Gardening Jobs to Do in July

We’re in the heat of summer, a bit of a lull in planting operations, but harvesting and getting ready for autumn planting is a priority. This month, we will get a little downtime to take stock of our achievements and look at what we have to show for our efforts over the past six months.

This month, you will harvest some mid-summer plants, prune the squash, and do many other little maintenance tasks. I will detail them a little later for you.

So, the first thing to do this month is to sit down in your favorite place in the garden and check off against the lists below what jobs you must complete. Please make your lists and work against them. Some must be done weekly, while others will be a one-time task.

Each month’s Jobs-to-Do article has a standard format, and this one is no different:

  • Garden preparation jobs to do.
  • Garden maintenance jobs.
  • Vegetable gardening jobs to do.
  • Fruit garden jobs to do.
  • Indoor and container gardening projects.
  • Ornamental garden jobs to do.
  • A summary of what gardeners should focus on.

Garden Preparation Jobs to Do in July

A person tilling the soil and mulching in a well-organized garden bed.
July garden preparation jobs: Setting the groundwork for a bountiful harvest.

July Soil Health Tasks

In contrast to static pile composting, hot composting is a managed process. It requires the composter to plan, organize, monitor, and respond to fluctuating conditions to create a stabilized humus with a high population of diverse microorganisms. The product should also be free of pathogens and weed seeds.

During hot aerobic composting, microorganisms feed on the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) of organic material and consume oxygen (O2), generating considerable heat and releasing CO2 and water vapor (H2O). As much as 50% of the original organic matter weight is lost in the composting process. Composting reduces the weight and volume of the composted material, producing one of the most effective soil-health improvement materials — humus.

Hot composting is the fastest composting process. However, process speed and finished humus quality depend on various conditions. The ideal conditions include:

  • An optimal environment of bioavailable carbon to nitrogen ratio of 30:1 for the proliferation of microorganisms throughout the process.
  • Continuous availability of oxygen throughout the pile and the process.
  • Sufficient moisture permits microbial activity without hindering the availability of localized oxygen (aeration).
  • Managed temperatures, a critical indicator of vigorous microbial activity in optimal conditions.
  • A composition of carbon- and nitrogen-rich substrates that provide microorganisms sufficiently available surface areas upon which to act — while preventing compaction and anaerobic conditions.

What can’t be composted?

  • Boxes that contained frozen food
  • Plastic-coated cardboard containers (often used for liquid products, like milk)
  • Earbuds
  • Pet Feces
  • Carnivore Feces (including dogs and cats)
  • Glossy paper
  • Flowers sold commercially — they’re treated with antibacterial substances.
  • Styrofoam
  • Chipboard
  • Walnut shells and Black Walnut leaves—can be toxic to plants.
  • Persistent Herbicides
  • Equine or bovine manure from farms that treat their feed crops with Aminopyralid.
  • Lawn clippings if you use a broadleaf herbicide that contains Clopyralid.
  • Herbicides from the Bipyridiniums family also have low microbial decomposition rates. Gramaxone and Diquat are examples.

Garden Maintenance Jobs

A gardener trimming bushes and deadheading flowers in a well-maintained garden.
July garden maintenance jobs: Keeping your garden vibrant and tidy.
  • Like in June, you must pay attention to weeds, plant hydration, and risk management (pests and diseases). Weed and disease risks increase with rainfall. Keep the hoe moving so the weeds don’t get a chance to take hold. Ten minutes of hoeing the soil will save you days of back-breaking work.
  • Part of harvesting and early weeding is producing loads of greens for composting. I share some of the key factors of successful harvesting below.

Vegetable Gardening Jobs to Do

People harvesting ripe tomatoes and cucumbers from a vegetable garden.
Vegetable gardening jobs in July: Harvesting the rewards of your labor.

Keeping a journal of any problems, failures, and successes you encounter while gardening is helpful. This will assist you in future planting seasons as you can note techniques and plant varieties for consideration. It’s essential to practice safe and innovative gardening techniques. During these hot days, keep birdbaths full, as our feathered friends will appreciate it. If you didn’t test your soil before this planting season, now is a great time to do so in preparation for your fall garden.

Check your crops for signs of aphids and other pests, and take action as soon as you see them. Use a biological method or an organic soap solution like SB Plant Invigorator to remedy the issue.

