The heat and humidity are turned up high in July for gardeners in Zones 9-10. The evenings are warm, the days are long, and the sun is hot. Gardens are thriving, and you are hopefully enjoying abundant harvests from the vegetable garden, fruit trees, and berry bushes. Your July garden checklist is filled with planting, caring, and harvesting tips for your wonderful crops.
These extreme temperatures and the lack of rain can pose a challenge for gardeners mid-summer, so you will have to be vigilant. Planning for late summer and fall harvests, harvesting crops, watering, and other maintenance tasks take the forefront on the garden to-do list this month.
Not sure exactly what you should be doing in the garden this month? Follow our July Garden Checklist Zones 9-10 for a list of to-dos that can easily be turned into ta-das and will ensure a healthy and lush garden even amid the year’s hottest days.
Summer Garden Planning Zones 9-10
Keep your garden journal handy as you move through the month of July. You might think that you will remember the varieties that were successful and some of the trouble spots, but trust us, it’s best to write them down, so you will be ahead of the game for next year’s July garden checklist.
Here are some things to think about on your July Garden Checklist Zones 9-10:
- The days are hot, and the humidity is at its peak in many areas throughout zone 9-10 so plan to do garden maintenance early in the morning when temperatures are more tolerable.
- Just as your plants need watering this month, it’s essential to keep yourself hydrated. Keeping yourself healthy and hydrated will allow you to enjoy your garden and the summer weather far more.
- If you are planning a summer getaway, plan to have someone tend to the basics of your garden, especially watering and harvesting tasks. Reward friends and neighbors with the treat of your harvest while you are away if they are willing to spend some time nurturing your crops.
- Assess what pests are presenting themselves in the garden right now.
- It’s harvest time, so assess what you have an abundance of and research some great recipes so you can fully utilize your crops.
- It’s hard to believe it, but the planning and planting for your fall crops should be at the forefront of your planning this month! You’ll start seeds indoors, so make a list of all the seed starting supplies you need and any seeds you need to acquire.
- When planning for a fall vegetable garden, don’t forget about planting some fall flowering plants for pollinators, so they will stick around and nurture your crops. Think about flowering fall perennials; add sunflowers, marigolds, alyssum, nasturtium, cosmos, and more.
- Use your garden journal to sketch out what you planted and where and how plants are growing in their locations. Have you had any pest or disease problems? Write them down, so you can address them at your next visit to your local extension office.
How to Prepare & Maintain Your July Garden
Other than succession planting veggies and planting for a fall crop, your summer gardens have all been planted and are hopefully thriving. While planting for summer blooms and crops has been well underway, there are plenty of tasks on the to-do list on the July garden checklist Zones 9-10 to keep your gardens thriving.
Summer Garden Weeding
Weeds have been making themselves right at home since the onset of springlike weather. Weeds can compete with plants for water and nutrients, which are hot commodities this month. High on the July Garden Checklist Zones 9-10 is weeding! Continue to stay on top of nuisance weeds, so they don’t take over your vegetable or flower gardens and steal their valuable resources.
- Frequently patrol the garden area for weeds and pluck them out whenever you see them.
- Keep other late-spring and early-summer weeds from propagating by adding a couple of inches of organic mulch to the garden beds.
- Use an organic weed control methods to eliminate difficult weeds.
July Garden Pruning
- Avoid any further pruning of spring-flowering shrubs. These bushes should be setting their buds for next season by this time, so you will want to let them be, so they will have bountiful blooms come springtime!
- Deadhead spent annual and perennial flowers to encourage secondary blooms.
- As you prune away dried-up blooms, collect seeds from your best-performing plants and save them in seed envelopes for next year. You’ll be pleased that you did! Be sure to label them!
- Cut back nonfruiting blackberry and raspberry canes.
- Continue to remove tomato suckers and prune tomato plants to push more energy back into the plant.
- Continue to shape hedges and shrubs as necessary, avoiding spring-flowering shrubs.
- Before the 4th of July, cut back fall perennials to avoid plants getting leggy and to encourage a bushy habit with abundant blooms.
Summer Garden Mulching Benefits
A robust layer of mulch will keep your plant roots cool as the temperatures soar in the heat of summer. This is particularly beneficial for your cool-season crops, which seek to bolt in warmer climates.
Mulching your garden beds can also help stomp out reseeding weeds and regulate moisture. It also will help keep your soil from eroding. Keep a supply of mulch at the ready and if you see any bare spots in the garden, cover them with some mulch.
Watering in Zones 9-10
July is one of the hottest and driest times of the year for most grow zones. Watering plants deeply and regularly will help to ensure a successful garden. As always, if there are water usage restrictions in place where you live, always adhere to those guidelines. You may even want to consider a rain barrel system so that you can harvest water from rainfalls.
Here are some watering considerations that need the most attention this month:
- Water citrus trees thoroughly and deeply to avoid fruit splitting.
- Inspect your irrigation system. Troubleshoot any irrigation issues that you may have had and make any necessary adjustments or repairs.
- The heat is on in July, and containers and hanging baskets need daily watering to keep them thriving. You may have the best success with moving them to a partial shade spot and watering in the morning, as containers can dry out quickly.
- Keep your vegetable garden well hydrated as well, preferably watering in the early morning, so that plant roots get the most out of the watering session.
Fertilizing the Summer Lawn & Garden
Plants and lawns have been using up nutrients abundantly throughout this growing season. The soil might need some replenishing to keep plants growing healthy and strong so that they are not susceptible to pests and disease.
Other Must-Dos in the July Garden
- Add support to fruit tree branches that are heavy with fruit.
- Side dress potato tubers and onions to ensure that they are entirely covered.
- Monitor gardens for pests. Spider mites love the heat, and Japanese beetles are making their presence known throughout July.
- Divide daylilies and irises this month.
- Plant debris can draw pests, encourage disease, and diminish airflow around your plants. Remove any dead leaves from around the base of plants.
- If you have unused garden spaces, plant a vegetable garden cover crop to enrich the soil.
- As you observe your garden, pull out any underperforming annual plantings.
- Continue to take care of the wildlife in your yard by refilling feeders and birdbaths. Cool, fresh water is not only for the birds but also provides pollinators access to clean water.
- Dump any standing water in saucers, low spots, empty pots, etc. Mosquitos are looking to lay their eggs in stagnant water as small as a thimble. Keep mosquitos in your yard to a minimum by patrolling the area for standing water that can be found in even the most unlikely of places.
Seed Starting for Fall Crops
You can start seeds indoors toward the end of the month, so you have a head start on your fall crop. This is key, especially if you are still harvesting your summer crops. These seedlings can easily be tucked into the garden as you cull spent plants as they reach harvestability.
Some seeds to consider starting indoors include:
Outdoor Planting in Zones 9-10
While most planting is done by midsummer, gardeners must keep looking ahead to make the best of extended harvest opportunities. Right now, you will be planting for a late summer and fall crop.
Summer Garden Harvesting
You’ve worked hard this year, and it’s time to sink your teeth into nature’s garden treasures. Here’s what you can look forward to harvesting on the July garden checklist zones 9-10.