July in the Southern California Garden
Each month has its special joys and tasks in the garden. Below is a suggested calendar for July. Remember that gardening depends on the weather, so tasks, bloom season and activities may vary from year to year.
You can download this calendar at: http://www.slideshare.net/cvadheim/monthly-garden-tasks-july
Best of Show:
§ Flowers: tree/shrub: Aesculus californica, Calycanthus occidentalis, Eriogonum giganteum, Heteromeles arbutifolia, Holodiscus discolor, Lyonothamnus spp., Malosma laurina, Rosa californica; Smaller shrubs/perennials: * Abutilon palmeri, Clematis ligusticifolia, Eriogonum spp., Grindelia spp., *Monardella spp., Oenothera spp., Penstemon spp., Solanum spp., Asclepias spp., Cirsium occidentale, Corethrogyne filaginifolia, *Erigeron spp., Euthamia occidentalis, Helianthus annuus, *Madia elegans, Solidago spp., * Sphaeralcea ambigua, Verbena spp.
§ Fruits/berries/vegetables: Comarostaphylis diversifolia, * Morella (Myrica) californica, Prunus ilicifolia, non-native fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums), summer vegetables
§ Yearly assessment of your garden: decide what needs improvement and what is successful
§ Start a garden journal & photo log if you don’t already have one– or get yours organized
§ Start a design: great time to create a garden design for your whole garden or just a part that you’re re-doing.
§ Prepare for fall planting: order native seeds & bulbs (before they’re out of stock)
§ Make repairs/changes that weren’t possible in spring
§ From cuttings: soft-wood (tip) cuttings of Mints, evergreen shrubs & trees
§ Last chance to plant bean, corn, cucumber and summer squash in the ground from plants
§ Plant pond/water plants any time in summer
Watering: Major watering month
§ Depending on their needs, some native transition to summer dry/occasional irrigation conditions.
§ Check soil weekly (more if hot, windy); water as needed in the cool part of the day
§ Give new plants the extra water they need
§ Check containers often (daily) in dry, windy weather; consider installing drip irrigation to containers
§ Give plants from N. coast a ‘fog’ spray every other week or so.
Pruning: Done during cooler weeks
§ Prune to shape/train: Ceanothus; Arctostaphylos (manzanitas); Rhus integrifolia if any needed
§ Prune for safety & plant health; cut back plants growing over walkways/paths
§ Hedge-shear if needed
§ Dead-head Salvia and Penstemon to prolong bloom
Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major weeding month – summer weeds are ready to pull
§ Keep on top of summer weeds: bindweed, mustard, wild lettuce, prickly ox-tongue, sow thistle
§ Collect/dry leaves for tea and seasonings
§ Pick elderberries, other ripe fruits; use now or dry/freeze
Enjoying the garden: Major month to enjoy the garden
§ Make iced tea from native ‘mints’
§ Enjoy and learn more about butterflies: take a class, participate in a count, observe in your yard
§ Renew your inspiration: buy a new gardening book that inspires you; or search the web, go to the library
§ Certify your garden as a wildlife (Nat. Wildlife Foundation) or butterfly (N. American Butterfly Assoc.) habitat garden; display your certification sign/plaque with pride.
§ Spend time in your front yard getting to know you neighbors
§ Dine al fresco in your lovely garden; breakfasts and dinners are especially nice this time of year