Mid-July is the last time you can sow dwarf beans for an Autumn crop. Feed tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants weekly with a diluted seaweed extract to aid flower and fruit production.

Tomato and pepper blossom-end rot develops when soil moisture is inconsistent (and insufficient calcium reaches the fruit), when the soil starts to dry up, water and keep a 2 to 3-inch mulch on top.

Cover squash and cucumber plants with lightweight floating row covers to protect them from insects. Once the plants have flowered, remove the coverings. Plant autumn potatoes on the 15th of September when the tops have died.

As crops are harvested, sow collards, kale, sweet corn, and summer squash seeds for the fall garden. Set out broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower transplants for the fall garden. When the silks of sweet corn become brown, it’s ready to eat. Water cucumbers often to avoid them becoming bitter. Harvest onions and garlic tops turn brown.

Vegetable Planting Guide – July

I’ve included a guide to cropping by season below, showing the germination temperature ranges for the respective cool and warm season crops. July is hot, but we need to start planning for our autumn crops. Because risk vectors are at their highest in hot temperatures, crop planting should be delayed, allowing them to mature just before the first fall frost.

Cool-season CropsWarm-season Crops
°F (°C)
°F (°C)
Spinach40 – 75 (~4 – 24)Potato42 – 95 (~6 – 35)
Broccoli45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Peas60 – 85 (~16 – 30)
Brussel Sprouts45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Cucumber60 – 90 (~16 – 32)
Cabbage45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Eggplant60 – 95 (~16 – 35)
Cauliflower45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Gourds60 – 95 (~16 – 35)
Collard Greens45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Melons60 – 95 (~16 – 35)
Endive45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Pumpkin60 – 95 (~16 – 35)
Kale45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Squash60 – 95 (~16 – 35)
Kohlrabi45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Tomato60 – 95 (~16 – 35)
Lettuce45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Sweet Corn65 – 85 (~18 – 30)
Mustard45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Beans70 – 80 (~21 – 27)
Onions45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Lima Beans70 – 80 (~21 – 27)
Rutabaga45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Soybean70 – 80 (~21 – 27)
Turnip45 – 85 (~7 – 30)Peppers70 – 95 (~21 – 35)
Scallions45 – 95 (~7 – 30)Watermelon70 – 95 (~21 – 35)
Shallots45 – 95 (~7 – 30)GarlicAsexual <60 (<15)
Chives45 – 95 (~7 – 35)
Leeks45 – 95 (~7 – 35)
Bok Choy50 – 80 (~10 – 27)
Beets50 – 85 (~10 – 30)
Carrots50 – 85 (~10 – 30)
Parsnip50 – 85 (~10 – 30)
Swiss Chard50 – 85 (~10 – 30)
Radish55 – 85 (~13 – 30)
Celery70 – 75 (~21 – 24)

The list below will help you see what can be started or transplanted for an autumn harvest. Considering your region’s first fall frost dates, decide on a planting time and location based on seed germination temperature requirements and the days needed for the plant to mature. Where transplants are not suggested, plant the seeds in situ.

Vegetable and HerbsDays to Harvest (Seed)Days to Harvest (Transplants)Germination Temperature
°F (°C)
Basil50 – 7514 – 3555 – 85 (~13 – 30)
Beans, lima/bush65 – 8070 – 80 (~21 – 27)
Beans, lima/pole75 – 9570 – 80 (~21 – 27)
Beans, snap/bush50 – 5570 – 80 (~21 – 27)
Beans, snap/pole65 – 7070 – 80 (~21 – 27)
Beets55 – 6050 – 85 (~10 – 30)
Brussels sprouts90 – 10040 – 5045 – 85 (~7 – 30)
Cabbage90 – 12063 – 7545 – 85 (~7 – 30)
Carrots75 – 8050 – 85 (~10 – 30)
Celery120 – 15040 – 7070 – 75 (~21 – 24)
Collard greens60 – 10032 – 7270 – 75 (~21 – 24)
Cucumbers56 – 6528 – 3760 – 90 (~16 – 32)
Fennel60 – 9060 – 85 (~16 – 30)
Cantaloupe85 – 9057 – 6260 – 95 (~16 – 35)
Potatoes95 – 12542 – 95 (~6 – 35)
Sweet potatoes12070 – 75 (~21 – 24)
Pumpkin115 – 12060 – 95 (~16 – 35)
Rutabaga70 – 8045 – 85 (~7 – 30)
Summer Squash50 – 6030 – 4070 – 95 (~21 – 35)
Winter Squash70 – 9542 – 6760 – 95 (~16 – 35)
Tomatoes125 – 13575 – 8560 – 95 (~16 – 35)

What to harvest in July

July is a month of abundance, and you will be harvesting many different types of vegetables this month, as seen from the list below.

