PRODUCTION

Your July Garden Checklist with Mike Darcy


July 1, 2023

The month of July in a Northwest garden can be both a positive and a negative experience, and often it is both. There is much that is dependent upon the weather and as has been mentioned in previous checklists, there is not much we can do about that on a large scale. However, there are many garden tasks that we can do to keep our plants healthy. If the month of July is hot and dry, some plants may need to be protected from the hot afternoon sun and some shading might be necessary. Umbrellas tend to work well. This is also a time to contemplate on the location of plants that are stressing. Perhaps in the fall they might need to be transplanted to an area with more shade.

July is also the month when the summer vegetable garden is beginning to become productive. Monitor the watering needs on a daily basis. Some large leaf vegetables such as many squashes, will wilt in the afternoon sun. If the plants have adequate moisture, this should not be a problem.

Colorful summer flowers blooming in flower bed with American flag decoration

Watering is a key factor in July and making sure that plants have sufficient water is critical. Garden compost can be applied around plants and this will help to conserve water. There are some plants that tend to wilt on hot days even with moisture in the root zone and this just means that the plant is losing more water through the leaves than it can take up through the roots. Perhaps in the fall, a shrub or tree could be planted that would provide some shade.

Each garden is unique and there are often microclimates to consider regarding sun and wind. Warm dry winds can be especially detrimental to plants. The following are some general tips.

Bunch of ripe cherry tomatoes in the garden. Wire tomato cage for support

Tomatoes

Many of the cherry type of tomatoes and the small, fruited varieties will be maturing. As they ripen, keep the fruit picked. Often tomato plants get very thick with foliage and removal of some of the stems and leaves can be helpful to allow air circulation for the plant. Be sure to have some type of support, whether wire cages or wooden stakes. to keep the plants off the ground. Ripe tomatoes on the ground will be a slug attractant.

Galvanized Tomato Cage, 12 in. X 33 in.

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Galvanized Tomato Cage, 14 in. X 42 in.

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Bond, Green Dyed Heavy-Duty Bamboo Stakes, 25 pk

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Nelson Wood Stake, Pointed, 1 x 2 x 24-In.

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flower arrangement of burgundy petunias with black veins, white verbena and yellow calibrachoa in a hanging coconut basket

Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets will probably need watering once a day. Water thoroughly until water comes out the bottom. Daily watering is needed but it also leeches nutrients from the soil. A water-soluble fertilizer added weekly can be helpful for plants to continue to thrive.

Green Thumb, 14" Black Finial Motif Round Hanging Plant Basket

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Southern Patio, 10" Hanging Basket with Saucer

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Plastic Watering Can, 2 gal.

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Miracle-Gro Watering Can Singles, 24 pk.

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Down to Earth, Premium All Purpose Fertilizer, 5 lb

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Flower pots

Plants in Containers

Similar to plants in hanging baskets, container plants will tend to dry out much faster than if planted in the ground. The sides of containers in the sun can become very hot and dry out the soil. A garden mulch in containers is helpful for holding moisture.

Garden Valley, Bark Mulch, 2 cu. ft.

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Scotts, Nature Scapes Color Enhanced Deep Forest Brown Mulch, 2 cu ft

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Gardeners, Hemlock Bark Mulch, 2 cu. ft.

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Red raspberry growing on bush in garden

Raspberries

If raspberry plants are single bearing, once the canes have borne fruit, the cane can be cut to ground level and new canes will appear. These new canes will grow during the summer, and they will then be the source for berries the following year.

Bare Root Caroline Red Raspberry Cane

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Budworm

Flowers of petunias and geraniums are particularly susceptible to an insect called a petunia or geranium budworm. This caterpillar tunnels into the stems of developing flowers and seems to be especially attractive to petunias and geraniums. The caterpillar rarely feeds on leaves. As flower buds open, if there are holes in the petals, this is probably an indication of the infamous budworm. Inspect the flower buds closely and if small worms are present, pick them off and drop them in a can of soapy water. If chemical control is necessary, check the label of a synthetic pyrethrin pesticide, and follow label directions.

Bonide, Bon-Neem II Ready-to-Use, 32 oz

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Organically homegrown 'Provider' bush snap green beans growing in a garden in summer

Beans

If beans are maturing, keep them picked to prolong the harvest, Some gardeners will plant bush beans for a fall harvest.

American robin sits on edge of bird bath

Birds

Don’t forget to provide fresh daily water for the birds. Birds can be a benefit in the garden by their eating of many pests.

Florence & New Italian Art Co, Cast Stone Ponderosa Bird Bath, 1966

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Tri-R Sales, Tall Ceramic Bird Bath

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Florence & New Italian Art Co, Butterfly Bird Bath, 1967

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Mosquitos

Even very small pools of standing water can be a breeding ground for mosquitos. If pools cannot be eliminated, consider using mosquito dunks for control.

Mosquito Dunk, 6 pk.

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Tiki Bitefighter Citronella Wax Candle Bucket 17oz

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Little gardener girl helping her mother to pour vegetable garden bed with green cucumbers

Don’t let this checklist discourage you. The benefits of a summer garden far outweigh the chores!

MIKE’S GARDEN IS LOCATED IN OREGON’S WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND HIS ADVICE IS CONSISTENT WITH THE MILD CLIMATE THERE.

We would love to see your garden growing, use #mywilcolife on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag Wilco Stores.