by Amanda

July gardening - garden
July gardens are often some of the showiest, but need maintenance and watering to stay healthy until fall.

The start of July means summer is in full swing and most of our gardens are at the peak of the season, bursting with Daylilies, Bee Balm, Astilbe, Lavender, and more. July is also a big month for garden maintenance; the hot weather makes it important to keep up with watering, weeding, and other chores in the garden to ensure your landscape stays healthy during some of the hottest days of the year. If you live in a cooler area, there is still time to add some quick-blooming varieties to your garden for a big burst of color in the late summer into fall.

We'll outline July garden maintenance by region, focusing on the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and West, as well as give some of our favorite varieties for July planting in both dry and humid climates.

July Gardening: What (Or If) To Plant

In many parts of the country it’s simply too hot to plant anything in July. In areas like the Southeast and coastal West, you’ll have to wait until the fall to add anything to your garden. But for gardeners in certain regions in the Northeast, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest, July offers up a great chance to plant quick-growing wildflowers and vegetables to extend your season. In the hottest zones, you're next chance for planting from seed will likely come in August or September.

July gardening - wildflowers
Quick-blooming Zinnia and Cosmos can be planted in July in the Northeast for a big burst of late-season color and nectar for pollinators.

Wildflowers For July Planting

July is a great time to add quick-blooming wildflowers like Alyssum, Red Poppy, Zinnia, and Cosmos to your garden. These wildflowers grow and bloom in just weeks, giving them plenty of time to create an end-of-season show in your garden if planted in July. These wildflowers are a great way to fill in empty spots in your perennial or wildflower gardens, as well as offer up plenty of nectar at the end of the season for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

  1. Under The Sea Zinnia Seed Mix

    ‘Under The Sea’ Zinnia Mix includes three colors that will remind you of the tropics! Nectar-rich berry purple, white sand, and coral pink flowers blooms all summer. Long-bloomin...

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    Under The Sea Zinnia Seed Mix Under The Sea Zinnia Mix Zinnia elegans Under The Sea Mix
    As low as $10.95 Sale $9.86
    Per 1/4 Pound
    ‘Under The Sea’ Zinnia Mix includes three colors that will remind you of the tropics! Nectar-rich berry purple, white sand, and coral pink flowers blooms all summer. Long-blooming flowers have rich colors and will attract butterflies and pollinators. Plant these easy-to-grow and deer resistant seeds in full sun – make sure to plant enough for cut flower bouquets! Annual. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
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  2. South Of The Border Zinnia Seed

    ‘South of the Border’ Zinnia Mix is a bright, bold mix of yellow, red, and bicolor flowers. As the name hints, these flowers originated in warm, sunny Mexico, and are native to t...

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    South Of The Border Zinnia Seed Mix South Of The Border Zinnia Mix Zinnia elegans South Of The Border Mix
    As low as $10.95 Sale $9.31
    Per 1/4 Pound
    ‘South of the Border’ Zinnia Mix is a bright, bold mix of yellow, red, and bicolor flowers. As the name hints, these flowers originated in warm, sunny Mexico, and are native to the Southwestern US as well. Count on Zinnias to attract butterflies and beneficial pollinators from summer right up until frost and provide plenty of excellent cut flowers. Zinnias are easy to grow and deer resistant. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow. Annual.
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  3. Fruity Beauty Zinnia Seed Mix

    ‘Fruity Beauty’ Zinnia Mix includes three candy-colored Zinnia varieties. Saturated coral, yellow, and orange flowers provide instant cheer with ruffled blooms all summer! Long-b...

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    Fruity Beauty Zinnia Seed Mix Fruity Beauty Zinnia Mix Zinnia elegans Fruity Beauty Mix
    As low as $10.95 Sale $9.86
    Per 1/4 Pound
    ‘Fruity Beauty’ Zinnia Mix includes three candy-colored Zinnia varieties. Saturated coral, yellow, and orange flowers provide instant cheer with ruffled blooms all summer! Long-blooming annual flowers are nectar rich,and will attract plenty of pollinators. Zinnias are easy to grow, deer resistant, and will make beautiful, bright cut flowers. Annual. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
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  4. Coral Zinnia Seeds

    Coral Zinnia, in the 2019 Pantone Color of The Year, is a beautiful warm pink flower to include in your garden. Brightly colored flowers on long, sturdy stems are offset nicely by de...

