Garden Checklist: July


Warm Season Grasses  

Bermuda and Zoysia 

May-August: Keep the mower deck at a height of 1-2 inches depending on lawn condition. The optimal soil pH for Bermuda and Zoysia is 6 – 6.5. Add sulfur if the pH is too high or lime if the pH is too low. At this point, the grass should be fully green so apply ½ pound to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet every 4-6 weeks. If summer annual weeds like white clover, spurge, and lespedeza become a problem, apply broadleaf specific postemergence herbicides. However, do not apply preemergent if the plan is to overseed with ryegrass in Oct/Nov. Continue to water an inch a week unless it is raining. 

Mow frequently enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass blade is cut. 

Cool Season Grasses  

Kentucky Bluegrass 

Apply a weed and feed fertilizer to reduce broadleaf weeds while providing the correct balance of nutrients. Use 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. Water lawns in the morning with 1 inch of water per week (unless raining) to prevent disease. 

Mow frequently enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass blade is cut. 

Tall Fescue 

Raise the mower deck to cut at a height of 3.5 inches to keep the soil moist so the deeper roots do not dry out. No fertilization is needed at this time. Water lawns in the morning with 1 inch of water per week (unless raining) to prevent disease. Do not apply herbicides because the high heat and drought make Fescue susceptible to herbicide damage. 

Mow frequently enough so that no more than 1/3 of the grass blade is cut. 


  • Flowering requires lots of energy so it can be quite helpful to fertilize flowering annual plants once flowering begins. Fertilize one more time before the end of the season. 
  • Water annuals as needed to keep plants active. 
  • Fill exposed mulch or soil areas with wildflower seeds or annuals to prevent weeds. 


  • Divide and transplant bearded iris using the vigorous ends of the rhizomes. Discard the old center portion. Cut the leaves back to about six inches.  
  • Water perennials as needed to keep plants active. 
  • Plant iris and spider lilies late this month. 

Shrubs and Trees 

  • Continue to root shrub cuttings until late in the month and mulch to keep soil moist. 

Fruits and vegetables 

  • Watch the leaves of your tomato plants for signs of leaf spot diseases which will often start from the bottom leaves and move upward. Remove individual affected leaves and try to avoid watering the foliage by watering at the base of the plant rather than overhead Tomato season can be extended by rooting cuttings from the terminal ends of existing plants for a second planting. 
  • Seeds can continue to be sown throughout July for late crops of beets, bush beans, carrots, chard, summer spinach, cucumbers, and summer squash. Cover with pre-moistened potting soil mix which will not be so likely to crust and crack. To hold in the moisture, cover the rows with a very thin layer of mulch or floating row cover fabric. 
  • Plant pumpkins for fall harvest. 
  • Plant certified seed potatoes for Irish and red- skinned varieties in late July. 
  • Harvest onions and garlic as the tops dry and fall over. Braid garlic tops and hang in a cool, dry place. Cut onion tops back to 1″ and dry thoroughly before storing. Use any damaged produce immediately. 
  • Water vegetable gardens deeply as needed. 
  • Pinch flowers on herbs like basil, mint, oregano, and savory to promote bushy growth. 


  • Continue monitoring for pests, insects, and diseases.  
  • Keep deadheading flowers as needed to prolong the bloom season   
  • Control mosquitoes by eliminating all sources of stagnant water. Consider installing a bat house to encourage bat habitat, they eat mosquitoes! 
  • A garden needs one inch of rain or water each week. Early morning is the best time to water. Evening watering is less desirable because plant leaves that remain wet through the night are more susceptible to fungal diseases. Mulch plants to reduce water losses and improve yields. 
  • Check the soil moisture of container grown vegetables and flowers daily. As the temperature rises, some plants may need water twice a day. Just dip your index finger into the soil near the stem of your plant up to about your first knuckle. If the soil feels dry, and your finger comes out clean, then it’s probably time for some water. 
  • Weed the garden regularly to keep the task easy and manageable. 
  • Watch for aphids and thrips, especially on summer bulbs, flowering plants, and new growth. 
  • Encourage lacewings and lady beetles in the garden for biological control of aphids. 

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