July Garden Chores 2014


I skipped writing about June chores and sending out a newsletter because I was too busy doing them- planting, weeding, hoeing, pruning, you-name-it. The very late spring with winter hanging on well past its welcome meant that I had so much to do and little reserve strength and energy to do it! I know I was not alone. Raise your hand if June was a month to cram in everything that was delayed from the cold, snow, and freeze that wouldn’t quit.

I gave myself a leg up in June, but lost it when traveling to Georgia to be with children and grandchildren. Don’t you find that that is often the way it is in yardwork?

Midwestern July gardens are now burgeoning with growth and the temperatures are hot and steamy. The 2014 year continues to be a bit extreme, with rains pouring down and preventing mowing and other outside work.
But so many beauties are to be enjoyed that I just cannot complain.

July Gardening Tips

Be sure to go to the July Task Calender for lots of timely chore reminders and tips


July is vegetable month here- with the lettuces and cool season crops over and the rise of tomatoes and peppers, beans, and squashes. Harvest, rise and eat, put up and preserve is coming at the end of the month. Lots of rain can be conducive for diseases, so be on the watch for wilts, or crown rot. Try to keep enough space around the plants for good air flow.

Successive sowings of beans give a steady supply for the table.

Remember that timely harvesting keeps production going, keeps from losing your fruits to varmints, or growing too large (attack of the giant zucchinis!)

Farm crops are struggling with all the rain and late starts; we gardeners have a bit of reprieve with the raised beds providing better drainage.

Mowing the Grass

Keep blades sharp, and when there is a pile of clippings from overgrown grass (blame all the rain) go ahead and rake it up for the compost pile. If you leave those piles they will harbor weed growth. Leaving a mulch of  cut grass is better left to drier conditions later this summer.

Aren’t you glad you edged the paths and garden in early summer? You didn’t? Go ahead and do it now, it will contain the gardens and give the yard a crisp look even when weeds and overgrown perennials threaten to make everything look seedy.



Favorite cut flowers for this month? Zinnias, Black-eyed Susans, Achillea ‘The Pearl’, Hydrangeas, Feverfew to name just a few.

Cut some flowers for the house, it is so cheerful!

I have just the snipping tool that is perfect for that, as well as other garden task.

Deadhead the annuals, and mid-month give them a haircut to renew their looks and vigor. Snip, snip, snip with scissors or pruning shears. Remember to stop pinching back aster and chrysanthemum tips by the second week in July. Autumn Joy sedum also benefits from this tipping back early in the month.

Feed perennials until mid-month, but taper off fertilizing shrubs roses, and trees to allow them to begin getting ready for dormancy.

Something has been eating my hostas. Not just slugs which cut holes into leaves,but big munching bites that leave little leaf left. I don’t usually see deer, but do see lots of rabbits bounding hither and thither in the garden. What do you think?

Keep feeding containers and annuals all summer Keep watered.

Late this month divide the German iris.


Snip to your hearts content. My cilantro has already gone to seed, but go ahead and plant seeds in the garden for successive sowing of basil and parsley. You might want more dill, as well.

Remove the flower tips of Basil, Mint, and Sage.

My Ten Favorite Herbs

Heat Expected in a July Garden

When temperatures rise it is sometimes just too hot to garden. Don’t fret, but try to work with it and do most work in morning hours. Consistent weeding efforts, deadheading annuals, and harvesting vegetables beats out marathon and mid-day toiling in the hot sun.


When It’s Hot

Don’t overdo. Hydrate well. Protect from the sun

Another sort of heat…that which is more welcome is in the form of giving spice to meals with our fresh hot peppers. I don’t know what it is about it, but spicy food just tastes better when you are in the middle of a July heat wave. Cool limeade and some sliced peppers make any meal better.

Make sure your pepper plants stay watered through the hot month of July if there is not enough rain.

lantana flowers

‘Luscious Berry Blend’ does not set seed. They take heat very well.

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author


I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of "Ilona's Reflecting Pool". Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. The work on "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.