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    Coral Zinnia Seeds Coral Zinnia Zinnia elegans Coral
    As low as $10.95 Sale $9.86
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Coral Zinnia, in the 2019 Pantone Color of The Year, is a beautiful warm pink flower to include in your garden. Brightly colored flowers on long, sturdy stems are offset nicely by deep green foliage. Zinnias attract butterflies and beneficial pollinators from summer to frost. These easy to grow flowers will provide plenty of cut flowers. Zinnias are deer resistant, too! All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow. Annual.
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  5. Texas Bluebonnet & Snapdragon Seed Combo

    Plant Texas Bluebonnet and Snapdragons for a rainbow of colors from spring to summer! Texas Bluebonnet is a native, true blue beauty known for sweeping fields of color. Snapdragons c...

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    Texas Bluebonnet & Snapdragon Seed Combo Texas Bluebonnet & Baby Snapdragon Lupinus texensis & Linaria maroccana
    $99.95
    Per 2 Pounds
    Plant Texas Bluebonnet and Snapdragons for a rainbow of colors from spring to summer! Texas Bluebonnet is a native, true blue beauty known for sweeping fields of color. Snapdragons create a jewel-toned array of pink, red, yellow, and purple blooms. Plant this combo in part-sun to full sun locations for plenty of pollinators and gorgeous, fragrant cut flowers! Texas Bluebonnet are deer resistant. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow. Annual. (Lupinus texensis and Linaria maroccana)
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  6. Red Zinnia Seeds Will Roger, Zinnia elegans

    Creating huge color with classic red blooms all summer long, this Dahlia-flowering Zinnia is the perfect choice for any sunny spot in the garden or meadow. Growing to be about 30” ...

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    Zinnia Seeds Will Roger Zinnia Zinnia elegans
    As low as $9.95 Sale $8.96
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Creating huge color with classic red blooms all summer long, this Dahlia-flowering Zinnia is the perfect choice for any sunny spot in the garden or meadow. Growing to be about 30” tall, pair this beauty with other Zinnias or plant on its own for a bold, red look. Will Rogers attracts a variety of pollinators to the garden, providing nectar throughout the season.
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Vegetables For July Planting

In colder regions July is the perfect time to plant a second round of fast-growing vegetable varieties like beets, radishes, beans, lettuce, carrots, and heat-tolerant greens.

Maintenance In The July Garden

Watering In Hot, Dry Regions

In most regions, July offers up some of the hottest and driest days of the year, and it’s best to be proactive in your garden to not only keep things watered, but to also conserve water as much as possible.

July gardening - watering
When watering in July, make sure to completely soak your plants each time you water.

Tips for July watering:

  • When you do water, make sure to give everything a good soaking. Even if you can only water once per week, soaking the entire plant when you do water keeps it healthy.
  • Water in the early morning or evening when the sun is at its weakest. This will prevent the water from quickly evaporating into the atmosphere, allowing it to soak into the soil and reach your plants' root systems.
  • Avoid watering the foliage of your plants as this can promote the spread of mildews, rusts, and molds. If possible, install soaker hoses which water directly in the soil and help conserve water. These are especially helpful for vegetable gardens.

Another proactive way to reduce watering in any region is to start with drought-tolerant varieties in your landscape. Perennials like Sedum, Lavender, Echinacea, and Rudbeckia don’t require a ton of supplemental water and will do great in the July heat. Wildflowers are also another low-water solution for any sunny spot in the garden.

Caring For Your Garden In Hot, Humid Areas

There are some regions in the country that experience not only high temperatures in July, but also extreme moisture and humidity. These areas can see wilting plants, mold, mildew, and fungus in their gardens in July. There are several ways to help keep your gardens and plants healthy in this hot, damp weather:

  1. Prune, thin, weed -- and repeat! A lot of the diseases associated with damp weather and humidity in the garden occur when plants are overcrowded. Plants need plenty of air circulation and sunlight to help dry out and stay healthy, especially in the hot, humid weather. Keep up with weeding, thinning, and pruning weekly.
  2. As soon as you see a diseased plant, cut the infected area immediately. After trimming off the diseased part of your plant, dispose of it in the garbage (not the compost).
  3. If you need to irrigate, water early in the day and at ground level. Morning watering gives the plant enough time to dry off during the day and watering at ground level helps keep moisture off of the plant's foliage and can prevent mildew.

