What to do in the garden in July

Planning Ahead

  • Prepare beds for the garden 1 – 3 weeks before planting.
  • Check soil moisture.  A good consistency should be like a good snowball.
  • Test your sprinklers for coverage and drip irrigation for leakage.
  • Brew compost tea and provide for your garden every 2 weeks.  Compost tea has been shown to prevent blossom end rot, rust, and powdery mildew.
  • Prepare trellises for your crops that are suitable for the way they like to grow.
  • Train your vining plants along their trellises (Grapes, kiwis, blackberries, raspberries, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, etc).  Proper trellising encourages good air flow.
  • Watch any weeds for flowering and setting seed.  If you are trying to prevent these plants from growing in abundance in your garden, you will need to pull them before their flowers mature.
  • Mulch to prevent weeds.
  • Compost and collect organic matter for the compost pile.  Keep your compost pile moist during the dry season.
  • Plant summer cover crops such as buckwheat, clover, and alfalfa. Watch for slugs and other insect pests on your plants and trees.
  • Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife.
  • Ensure good airflow around your plants to prevent fungal disease.

In The Vegetable Garden

  • Early morning is the best time to water.  Water deep and as infrequent as possible.
  • Continue to sow lettuce and radishes in succession as needed, every two weeks.
  • Start seeds of plants in the cabbage family for the winter garden.  Between now and the middle of August is the best time to plant these crops as they can develop good root growth before fall equinox.
  • Sow onions, carrots, turnips, and beets.
  • Sow your heat tolerant salad greens.  The following plants can thrive in the heat of the summer and be planted now:  Amaranth, Lambsquarters, Orach, and Purslane.
  • Use willow tea or kelp tea diluted in water 10:1 to prevent your plants from experiencing transplanting shock.
  • Plant a late crop of beans.  Soak your bean seeds in preparation for planting.  Coat in legume inoculant to maximize relationships with beneficial nitrogen fixing bacteria before planting.
  • Thin seedlings so leaves do not overlap and plants have ample space to grow.
  • Side-dress crops with compost or the appropriate fertilizer
    • Nitrogen for leafy growth (Bloodmeal)
    • Potassium for root growth (Ashes)
    • Phosphorous for flowering or fruiting (Bonemeal)
    • Pick edible flowers.  The more you pick, they more you get.
    • Harvest lettuce often to encourage more growth.  Ensure ample water for your leafys as the weather gets warm to prevent bolting.
    • Pick your peas frequently to encourage maximum production.  Leave some pods on the vine to save for next year’s seed.
    • Continue to mound up your potatoes and leeks.
    • Harvest your garlic when the two leaves have died back.  Prepare garlic braids or dry flat in a warm, sunny space.  Garlic needs 3 – 4 weeks to cure.
    • Inspect for insect and pest damage.  Check under the leaves of your plants in the Cabbage family for eggs and caterpillars of the Cabbage Looper and Cabbage Moth.
    • As your summer squashes, beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers become ripe, remember to pick them small and pick them often to maximize yield.
    • Harvest Arugula, Chervil, and Mache seed.
    • Harvest shallots after the leafy tops have turned brown.
    • Blanch escarole and endive by placing flowerpots over the plants 2 – 3 weeks before harvest.

Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes

  • Harvest Strawberries and store surplus for the winter.
  • Fertilize June-bearing strawberries after harvest.  Remove dead leaves.
  • Cut back Comfrey and other dynamic accumulators for mulch.
  • Provide soft mulch under your fruit trees to provide a soft surface for fruit that may fall.
  • Protect your plants from deer and other wildlife
  • Mulch to maximize water holding capacity of your landscape, especially your blueberries and raspberries
  • Water deeply as needed (ample water encourages good juicy fruit production)
  • Set out any scare tactics to prevent birds from eating your berries
  • Remove water sprouts from fruit trees.
  • Inspect for insect and disease damage.


  • Cut back flowers to encourage more blooms.
  • Fertilize your container plants about every other week.
  • Label the locations of your bulbs for dividing in the fall.  You can also divide or move spring flowering bulbs once their foliage has died back.
  • Divide Irises after they have finished blooming.
  • June – early July is a great time to sow biennial and perennial flowers and herbs. You can create a small nursery bed for these plantings and transplant them out next March and April.
  • Enhance your landscape by adding hanging baskets for color, form, and attracting beneficial insects.
  • Prune woody plants after they are done blooming.

Putting up the Harvest

  • To freeze berries, simply place on a baking sheet in the freezer.  Once frozen, pack into plastic bags.  This makes them easier to remove for use and preserves their shape.
  • Extra Broccoli, Kohlrabi, and Peas can be flash steamed for 2 minutes and then frozen.  Rhubarb can be frozen in a similar way but you may want to steam it for 5 minutes.
  • Harvest medicinal leaves & flowers and dry for tea.  Leaves and flowers are preserved best by drying them at 85 degrees F.  Roots and Fruits are best dried at 135 degrees F.  Ensure that they are completely dry before storing.
  • Many herbs can be preserved in olive oils or vinegars. If you preserve herbs in oil, make sure you remove the plant material after no longer than 2 weeks to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Summer cabbage can be made into sauerkraut.   Harvest cabbage just before the head splits.
  • Lots of veggies can be fermented as well.
  • You can dry vegetables in your dehydrator for meals in the winter.
  • Fruit can be preserved as jam, cordials, or vinegar.
  • A good resource on preserving the harvest is the book called Stocking Up.
  • Let me know if you have any recipes you would like to share!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s