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P. Allen Smith’s July Gardening To-Do List

outdoor summer gardening

P. Allen Smith is an award-winning home and garden designer. Host of two public television programs and best-selling author, Smith shares his expertise on all things natural and organic to over 161,000 fans. Below is his to-do list for all those who want to know how to keep their lawns and gardens looking beautiful in one of the hottest and driest months of the year.

outdoor summer gardening
  • If the weather turns dry, avoid fertilizing your plants. It will further stress your plants to put energy into new growth during periods of drought.
  • Raise the blade on your lawn mower. The tall grass will keep the roots cool and conserve moisture – a must during the hot, dry weather typical of July.
  • Order Colchicum Autumnale bulbs for planting in August and September. Also known as autumn crocus, these petite pale pink to lavender blooms will appear in fall.
  • Now is a good time to make rose cuttings. Choose stems that are just under the diameter of a pencil. Make your cut at an angle just above a leaf node. Be sure the cutting is at least 4 to 5 inches long and has a couple sets of leaves.
  • Some potted plants may need daily watering. Small pots, hanging baskets and window boxes in sunny locations may even need to be watered twice a day. If the top few inches of the soil are dry or the stems are wilting, it’s time to water.
  • It’s time to start planning for your fall vegetable garden. For plants grown from seed, make sure they have enough time to mature before the first autumn freeze. Check the back of the seed packet to find the number of days until harvest to determine when you should plant.
  • Keep those weeds pulled – especially those that spread by reseeding. If you can get rid of them before they go to seed you’ll have less work next year.
  • Morning glories don’t like soil that’s too rich. In fact, if it’s too rich they will produce lots of vine and not many flowers, so be easy on the fertilizer.
  • Provide a source of clean water to attract birds to your garden. Bird baths should be shallow with a rough surface for the birds to stand on. Place the bath at least 4 to 5 feet away from feeders to prevent droppings and seed debris from contaminating the water.

For more information, visit http://www.pallensmith.com/articles/garden-to-do-list-july