15 Gardening Tasks for July: Enjoying Your Garden’s Bounty

Keith Hardy - Bio Photo
Keith Hardy
Senior Editor

Keith has been involved in the gardening and landscaping industry for the past 21 years. From a jobbing gardener to running his own landscaping services....

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July means summer has truly arrived. With the sun shining brightly, the garden beckons with a myriad of gardening tasks for July, ready for your attention. From tending to vibrant blooms to harvesting the fruits of your labor, there is an abundance of work awaiting green thumbs. Deadheading bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials to prolong their beauty, carefully watering to keep plants hydrated during scorching days, and checking for the dreaded clematis wilt are just a few essential activities to undertake.

Moreover, it is a time when you can reap some of the bounties your hard work through the winter and spring months has produced, with your kitchen benefitting from the harvesting of crops like courgettes, apricots, and peaches. As we dive into the depths of summer, let’s explore the diverse tasks that July brings and celebrate the joys of nurturing our gardens.

Below we consider fifteen of the most essential tasks that are common to many gardens, although everything will ultimately depend on the makeup of your garden.

TaskDescription
Deadhead Bedding PlantsPinch off faded blooms and stalks of bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials to encourage more blooms and prevent seed production.
WateringWater plants wisely to prevent wilting and promote healthy growth.
Check Clematis for WiltLook for signs of clematis wilt and promptly cut off affected parts to prevent further damage.
HarvestingHarvest ripe fruits, vegetables, and herbs from the garden.
Remove the Main Head of the BroccoliHarvest the main head of broccoli before the buds open and encourage side shoot production.
Treat Apple ScabRemove infected plant material and spray with fungicide to control apple scab.
Pond MaintenanceRemove algae, blanket weeds, and debris from ponds to maintain water quality and oxygen levels.
Order Spring-Flowering BulbsOrder bulbs early for spring planting to ensure availability and allow for planning and soil preparation.
Lawn CareFertilize and mow the lawn properly to revive its appearance and health.
Prune Early Summer-Flowering ShrubsPrune early summer-flowering shrubs after blooming to maintain shape, encourage new growth, and remove dead or diseased branches.
MulchingApply organic or inorganic mulch to improve soil quality, conserve moisture, and suppress weeds.
Compost MaintenanceTurn compost regularly to speed up decomposition and distribute moisture and heat evenly.
Onion CareWater onions regularly to promote bulb growth and prevent bolting.
Hand Pollinate Squash FlowersRemove the Main Head of the Broccoli
Summary Table for Gardening Tasks in July

Deadhead Bedding Plants and Repeat-Flowering Perennials

Our gardening tasks for June saw us doing some deadheading, and this needs to be continued in July. Deadheading is essential as it keeps plants looking attractive and encourages more blooms, whether in beds and borders, containers, or hanging baskets. Deadheading also prevents plants from producing unwanted seeds and directs energy into stronger growth.

Some of the best plants to deadhead include bedding plants such as argyranthemums, cherry pie, pansies, polyanthus, and petunias. These can be deadheaded by pinching off the faded blooms with fingers and thumbs, along with their stalks. Repeat-flowering perennials, such as roses, delphiniums, lupins, and hardy geraniums, also benefit from deadheading. These require pruning with secateurs, scissors, or a knife, cutting back to just above the next bud or leaf on the stem.

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Deadheading should be done regularly, as soon as the flowers start to fade, to prolong the flowering season and keep the plants healthy and vigorous.

Watering

july gardening tasks - Give priority to your watering tasks

Watering is one of the most important tasks for gardeners in July, especially during hot and dry spells. Watering helps plants to survive and thrive, preventing wilting, stress, and diseases. Watering also ensures good fruit and flower production, as well as lush foliage.

However, watering should be done wisely to avoid wasting water and harming the environment. Here are some tips for water-wise gardening:

  • Water tubs and new plants if dry, but check the soil moisture first by feeling it with your fingers. If it feels damp, there is no need to water it.
  • Water early in the morning or late in the evening, when evaporation is minimal, and the water can soak into the soil.
  • Water deeply and infrequently, rather than little and often, to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
  • Use a watering can or a hose with a trigger nozzle, rather than a sprinkler, to target the water where it is needed and avoid runoff.
  • Mulch the soil around plants with organic matter, such as compost or bark chips, to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
  • Collect rainwater in a water butt or a barrel and use it for watering plants.