Tropical bulbs like Canna Lilies, Elephant Ear, Calla Lilies, and Caladium prefer this hot, humid weather and are a great choice for regions that experience this type of weather in July. Other varieties that thrive in humidity and don't mind wet soil are Joe Pye Weed, Hibiscus, Swamp Milkweed, Japanese Iris, and Cardinal Flower.

Learn more about how to care for your garden in extreme heat

July Gardening Chores By Region

July Gardening Chores: Northeast

july gardening - containers
  1. Remove faded blooms on your perennials and annuals to promote continuous flowering. If your annuals are beginning to fade, cut them back by 1/3 to encourage new growth and blooms.
  2. If you’re growing in containers, be diligent about checking the soil to keep up with watering. Containers dry out quickly and require much more water, especially in July. Remember: the smaller a container, the more often you will need to water it!
  3. Remember to remove buds off your Basil before they start to flower.
  4. Weed regularly! In July, the best time to do this is in the early morning or evening so you won’t be out when the sun is at its strongest.
  5. If you’re noticing harmful bugs in your flower or vegetable garden, use a natural soapy spray to help keep the problem at bay. We recommend mixing 1 Tablespoon or less of Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear soap per quart of water and placing it in a spray bottle. Always spray the undersides of plants.
  6. Harvest vegetables regularly. Don’t let cucumbers, zucchini, or other varieties get too big as they lose a lot of their flavor.
  7. If you haven’t already, cut back unsightly, yellow foliage on your Daffodils and Tulips.
  8. Turn the compost pile you made in spring if you haven’t yet.
  9. If you’ve been fertilizing perennials, we recommend stopping this practice towards the end of July. New growth that emerges in late July or August may not make it through the fall frost.
  10. Dump out and refill birdbaths and other standing water features regularly, as mosquito larvae can live in this stagnant water.
  11. Move the blade to your lawn mower up and start to gradually mow the lawn at a longer length to help with drought.
July gardening - mowing
July is the perfect month to start gradually moving your mower blade up and cutting the grass at a longer length.

July Gardening Chores: Southeast

  1. Watering is extremely important in the Southeast in July - unless you're expereincing heavy rains. If possible, try to water your containers every day, your perennials once a week, and your vegetable garden twice per week. Water in the mornings to let foliage dry out during the day.
  2. Harvest vegetables regularly. Don’t let cucumbers, zucchini, or other varieties get too big as they lose a lot of their flavor and will stop producing fruits if harvests are not taken.
  3. Weed regularly! In July, the best time to do this is in the early morning or evening so you won’t be out when the sun is at its strongest.
  4. july gardening - containers
  5. Remove faded blooms on your perennials and annuals to promote continuous flowering. If your annuals are beginning to fade, cut them back by 1/3 to encourage new growth and blooms.
  6. Dump out and refill birdbaths and other standing water features regularly, as mosquito larvae can live in this stagnant water.
  7. If you’re noticing harmful bugs in your flower or vegetable garden, use a natural soapy spray to help keep the problem at bay. We recommend mixing 1 Tablespoon or less of Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear dish soap per quart of water and placing it in a spray bottle. Always spray the undersides of plants.
  8. Make sure the blade on your mower is sharp to avoid damage to your grass that can cause it to die in dry spells. July is also a great time to move your blade up and start to gradually mow the lawn at a longer length to help with drought.
  9. If you haven’t already, give your houseplants a good feeding and bring them outdoors to bask in the sun.

July Gardening Chores: Midwest

  1. If you’ve been fertilizing perennials, we recommend stopping this practice towards the end of July. New growth that emerges in late July or August may not make it through the fall frost.
  2. Remove faded blooms on your perennials and annuals to promote continuous flowering. If your annuals are beginning to fade, cut them back by 1/3 to encourage new growth and blooms.
  3. If you’re growing in containers, be diligent about checking the soil to keep up with watering. Containers dry out quickly and require much more water, especially in July.
  4. Remember to remove buds off your Basil before they start to flower.
  5. Dump out and refill birdbaths and other standing water features regularly, as mosquito larvae can live in this stagnant water.
  6. Weed regularly! In July, the best time to do this is in the early morning or evening so you won’t be out when the sun is at its strongest.
  7. July gardening - coreopsis and yarrow
    Weed regularly! This is especially important in July as weeds can take important water and nutrients from your plants when they need it most.
  8. If you’re noticing harmful bugs in your flower or vegetable garden, use a natural soapy spray to help keep the problem at bay. We recommend mixing 1 Tablespoon or less of Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear soap per quart of water and placing it in a spray bottle. Always spray the undersides of plants.
  9. Harvest vegetables regularly. Don’t let cucumbers, zucchini, or other varieties get too big as they lose a lot of their flavor.
  10. If you haven’t already, cut back unsightly, yellow foliage on your Daffodils and Tulips.
  11. Move the blade to your lawn mower up and start to gradually mow the lawn at a longer length to help with drought.