LettuceSpring OnionsGarlic
Elephant GarlicStrawberriesRaspberries
RhubarbZucchini / CourgetteArtichoke

Fruit Garden Jobs to Do

A person picking fresh strawberries and blueberries in a lush fruit garden.
July fruit garden jobs: Savoring the sweetness of homegrown berries.

If you have a June-bearing strawberry crop, you may still pick strawberries. These strawberries produce fruit in a specific period, typically from June to early July. The flowers open in spring when the daytime temperatures are above 50°F (10°C). As the days get longer and the temperatures rise, these flowers become fruit.

A garden of June-bearing strawberries is perfect for strawberry lovers or those who love canning at home. You can enjoy a bountiful monthly harvest and care for the growing plants. After the harvest season, the plants form new flower buds and send out runners, also known as stolons, which create new plants for the following year.

To prevent birds from stealing grapes, it’s recommended to cover them with paper sacks. After the harvest, it’s important to prune and remove old raspberry fruiting canes. Blackberries typically begin to mature in July.

For fruit plants carrying heavy crops, it’s beneficial to thin them out so that the remaining fruit can grow to reasonable sizes. This is especially important for grapes, apricots, plums, peaches, apples, and pears. This month, strawberries will produce runners – these can be pegged into the soil or planted in small pots of compost to increase the plant numbers.

Indoor And Container Gardening Projects

A well-lit indoor space with various containers showcasing thriving plants.
Container gardening projects in July: Bringing the outdoors inside.

Growing vegetables in containers can be easy and enjoyable to produce fresh food in a limited space. These containerized plants can thrive indoors with bright light or outdoors on a patio, balcony, or doorstep if they receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight and sufficient water.

Various containers are suitable for vegetable production, but be sure to provide adequate drainage and avoid those that may contain toxic substances like treated wood or plastic buckets that have stored chemicals. Satisfactory containers include plastic or fiber nursery pots, wooden bushel baskets, plastic, metal or wooden buckets, milk cartons, and even plastic bags and recycled cardboard boxes.

To ensure proper drainage, it may be necessary to drill holes along the sides near the bottom of each container and add a ½ inch layer of coarse gravel. For the best results, it is important to use lightweight soil that can hold nutrients and moisture while still allowing for adequate drainage.

Garden soil is too heavy for use in containers, so it is recommended to use soil substitutes containing peat moss and sand or perlite or vermiculite, amended with lime and fertilizer. An excellent recipe for this type of soil substitute includes 1 bushel each of vermiculite and peat moss, 1¼ cups of dolomitic lime, ½ a cup of 20% superphosphate, and 1 cup of 5-10-5 fertilizer.

Mix the above mixture with good garden loam or finished compost in a one-to-one ratio. An organic option is to combine equal parts of vermiculite, peat moss, and high-quality compost and add 0.6 oz blood meal, 0.4 oz rock phosphate, and 0.4 oz greensand per gallon of potting mix.

Soilless mixes can be dry and hard to wet, so it’s best to soak them in water for at least a day before use to ensure sufficient moisture absorption.

Ornamental Garden Jobs to Do

A beautiful ornamental garden with colorful flowers and well-maintained pathways.
Garden jobs to do in July: Enhancing the beauty of your ornamental garden.

July Flower Garden Tasks

July is the gardener’s testing month – packed with husbandry, management, and harvesting jobs. ‘Tiss the season to enjoy your labor of love – but a gardener’s work is never done. Here are some topics taken from my journal – I hope you’re keeping your journal up to date.

