benefit most plants and prevent mildew as well as evaporation.
  • Check your mulch. If you failed to mulch earlier, do so now to help keep soil moist and prevent weed growth. If you mulched this winter, check your beds to see if you need to replenish.
  • Prune fruit-bearing plants including cherries and early plums; cut back cane berries — blackberries, raspberries and boysenberries — if they have finished bearing, and remove old growth and stake new canes.
  • Clean up fallen fruit.
  • Fertilize citrus and use finished compost to top-dress plants.
  • Stake tomatoes and beans.
  • While it’s summer and you might not want to think about it, now is the time to start seeds for your winter vegetable garden. No, we never get to just enjoy the season we’re in.
  • If you have fruit trees, watch out for aphid and scale populations. You’ll likely see a lot of ants around, which is a good indication you have one or both insects. You can treat them with insecticidal soap.
  • Deadhead your flowering plants to promote more blooms.
  • Love the look of hibiscus? July is a good month to plant them, as they love the heat and will take root quickly. Plant in nutrient rich, well-draining soil, and deeply water the tree so the roots remain moist for the first two weeks after planting.
  • Plant corn, cucumber, lima beans and summer squash now for a late summer, early fall harvest.

About Author:

Joan Morris Joan Morris is the pets & wildlife columnist for the Bay Area News Group. She also writes about gardening and is the founder of Our Garden, a demonstration garden in Walnut Creek. Morris started her career in 1978 as a reporter for a small New Mexico newspaper. She has lived in the Bay Area since 1988.

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