July: Crusted Soil

Heavy summer rains can cause bare garden soil to form a crust.  Lightly scratch the soil with a long-handled cultivator to loosen the soil and allow air and moisture to penetrate.  Mulch can become matted and should be loosened as…

July: Moisture + Heat

The combination of lots of moisture followed by heat will cause weed and flower seeds to germinate quickly and prolifically.  Pull the weeds and unwanted seedlings when they appear.  The garden will look tidier for your effort and the unwanted…

July: Do Not Fertilize Your Perennials

At this time of year, most perennials neither need nor want to be fertilized.  An exception would be delphiniums which will appreciate a feeding after their first bloom period.  Use a balanced organic, water soluble fertilizer.…

July: Peonies

The spent blooms on peonies should be removed and the foliage can be trimmed back a little so that it can stand up.  DO NOT cut the peony foliage down to the ground until fall.…

July: Seed for Fall Crops

Mid-month, sow lettuce, radishes, and arugula for the fall crop. Carrots seeded by mid-July will keep in the ground well after the snow flies.…

July: Delphiniums

Cut delphiniums down to the ground (or new basal growth) when they have finished blooming.  Feed them with a liquid organic fertilizer at this time to encourage a second bloom period.…

July: Trim Early Season Bloomers

Cut back early-season bloomers, such as delphinium, daisy, and campanula by 1/2 to 1/3. New growth will sprout and a second flowering may occur.…

July: Propagate Shrubs with Cuttings

Take softwood cuttings of shrubs such as buddleia, weigela, rose-of-sharon and roses. Place them in pots of moist sand or potting soil, then cover them with a plastic bag, glass jar or large plastic pop bottle, creating a mini-greenhouse. When…