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. Pink Lemonade Zinnia Mix, Zinnia elegans Pink Lemonade Mix

    Our Pink Lemonade Zinnia Seed Mix blooms all summer, offering a delicious nectar source for pollinators and hummingbirds. Easy-to-grow Zinnias in cherry red, pink, and lemon-lime add...

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    Pink Lemonade Zinnia Seed Mix Pink Lemonade Zinnia Mix Zinnia elegans Pink Lemonade Mix
    As low as $12.95 Sale $12.31
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Our Pink Lemonade Zinnia Seed Mix blooms all summer, offering a delicious nectar source for pollinators and hummingbirds. Easy-to-grow Zinnias in cherry red, pink, and lemon-lime add sweet color to flowerpots, garden beds, and wildflower meadows. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free, and guaranteed to grow. Annual.
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  2. Double Sun Sunflower, Helianthus annuus Double Sun

    Double Sun Sunflowers feature double solid gold petals surrounding lime green centers. Large 7-9-inch-wide blooms add cheerful color and unusual texture to your garden and cut flower...

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    Sunflower Seeds Double Sun Double Sun Sunflower Helianthus annuus Double Sun
    As low as $19.95 Sale $18.96
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Double Sun Sunflowers feature double solid gold petals surrounding lime green centers. Large 7-9-inch-wide blooms add cheerful color and unusual texture to your garden and cut flower arrangements. Plant to feeds bees, butterflies, and birds. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free, and guaranteed to grow. Annual. (Helianthus)
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  3. Crimson Velvet Sunflower, Helianthus annuus Crimson Velvet growing in meadow

    Crimson Velvet Sunflowers feature deep brown centers surrounded by petals in a matching hue, tipped with soft yellow as if dipped in sunshine. This striking heirloom variety is easy ...

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    Sunflower Seeds Crimson Velvet Crimson Velvet Sunflower Helianthus annuus Crimson Velvet
    As low as $19.95 Sale $18.96
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Crimson Velvet Sunflowers feature deep brown centers surrounded by petals in a matching hue, tipped with soft yellow as if dipped in sunshine. This striking heirloom variety is easy to grow, with large flowers up to 8 inches wide that create a landing pad for pollinators and birds. This of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free, and guaranteed to grow. Annual. (Helianthus)
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  4. Pink and Red and White Cosmos Seeds, Cosmos bipinnatus

    Cosmos lights up the garden or meadow in midsummer with pink, crimson and white flowers that hold until frost on tall plants. Attractive to both butterflies and hummingbirds, its col...

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    Cosmos Seeds Cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus
    As low as $12.95 Sale $12.31
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Cosmos lights up the garden or meadow in midsummer with pink, crimson and white flowers that hold until frost on tall plants. Attractive to both butterflies and hummingbirds, its colorful and abundant blooms are easy to grow in any region. Cosmos is a popular cutting flower with ferny foliage and strong stems and looks lovely planted along a fenceline. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
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  5. Texas Bluebonnet, Lupine

    Limited Quantities Available!Texas Bluebonnet is a true-blue beauty and one of the worlds most well-known wildflowers. Famous for creating carpets of sweeping indigo color mid-season...

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    Texas Bluebonnet Seeds Texas Bluebonnet Lupinus texensis
    As low as $12.95 Sale $11.01
    Per 1 Ounce
    Limited Quantities Available!Texas Bluebonnet is a true-blue beauty and one of the worlds most well-known wildflowers. Famous for creating carpets of sweeping indigo color mid-season in meadows throughout the country, this variety prefers sandy, loamy and well-draining soils, as well as a minimum of six hours of sun per day. In warmer areas, Texas Bluebonnets act as perennials, coming back year after year, but in colder areas, they act as annuals. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow. Annual.
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  6. Red Poppy, Papaver rhoeas

    Red Poppy, also known as Flanders Poppy, is famed around the world for the carpet of red beauty it creates when in full bloom. A must-have for any wildflower meadow or garden, this e...

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    Red Poppy Seeds Red Poppy, Corn Poppy, Flanders Poppy, Shirley Poppy Papaver rhoeas
    As low as $17.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Red Poppy, also known as Flanders Poppy, is famed around the world for the carpet of red beauty it creates when in full bloom. A must-have for any wildflower meadow or garden, this easy-to-grow annual delights with bright blooms throughout the summer season. Deer resistant and attractive to pollinators, Red Poppies can be planted in any region of the US. We're proud to sell only 100% pure, non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free seeds. Guaranteed to grow.
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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. Red Hot Poker Alcazar, Kniphofia with hummingbird

    'Alcazar' Red Hot Poker brings warm, fiery color to the garden with its vibrant flower spikes. Each flame-like bloom is formed with dangling red-orange buds that open from bottom to ...

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    Red Hot Poker Alcazar Alcazar Torch Lily, Poker Plant Kniphofia Alcazar
    $16.98 Sale $13.99
    Per Bag of 3
    'Alcazar' Red Hot Poker brings warm, fiery color to the garden with its vibrant flower spikes. Each flame-like bloom is formed with dangling red-orange buds that open from bottom to top, revealing faded yellow interiors. A favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies, this unusual plant is easy to grow, perfect for beginner gardeners. Requires full sun. (Kniphofia)
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  2. Pink Echinacea Magnus, Echinacea purpurea, Coneflower

    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent...

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    Magnus Echinacea Purple Coneflower Magnus Echinacea purpurea Magnus
    As low as $9.98 Sale $8.49
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    'Magnus' Coneflower has vibrant pink, ray-like flowers that surround deep-orange center cones, attracting plentiful pollinators to the garden throughout the summer. Leaving the spent stems and flowerheads in place to overwinter will also attract birds. Coneflowers are notably tough native plants and 'Magnus' is no exception, withstanding drought, clay, humidity and harsh winter conditions without complaint. Easy to grow, this plant is a great choice for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. (Echinacea purpurea)
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  3. Orange Butterfly Weed With Monarch Butterfly, Asclepias tuberosa

    Butterfly Weed is the iconic, bright orange beauty that's a staple in every butterfly garden. This showy native wildflower is easy to grow, cold hardy, and does well in poor, dry soi...

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    Butterfly Weed Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa
    As low as $14.98 Sale $11.24
    Per Plant - 3" Pot
    Butterfly Weed is the iconic, bright orange beauty that's a staple in every butterfly garden. This showy native wildflower is easy to grow, cold hardy, and does well in poor, dry soils. Long-lasting clusters of small, flat-topped flowers are crowned with a yellow, sun-kissed "corona" and bloom from June through August. Butterfly Weed is an important nectar source for Monarch butterflies and its leaves provide essential food for developing Monarch caterpillars - but expect to see a variety of pollinators making use of this plant. Please note the Bag of 3 are bareroots. (Asclepias tuberosa)
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  4. Feather Reed Grass Karl Foerster, Calamagrostis acutiflora

    'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass creates a dramatic garden accent, with tall, slender, vertical growth and feathery plumes of shifting bronze color that stay in place year-round. A...

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    Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster
    As low as $17.98 Sale $13.99
    Per Plant - 3.5" Pot
    'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass creates a dramatic garden accent, with tall, slender, vertical growth and feathery plumes of shifting bronze color that stay in place year-round. An early bloomer, 'Karl Foerster' is a cool season grass that grows most rapidly in the spring season and produces notably early blooms. It is a clump-forming decorative grass, with an upward architectural growth habit, making it a dramatic specimen plant in garden or meadow. Torch-like plumes are widely used in dried flower arrangements. This sterile variety does not self-sow, is deer resistant, and notably cold hardy. (Calamagrostis acutiflora)
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