Check Clematis for Wilt

July Gardening - Check Clematis for Wilt

Clematis are popular climbing plants that produce beautiful flowers in a range of colors and shapes. However, they are susceptible to a fungal disease called clematis wilt, which can cause sudden wilting and browning of leaves and stems.

Clematis wilt is caused by a fungus that enters the plant through wounds or damaged tissue. The fungus blocks the water transport in the plant, leading to wilting and collapse. The disease can affect any part of the plant, but it is more common on young shoots and buds.

The signs of clematis wilt include:

  • Wilting of leaves and stems, starting from the base or the tip of the plant
  • Browning or blackening of leaves and stems
  • Dropping of flower buds
  • Rotting of stems at soil level

If you notice any of these symptoms on your clematis, you should act quickly to prevent further damage. The best way to treat clematis wilt is to cut off all the affected parts of the plant down to healthy tissue or ground level if necessary. Dispose of the infected material in a sealed bag or bin, not in your compost heap. Clean your tools after pruning to avoid spreading the fungus.

To prevent clematis wilt, you should:

  • Plant clematis in well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter
  • Avoid damaging the stems when planting or training
  • Keep the base of the plant cool and shaded by mulching or planting other low-growing plants around it
  • Water regularly during dry periods
  • Apply a balanced fertilizer in spring and summer

Harvesting

July tasks - Harvesting fresh vegetables

July is a great month for harvesting fresh produce from your garden or allotment. You can enjoy the fruits of your labour by picking ripe fruits, vegetables, and herbs that are ready to eat or store.

Some of the crops that you can harvest in July include:

  • Courgettes: Pick them when they are about 10-15 cm long, before they become marrows. Cut them off with a sharp knife or secateurs, leaving a short stalk attached. Harvest regularly to encourage more fruiting.
  • Apricots: Pick them when they are fully colored and slightly soft to the touch. Twist them gently off the branch or use scissors to cut them with a short stem. Eat them fresh or use them for jams, pies or drying.
  • Peaches: Pick them when they are ripe and aromatic. They should come off easily from the branch with a slight pull. Eat them fresh or use them for desserts, preserves, or freezing.
  • Nectarines: Pick them when they are ripe and juicy. They should detach easily from the branch with a slight twist. Eat them fresh or use them for salads, smoothies or baking.
  • First, early potatoes: Dig them up when the plants start to flower or the foliage begins to yellow. Use a fork to lift them carefully from the soil without damaging the tubers. Eat them fresh or store them in a cool, dark, and dry place.
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Broccoli: Remove the Main Head of Calabrese

Broccoli should also be ready for its first harvest. Also known as calabrese, it is a vegetable that can be harvested multiple times in a season. The first harvest is usually the main head, which is the largest and most compact cluster of buds at the center of the plant. 

To remove the main head of the calabrese, you should cut it off with a sharp knife when it is about 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter before the buds start to open and turn yellow. This will encourage the plant to produce smaller side shoots that can be harvested later.

Treat Apple Scab

If you have apple trees, then you should be on the lookout for apple scab. It is a fungal disease that affects apple trees and other members of the rose family. It causes dark spots on the leaves and fruits, reducing their quality and yield. 

To treat apple scab: 

  • you need to remove and destroy any infected plant material, such as fallen leaves and fruits. 
  • You also need to spray your trees with a fungicide, such as copper or sulfur, following the label instructions. 

The best time to spray is before the buds open in spring and then every 10 to 14 days until midsummer.

Pond Maintenance

Ponds are a beautiful and relaxing feature in any garden that teems with life. If you are fortunate enough to have one, you probably already know that they require some maintenance to keep them healthy and clear. One of the main tasks is to remove any algae, blanket weeds, and debris that have built up over the spring and early summer and can clog the pond and reduce oxygen levels for the aquatic life. 

  • You can use a net or a rake to scoop out the unwanted material or use a biological or chemical product to control the algae growth.
  •  You should also keep your pond topped up with fresh water, especially during hot and dry periods.

Order Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Hey, we are in the height of summer, and you are talking about next spring? Well, gardens need considerable planning, and the earlier you have your plans set, the more successful you will be. So, if you want to enjoy a colorful and fragrant display of spring flowers in your garden next year, you need to order your bulbs early.

Many popular varieties, such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses, sell out quickly and may not be available later in the season. Ordering your bulbs early also gives you more time to plan your planting scheme and prepare your soil. You can order your bulbs online or from a catalog or visit a local nursery or garden center.

