July’s gardening to-do list

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July gardening

All of your seeds are in the ground, tomatoes and peppers are beginning to show up on plants and flowers are in bloom. It’s the height of the summer, and that means keeping up with your garden is an important task this month.

Prune flowers and thin out plants

To keep your flowers blooming, you need to deadhead them regularly. Deadheading begins in spring and continues until the first frost of fall. Deadheading makes flowers more attractive, helps to keep plants healthy and to keep plants from self-sowing seeds.

Related: June’s gardening to-do list

August’s gardening to-do list

Penn State Extension explains that annuals, like coleus, marigolds and pansies, must be deadheaded. Likewise, perennials, including bulbs, daylilies and peonies, should be deadheaded, too. Depending on the type of flower, deadheading may entail pinching the tops of flowers off, cutting off long stems or pinching out flowers.

Some flowering plants do not need to be deadheaded. Refer to Penn State Extension’s brochure to learn which plants should be deadheaded and which ones shouldn’t.

Thin out plants like beets, carrots and turnips so that they perform better. Instructions for thinning out plants can be found on the back of seed packets.

Watering

If you live in Ohio, June brought with it an excessive amount of rain. You more than likely watered much less during the weeks of seemingly endless rain.

If July is hot and dry, pay careful attention to your plants to assess their watering needs. Water only once a week during dry periods. Overall, plants should receive one inch of water each week. The best time to water your garden? According to University of Illinois Extension, early in the morning, so that water isn’t lost through evaporation.

If July is wet like June, follow these tips for managing your garden after too much rain, such as combating soil compaction, putting down mulch between rows of plants and turning off your irrigation system.

Weeding

Weeding can seem like a never-ending task. If left for too long, weeds can quickly overtake your garden, making weed management more difficult. You can choose to control weeds with non-chemical methods like hand-pulling and flaming or by using chemicals like Roundup. University of Illinois Extension offers weed management tips for both chemical and non-chemical methods of weed control.

Inspect plants for problems

Pay attention to your plants as they grow. If you notice holes in leaves, mildew or a different appearance, diagnose the problem quickly in order to help your plants. The problem or pest will determine the management practices you need to implement to ensure healthy crops come harvest time.

Yellow leaves are a sign of too little sunshine, not even nutrients from the soil or even caterpillar pests. If there are holes in leaves, suspect insect or wildlife pests. Check leaves for insects and insect eggs. Pick eggs off of leaves before they hatch. Powdery mildews may form on plant leaves, too.

Penn State Extension offers some tips for keeping plants healthy, as well as plant disease identification.

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