If you’re wondering what you should be doing in your garden in July, here’s a list of July Garden Chores for Zone 5. You should have lots to harvest this month and there’s still time to keep planting, as well!
July is an exciting time for most gardeners as by now you are really seeing some early harvest stuff come out and everything else is humming right along. If you are in zone 5, this guide will help you to know what you should be doing this month and if you are not, it should still be going in order, give or take a few weeks.
To find out your zone visit this handy Zone Finder where you can plug in your zip code. The important thing to know is your frost dates. In zone 5, the average last frost date is May 15 and the average first frost is October 15. Knowing your frost date allows you to determine how many days you still have in the growing season. On July 1st, in Zone 5 for instance, I still have quite a lot of warm days left.
July Gardening Chores for Zone 5
July is a time when most zones experience high heat so it is important that you grow heat-tolerant greens if you want to grow more. These varieties include:
- Bok Choy
- Mustard Greens
- Asian varieties like Tat Soi, Mizuna and Tokyo Bekana
- Baby varieties of Kale and Chard (make sure to give them lots of water)
- Green Leaf Lettuce
- Coastal Star Lettuce
- Romaine Lettuce
- Red Leaf Lettuce
Now’s the time to start vegetables from seed for cold weather growing, such as:
- Cabbage varieties including Kohlrabi
- Fall and Winter varieties of tomato and Cucumber
Seeds can be directly planted in the garden near the end of the July or beginning of August if you start them indoors at the beginning of July. You might consider starting them indoors if you expect a hot, dry month as these conditions are unfavorable for seed germination.
Some things to watch for in July include:
- Make sure everything is getting enough water. You might want to invest in a timed garden sprinkler with rain delay to make sure your garden gets the recommended amount of water. This is one of the hottest months and it can be killer on crops if you aren’t making sure they are getting about an inch per week of water at least.
- Feed flowers (especially annuals) now. They will need extra for the hotter months and when pests can be at their highest and any that was in the soil when they were planted is probably depleted now.
- Keep an eye out on pests. These are at their highest populations now and July is such a crucial growing month that it is important to keep them at bay. Especially watch tomatoes and lettuce varieties. Also, be very diligent about watching for cucumber beetles and squash bugs – removing eggs, spraying an organic spray, and handpicking and drowning bugs every day.
- Each day, also check for Japanese Beetles and slugs/snails and remove them by hand, but also destroy them.
- Pay close attention to container gardens as they are easy to dry out. Keep them moist.
More chores and what to harvest in July for Zone 5:
- Keep an eye out for weeds and make notes of what kinds come up so you can help ward them off next season. Your fruits and vegetables will be growing rapidly this month so it is critical that you keep up with weeding at least on a weekly basis so they don’t have to compete with weeds.
- Start harvesting some types of lettuce as well as herbs. Basil tastes sweetest when you harvest it before it blooms.
- Harvest small varieties of tomatoes such as cherry tomatoes. They should be ready by the end of the month.
- Peppers might also be ready. Keep an eye on them as they will quickly ripen this month and into August.
- Beans are probably ready in July and should be harvested as soon as they are as the leaves will start to wilt and you will miss your crop if you don’t.
- Start going through strawberries and harvesting as well as rejuvenating and pinching off so you can continue to grow some more, especially if you have ever-bearing type.
- Cucumbers should be about ready to harvest. Do the harvesting in the morning so you can get them into a cooler environment (indoors) before they wilt in the sun.
- Harvest onions and garlic. Most varieties will be ready.
July is an exciting time in the garden! There’s lots to harvest and eat. It’s also the time to prepare for your fall garden. What do you most enjoy about your garden in July?