JULY GARDENING CALENDAR
Because July in often hot, water berries (they need constantly moist soil) as well as fruit trees and vegetables as needed. After garlic, shallots and storage onions flag or look wilted, withhold water. Carefully dig and cure them over wire (usually one week). Decrease water to potatoes when tops begin to die back, though this will probably not happen until August this year. Check for pests frequently (aphids, leafhoppers, squash bugs and leaf miners). Weed squash, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins to increase production. Clean and weed borders.
Early in the month you can start some fall crops indoors to plant out in late August/early September: cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, late cabbage, Chinese cabbage, bok choi and radicchio. All of these are plants that grow and produce well in the cool fall weather. Plant them out in 5 to 6 weeks, when they have two sets of leaves. Cauliflower should be ready about 55-60 days from transplanting (October). Have covers ready for severe frosts below 26 degrees F. The time period of late June and early July is the best time to plant seeds for healthy fall crops. You can also direct sow several vegetables all month long: lettuce, kohlrabi, dill, rutabagas, Swiss chard, carrots, collards, endive, fennel, kale, peas, and scallions (green onions).
For extended harvest into winter, the gardener can grow vegetables in protected frames or tunnels. If covers are large enough for extended growing, direct sow: beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, kale, rutabaga, salsify and New Zealand spinach.
If you started seeds in June, you can transplant out leeks. Plant them deeply and cut the tops shorter. Cool weather crops including Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are best transplanted out late in July. Shade them to protect them from transplanting shock and August heat with cardboard or a row cover or tunnel using fabric instead of polyfilm.
At blossom time, fertilize your peppers with 4 tablespoons Epsom salts in one gallon of water and repeat 2 weeks later. Fertilize established asparagus with rotted, composted manure and June-bearing strawberries after harvest. Watch for corn earworms and powdery mildew. Hill up potatoes to keep the tubers cool. Transplant and divide iris and primulas.
Harvest: lettuce, carrots, beets, onions, leeks, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, squashes, bush beans.
Sow seeds (in frames) of early-blooming perennials: primroses, lupines, tulips, and poppies. Biennials, such as sweet William, Canterbury bells, sweet rocket and stocks can be direct sown now and into August. Sow winter pansies, but also collect pansy seed from the plants you like the best. Remove lanky, exhausted growths to encourage short new stems from the center. Take cuttings of pansies for autumn planting. Remove violet runners, mulch them, feed them and keep foliage moist by frequently spraying with water. Take up spring bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths, fritillaries, colchicums, autumn crocuses, etc., when leaves are decayed. Carefully dig them and dry over wire screen. Propagate from offsets and store in cool, dry place for the summer.
Pick up fallen fruit; check for canker. Propagate strawberries by runners and plant them into new beds.
TREES, SHRUBS AND ROSES
Finish trimming evergreens, box edgings and all types of hedges early in the month. Prune spring blooming shrubs now. Water lawns during hot weather to keep them green. Prune old-fashioned once-blooming shrub roses now, after blooms fade, removing no more than 1/3 length of canes. Trim out old, non-productive and dead wood. Have a great July!