Lawn Care

Your lawn may need some extra attention in July, as the summer heat and drought can stress the grass and make it look dull and patchy. To get the lawn in the best shape, you need to feed it and ensure you are mowing it properly.

To revive your lawn, you can give it a quick-acting summer fertilizer that contains nitrogen and potassium. Doing so will provide it with essential nutrients that will help the grass grow greener and stronger, resist diseases and pests and boost its growth and color. You can use a granular or liquid fertilizer, following the package directions. 

  • Applying the fertilizer with a spreader or by hand, following the manufacturer’s instructions
  • You should water your lawn thoroughly after feeding it and avoid mowing it too short.
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Another important aspect of lawn care is mowing. 

  • You should mow your lawn regularly, but not too short. 
  • The ideal height for summer is about 2.5 to 3 inches, which will help the grass retain moisture and prevent weeds.

Prune Early Summer-Flowering Shrubs

July garden tasks - Prune Early Summer-Flowering Shrubs

Early summer-flowering shrubs, such as lilacs, forsythia, weigela, and deutzia, produce their blooms on the previous year’s growth. This means that you need to prune them right after they finish flowering, otherwise, you will be in danger of cutting off next year’s buds. 

Pruning these shrubs will help them maintain their shape and size, encourage new growth and flowering, and remove any dead or diseased branches. 

  • You can use pruning shears or loppers to cut back about one-third of the oldest stems at the base,
  • Leave some younger stems for next year’s flowers.

Mulching

Mulching is a great way to improve your soil and protect your plants from weeds, pests, and diseases. Mulching involves covering the soil surface with a layer of organic or inorganic material, such as straw, wood chips, gravel, or plastic. 

Mulching helps to conserve moisture, regulate soil temperature, prevent erosion, and enrich the soil with nutrients and beneficial microorganisms. Some mulches also suppress weed growth and deter pests by releasing natural chemicals or creating a physical barrier.

Compost Maintenance

Compost is a valuable resource for any gardener, as it provides organic matter and nutrients for your plants and improves the structure and fertility of your soil. It is a great way to turn organic waste, such as kitchen scraps and garden trimmings, into a rich nutrient material to feed your plants and lawn.

In general, compost, depending on the composting method you are using, requires very little attention, but if yo want to speed up the decomposition process, then you should turn it regularly to let air in by turning it. Turning your compost also helps to mix the materials evenly and distribute moisture and heat throughout the pile.

Onion Care

July tasks - Onion Care

Onions are easy to grow and versatile to use in the kitchen. They can be grown from seeds or sets (small bulbs) and harvested at different stages of maturity. Onions need well-drained soil and plenty of sun to thrive. They also need regular watering, especially during dry spells and when the bulbs are forming. 

Keeping your onions well-watered will help them grow bigger and juicier and prevent them from bolting (producing flowers and seeds). You should water your onions deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather and soil conditions.

Hand Pollinate Squash Flowers

Squash plants produce male and female flowers that need to be pollinated by insects, such as bees, to produce fruits. Sometimes, however, insect pollination may not be sufficient or reliable due to factors such as weather, location, or pesticide use. 

In that case, you can hand pollinate your squash flowers to ensure a good crop of courgettes, marrows, or pumpkins. To hand-pollinate your squash flowers, you should 

  • Use a small paintbrush or cotton swab to transfer pollen from the male flowers (with thin stems) to the female flowers (with swollen bases). 
  • You should do this in the morning when the flowers are open and fresh.

Other Gardening Tasks for July That Might Need Attention

We have looked at some of the most common gardening tasks, but there are plenty more that you might need to consider depending on the nature of your garden.