July Gardening Chores: West

  1. Harvest vegetables regularly. Don’t let cucumbers, zucchini, or other varieties get too big as they lose a lot of their flavor.
  2. Weed regularly! In July, the best time to do this is in the early morning or evening so you won’t be out when the sun is at its strongest.
  3. Remove faded blooms on your perennials and annuals to promote continuous flowering. If your annuals are beginning to fade, cut them back by 1/3 to encourage new growth and blooms.
  4. July gardening - watering
    Dump out and refill birdbaths and other standing water features regularly.
  5. Dump out and refill birdbaths and other standing water features regularly, as mosquito larvae can live in this stagnant water.
  6. If you’re noticing harmful bugs in your flower or vegetable garden, use a natural soapy spray to help keep the problem at bay. We recommend mixing 1 Tablespoon or less of Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear soap per quart of water and placing it in a spray bottle. Always spray the undersides of plants.
  7. If you haven’t already, give your houseplants a good feeding and bring them outdoors to bask in the sun.
  8. Move the blade to your lawn mower up and start to gradually mow the lawn at a longer length to help with drought.

July is the time of year where we can sit back and enjoy the hard work we’ve been busy at all spring. When the wildflowers are in full bloom and the hummingbirds are coming to and from your garden, it’s obvious that it was all worth it. And with a little effort and maintenance throughout July, your garden will stay healthy and vibrant all the way into fall.

  1. Creeping Thyme, Thymus praecox Coccineus with Lavender

    Creeping Thyme Coccineus is one of the very best flowering groundcovers. 1 to 3 inches tall in sun or partial shade. (Thymus praecox)...

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    Creeping Thyme Coccineus Creeping Thyme Thymus praecox
    As low as $13.98 Sale $9.09
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Creeping Thyme Coccineus is one of the very best flowering groundcovers. 1 to 3 inches tall in sun or partial shade. (Thymus praecox)
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  2. May Night Meadow Sage

    May Night is the top signature Salvia, with famous deep blue/purple blooms. A big favorite. Perennial plant of the year in 1997. (Salvia nemorosa)...

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    May Night Salvia Meadow Sage May Night Salvia nemorosa May Night
    As low as $10.98 Sale $7.14
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    May Night is the top signature Salvia, with famous deep blue/purple blooms. A big favorite. Perennial plant of the year in 1997. (Salvia nemorosa)
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  3. Pink Creeping Phlox Emerald Pink, Phlox subulata groundcover

    'Emerald Pink' Creeping Phlox is famous for its blazing pink blooms and evergreen foliage that work together beautifully as a groundcover or colorful landscape accent. Allowed to spi...

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    Emerald Pink Creeping Phlox Emerald Pink Creeping Phlox Phlox subulata Emerald Pink
    As low as $12.98 Sale $8.44
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Emerald Pink' Creeping Phlox is famous for its blazing pink blooms and evergreen foliage that work together beautifully as a groundcover or colorful landscape accent. Allowed to spill and trail over walls, slopes, and container egdes, low-growing 'Emerald Pink' will bring the garden to life while cleverly hiding any trouble spots. Drought-tolerant, deer resistant and extremely easy to grow. (Phlox subulata)
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  4. Catmint Walkers Low, Nepeta faassenii

    'Walker's Low' Catmint is known for its easy going nature - it can thrive in a variety of soil and sunlight scenarios, though it does prefer things on the sunny, dry side. Beautiful ...

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    Walker's Low Nepeta Walker's Low Catmint Nepeta faassenii Walker's Low
    As low as $9.98 Sale $6.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Walker's Low' Catmint is known for its easy going nature - it can thrive in a variety of soil and sunlight scenarios, though it does prefer things on the sunny, dry side. Beautiful purple flower spikes appear in early summer and continue to bloom and release their sweet fragrance for up to 3 months. Very showy and very low maintenance, 'Walker's Low' is a great choice for planting in swaths, lining walkways, or adding to pollinator gardens. Deer resistant. (Nepeta faassenii)
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