The Monthly Gardener – July – Sit Back & Enjoy

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While Spring and Fall are the ideal times for planting, July is the perfect month to enjoy all the work you did in landscaping your garden. So why not fire up the grill and have a barbeque, or a pool party or just sit back and enjoy the cool of California’s glorious summer evenings with a few friends, a few cocktails and some good conversation.

However, if you still feel the urge to garden, there are some plants that can tolerate being planted in the heat of the summer, such as cacti, succulents, tropicals, hibiscus and summer annuals. Just do your planting in the early morning or late afternoon and make sure that everything is thoroughly and deeply watered. But your main focus this month should be on maintenance and watering.

I’m only going to touch on watering in this blog post because July’s newsletter will be all about watering and how to save both it and your money and how your environmentally smart watering choices can positively impact our environment. If you’d like to know about saving water, you can also check a previous post of mine, “5 Ways To Save Water.”

So … what’s up for July?

  • Watering: sprinklers should be set to run between 4:00 and 7:00 a.m to deep water lawns (approximately 20 minutes every three day) – use drip irrigation or soaker hoses for flowers and vegetable gardens – mature tress should be watered deeply but infrequently;
  • Fertilize:  roses, fuchsias, tuberous begonias, water lilies, corn, cymbidiums, camellias, azaleas, impatiens, ferns, warm and cool-season lawns, tropicals, cacti and euphorbias growing in the ground
  • Trim. Deadhead & Prune: chrysanthemums, roses, flowers, impatiens, hydrangeas, hibiscus, English primroses, succulents daylilies, Martha Washington geraniums
  • Pests & Diseases: as new growth and buds appear, so do an assortment of pests and diseases. You need to be diligent in checking all of your plants – both sides of the leaves – for white fly and thrips and check to see if slugs or snails are present. If a plant is infected, I suggest looking up the plant on the Internet to see what the infection might be and how to handle it.  There are any number of remedies on the market but the choice all depends on the plant, the infection and your particular needs.

If you’d like to learn more about what to do in the garden in July, check out Pat Welsh’s “Southern California Gardening – A Month-by-Month Guide, or Google, “Southern California Gardening June.”

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