TaskDescription
Ensure regular watering for the treesProvide consistent water supply to the trees to maintain their health and hydration.
Fill up watering cans and let them warm up before usePrepare watering cans in advance and allow the water to reach ambient temperature before using.
Continuously remove faded blooms from rosesRegularly eliminate withered flowers from rose plants to promote new blooms and overall appearance.
Gather flowers for the purpose of dryingCollect flowers that are suitable for drying and use them in various crafts and decorations.
Remove spent flowers from LupinsPrune Lupin plants by removing dead or faded flowers to encourage continuous blooming.
Revitalize chive plants by trimming them backTrim chive plants to rejuvenate their growth and maintain their overall health.
Trim bay plants by cutting off excess side shootsPrune bay plants by removing unnecessary side shoots, promoting better growth and shape.
Prune fig trees by trimming side shoots to four leavesTrim fig tree side shoots, leaving only four leaves per shoot to optimize fruit production.
Apply fertilizer to nourish your lawnProvide lawn fertilizer to supply essential nutrients, promoting lush and healthy grass growth.
Maintain wildflower meadows by mowing them regularlyRegularly mow wildflower meadows to control grass height, promote wildflowers, and maintain balance.
Weed borders and flower beds on dry daysRemove unwanted plants and weeds from borders and flower beds on dry days for easier maintenance.
Trim the lower leaves of cordon tomatoesRemove the lower leaves of cordon tomato plants to improve airflow and prevent diseases.
Remove side shoots from tomato plantsPinch off side shoots of tomato plants to focus energy on fruit production and enhance overall growth.
Aid tomato fruit formation by hand pollinationAssist in the pollination process by manually transferring pollen to ensure successful fruit set.
Pinch off shoots from Aubergine plantsRemove unwanted shoots from Aubergine plants to promote better growth and fruit development.
Continually harvest sweet peas to prevent them from going to seedRegularly pick sweet peas to prevent them from forming seeds and promote prolonged flowering.
Introduce predators that combat red spider mitesIntroduce natural enemies of red spider mites to control their population and protect plants.
Train, tie, and provide necessary nutrients to cucumber plantsGuide cucumber vines, provide support, and supply essential nutrients for healthy growth.
Boost squash growth by giving them a high-potash feedEnhance the growth of squash plants by providing a fertilization high in potassium.
Thin grape bunches to improve fruit qualityRemove excess grape bunches to enhance air circulation, optimize fruit development, and improve quality.
Cut down mature broad bean plantsHarvest mature broad bean plants by cutting them down at ground level.
Secure and support new raspberry canesTie and support newly grown raspberry canes to provide stability and aid in fruiting.
Be vigilant for leaf-mining caterpillarsTrim summer fruiting raspberry canes after they have completed their fruiting cycle.
Divide Bearded IrisesSeparate Bearded Iris rhizomes to propagate and create new plants.
Propagate Clematis plants through layeringPromote the growth of new Clematis plants by layering their stems and encouraging root formation.
Collect and store seeds from Alpine plantsGather seeds from Alpine plants for future sowing or sharing with other gardening enthusiasts.
Renew your pink flowers by propagating them from existing onesPropagate new pink flowers by utilizing existing plants through various propagation methods.
Dry lavender flowers for various usesHarvest lavender flowers and dry them to preserve their fragrance for use in crafts or potpourri.
Place an order for Autumn flowering crocus bulbs to be planted next monthPrepare for Autumn by ordering crocus bulbs in advance for planting in the coming month.
Provide support for your border plants by staking themInstall stakes or supports for border plants to prevent them from falling or bending under their weight.
Install nets to protect fruit from birdsSet up nets to shield fruit crops from bird damage and ensure a successful harvest.
Remove duckweed from ponds, and allow it to sit on the side for a few hours before compostingMonitor plants for the presence of leaf mining caterpillars and take appropriate control measures.
Remove duckweed from ponds, allow it to sit on the side for a few hours before compostingRemove floating duckweed from ponds, let it drain on the side for a few hours, then compost it.
Open vents and doors on greenhousesImprove air circulation and regulate temperature in greenhouses by opening vents and doors.
Increase indoor humidity by dampening down the floor of the greenhouseEnhance humidity levels in the greenhouse by sprinkling water on the greenhouse floor.

Final Thoughts: Gardening Tasks for July

July is a busy month for gardeners, filled with essential tasks to maintain a thriving and beautiful garden. There is no getting away from the fact that these gardening tasks for July require you need to roll up your sleeves as there is so much work that will need doing.

Looking ahead to gardening tasks for August, the garden will continue to demand attention. As summer progresses, it’s crucial to monitor watering needs, especially during hot spells. Regular weeding and pest control measures will help maintain plant health. Additionally, preserving the vibrant colors of blooming flowers and extending their lifespan can be achieved through deadheading and timely pruning. Planning and preparing for autumn planting can also be on the agenda, ensuring a seamless transition from one season to the next.

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Keith Hardy - Bio Photo
Keith HardySenior Editor

Keith has been involved in the gardening and landscaping industry for the past 21 years. From a jobbing gardener to running his own landscaping services. He is now dedicated to bringing you the latest in gardening news. Read more

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