When July’s intolerable heat and humidity arrive, I don’t force myself to do much in the garden. In fact, you will sooner find me sipping a rose-scented daiquiri than pulling weeds on a hot afternoon. Still, there are a few gardening chores that we should all try to accomplish in July. Perhaps you won’t consider them too strenuous:
Annuals. This is the time when summer annuals explode with color. Aren’t you glad you thought to plant them? To ensure continued bloom, take care to remove flowers as they fade. Cut fresh stems of zinnias, snapdragons, delphiniums and other annuals for splendid house-bouquets.
Potted Geraniums. If you want these to bloom in winter, remember to pinch flower buds off during summer.
Impatiens. Some cool morning in July, cut stems from your impatiens plants, and root them in pots of good soil. Brought indoors in September, these will bloom all winter long in the window garden.
Roses. Deadhead regularly, cutting just above a set of five leaves. It is from this point that new flowering growth will emerge.
Chrysanthemums. Pinch back tips for the last time.
Vegetables. If your lettuce, spinach, escarole or other salad greens have bolted, pull them up. Replace with a crop of carrots or onions.
Herbs. Don’t wait until autumn to harvest your herbs. Snip them now, and freeze in zip-lock bags for winter use.
How to End a Drought. Invite a number of friends over for an elaborate brunch in the garden, and make sure that the table is set with your finest linen, polished silver, and heirloom china. A sudden downpour of Biblical proportion will erupt the moment your guests are seated. (This technique has always worked for me.)
What’s on your to-do list for July?
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