  • Remove sick rose leaves, collect fallen leaves, and apply fungicidal sprays as needed.
  • Water the birds in the garden, particularly during dry times.
  • Mix additional fungicides and treat hardy phlox to avoid powdery mildew when spraying roses.
  • Fertilize container plants with a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks.
  • Once a week, properly water newly planted trees and bushes.
  • Now is the time to prevent weeds from sprouting – a chance to reduce the weeding for the following year.
  • Deadhead perennials once they have stopped flowering. Trim back the vegetation to improve light penetration and a cleaner appearance.
  • For continuous bloom, keep deadheading spent annual flowers.
  • Plant zinnia seeds in the annual border by July 4th for late flowering.
  • Control leaf miners by spraying hollies.
  • Apply the last borer treatment to hardwood trees.
  • After climbing and rambler roses have bloomed, prune them.
  • After July 4th, don’t fertilize your trees and plants. Late fertilization might result in luxuriant growth that is susceptible to winter death.
  • Spider mite growth thrives in hot, dry conditions. A spider mite infestation is indicated by yellow leaves on the underside and speckled on top. Evergreen needles range in color from a dull gray-green to a yellow or brown tint. Even before you detect the existence of webs, there might be damage.
  • As the foliage fades, divide and replant oriental poppies after flowering.
  • Fall webworms start establishing nests towards the extremities of afflicted tree branches. Remove any webs. If defoliation gets severe, spray with Bt.
  • In July, take cuttings from your semi-hardy spring-blooming bushes.
  • Powdery mildew on lilacs is unattractive but seldom hazardous. Full-sun shrubs are less susceptible to this disease.
  • Divide your bearded iris right now.
  • While winter is frequently the favored pruning season, summer trimming shade trees is permissible; nevertheless, sanitize sheers and saws between cuts to be safe.

Flower Planting Options – July

July has limited flower planting options, but below are a few.

DelphiniumPrimula DigitalisScabious
PansyAntirrhinumFox Glove
PyrethrumSweet WilliamHonesty
StocksChinese LanternHesperus
  • Now is the time to plant autumn/fall flowering bulbs such as Crocus, Nerine, Sternbergia, Cyclamen, Gladiolus, Begonia, Snowdrop, and Winter Aconite
  • Time to stake and feed dahlias; these get tall at this time of the year, and staking them now will stop the winds from snapping them, and due to the growth they are putting on, a good feed is required.
  • Water, feed and pick your sweet peas regularly. If you allow them to dry out or don’t pick them, they will turn to seed, which will be the end of your display.
  • Cut and dry lavender for use around the house.
  • Continue to deadhead your summer bedding plants. This encourages new flowers and prevents the plant’s going to seed
  • Now is the time to take softwood cuttings from your hedges and vines like Clematis, Spiraea, Pyracantha, and Hydrangeas.

Turf Care Jobs – July

Grass growth should have decreased in July, so set the mower to a higher setting and trim less regularly. Leave the clippings on the grass once again. Keep managing weeds; if you must water, do it once a week in the early mornings to a depth of about an inch.

Avoid using fertilizers if you’re not supplementing rainfall with watering – fertilizer on dry grass will burn the roots. If you water once a week, you won’t have trouble applying a liquid feed. Treat grubs and other lawn pests that are causing damage. Small, newly hatched grubs eat grass roots near the ground’s surface.

Grass heights should be kept higher throughout the summer heat. In a single mowing, never remove more than one-third of the blade. Taller blades shade the soil, minimize evaporation, and prevent weed competition.

Treat hatched lawn-destroying grubs while still young and near the surface to reduce damage.

What Gardeners Should Focus on in July

A gardener with a notebook, tools, and various plants, symbolizing planning and tasks for July.
What gardeners should focus on in July: A guide to midsummer gardening.

Garden preparation jobs in July include getting beds ready for fall crop planting. This includes starting seeds for cantaloupe, peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and pumpkins.

Garden maintenance jobs in July, like June, include focusing on managing plant hydration and managing risks. Never allow a weed to grow more than a few inches, culling and composting them before they can seed. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can transform your garden into a weed-free zone.

Vegetable gardening jobs to do in July include planning your autumn garden, rather than being told when to plant what, use plant growth rates and temperature to calculate your cropping sequence.

Fruit garden jobs to do in July are focused on harvesting stone fruit and caring for your berry plants.

This month’s indoor and container gardening projects include planning a container garden for autumn. Follow the provided recipe for ultimate plant health, productivity, and resilience.

Ornamental garden jobs to do in July include keeping your lawn looking good and caring for your flowers. Remember to keep the garden watered if you’re in a winter rainfall area.


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