Gardening Tasks for July

July is a great time to get out and enjoy your garden. By July most of the hard work of spring is completed and this leaves you with plenty of time to sit back and enjoy all your hard work.

We’ve put together a list of six gardening tasks for July to keep up with as your garden progresses through the growing season:

1.     Keep up with deadheading flowers. This not only makes your garden look nice, but also encourages some plants to continue blooming. Who wouldn’t want more flowers?water plants-gardening tasks for july

2.     Make sure your garden has plenty of moisture. The hot summer days can sometimes be quite daunting on plants and they may need more water on hot days. It is recommended that one inch of water per week should be good for hostas. Spread this out over two or three days of watering throughout the week for best results. You don’t want to drown your hostas with too much water at one time. Plants in containers will need to be watered more regularly than ones in the ground. Hanging baskets, especially, dry out quicker and will likely need to be watered daily. If possible, collect rainwater to water your plants.

3.     Keep up on the weeding in your garden. A little time now could save you a lot of time down the road. I’m sure we can all agree that weeding is not the most fun task out there, but it is important. Not only does it help with the appearance of your garden, it can also help prevent slugs and other pests. A clean garden is less likely to have a pest problem than one covered in weeds. Spending ten minutes weeding your garden once per week is better than spending an hour doing it once per month. Do not let the weeds go to seed!

4.     If you haven’t done so already replace/place mulch in your garden. This is one of the important gardening tasks for July because the mulch will help keep moisture in the soil around so they don’t get as dried out, especially on the hot days. Mulch can also help keep slugs away from your hostas.

5.     You can continue fertilizing your hostas throughout the month of July, but we recommend not doing it any later than July 31st.

6.     Bring a lawn chair out to your garden. Sit back and enjoy your hard work.

That concludes our list of gardening tasks for July. It really isn’t too bad, is it?!

Keeping up with these six gardening tasks for July will keep your garden in tip-top shape throughout the summer. It really is a great month to enjoy your garden when most plants will be in bloom and most of the hard spring work is over.

Enjoy!

Comment below on how your garden is doing this year so far. We’d love to see pictures!

Organic Weed Control

DandelionsWeeds compete with your garden plants for nutrients, water, space and light. They may also harbor pests and diseases, may be poisonous, or may cause allergies. They often seem impossible to eradicate, which has led many gardeners to use chemical herbicides to control them. Chemical herbicides contain toxins that are hazardous to those that apply them and to anyone who comes into contact with them, including not only those in your own household, but your pets, your neighbors, and wildlife. They are poisonous to the beneficial insects that could benefit your garden. These toxins are persistent, meaning that they remain hazardous in the environment long after rain has washed them from your yard and into ground- or surface-waters.

Here are a few basic gardening techniques to control weeds in your yard and garden without resorting to hazardous chemicals.

Cultural ControlsMulched

Incorporating a few simple techniques into your regular gardening routine can help you avoid weeds before they can become established. Use mulch liberally to deny weeds the opportunity to take root. It is not only one of the easiest and most effective ways to control weeds, it also increases soil fertility through its gradual decomposition.  Mulch also reduces water loss from soil.

Prevent your weeds from contributing their seeds to your soil’s seed bank. Patrol your garden regularly and pull all weeds that are blooming. Remove these pulled weeds from your garden completely. If you have a hot compost pile, where decomposition reaches temperatures hot enough to kill seeds, you can safely compost your weeds. If your compost does not reach 160 degrees or higher, throw your weeds into the trash so that the seeds do not germinate in your compost bin.

HoeingPhysical Controls

Physical control of weeds includes the time-honored techniques of pulling weeds by hand and hoeing. Hoes are sold in a variety of shapes and sizes. Hoeing works best for those weeds that are killed when their stems or growing crowns are cut from the roots. Pulling weeds by hand is the best method to use on weeds that are growing closest to your garden plants.

 

Chemical Controls

As a last resort, organic gardeners may rely on vinegar, salt or soap-based preparations to control weeds. Vinegar and salt both have detrimental effects on a soil’s delicate balance and should only be used on soils where you don’t want anything to grow at all, such as the ground on which you plan to lay a paved path or between established paving stones. Vinegar is in fact a dilute acid and will acidify the soil, which interferes with the ability of roots to absorb water and nutrients. Use vinegar and salt only when there are no other alternatives, and even then beware that the potential harm to your garden may well outweigh the possible benefits.

Weeds in Cracks

A number of new organic herbicides have been developed. These herbicides are based on fatty acids such as herbicidal soaps, various dilutions of vinegar, or essential oils such as citrus or clove oil. They can be found at well-stocked garden centers or online. For best effect, apply herbicides when weeds are young, and at the hottest, sunniest part of the day.

Our next topic will be Disease Control.

Sources:

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/organic-herbicides

Chemical-Free Yard & Garden: The Ultimate Authority on Successful Organic Gardening, Fern Marshall Bradley, Editor