July Lawn & Garden To-Do List

(mg7/Getty Images)

Rainfall is scarce in July, and soaring temperatures can cause your garden and lawn to slow down and conserve energy. Vegetable gardens kick into high gear and will need some extra attention to stay happy. Other plants in your garden can benefit from special treatment as well. Here are some tips for your lawn and garden during the month of July.

Blue Hydrangea
Hydrangeas show off their blooms in midsummer. (1195798/pixabay)

Trees and Shrubs

  • Prune dead, damaged, or diseased branches to prevent them from falling during summer storms.
  • Remove suckers by yanking downward to remove the growth bud.
  • Prune spring flowering shrubs early in the month, then leave them alone to set buds for next year. Summer and fall flowering shrubs should not be pruned unless badly overgrown while nonblooming hedges can be trimmed as needed.
  • Deadhead roses and other flowering shrubs so they will continue blooming.
  • Plants suffering from iron deficiency will benefit from an application of chelated iron.
  • Stop fertilizing trees and shrubs to allow them to reduce growth during the heat of summer.
  • Continue planting and transplanting container-grown trees and shrubs, but give them extra water and shade protection, if possible.
  • Apply extra mulch around the roots of trees and shrubs to hold in moisture.
  • Avoid digging or cultivating around shallow-rooted plants or otherwise disturbing the roots.
  • Take softwood cuttings of shrubs such as hydrangea, buddleia, rose, and Rose of Sharon.
  • Water trees infrequently, but deeply.

Black Eyed Susan
Trim and deadhead perennials to encourage repeat blooms. (cjmckendry/Getty Images Signature)

Perennials and Bulbs

  • For fall blooms, shear back chrysanthemums and asters until mid month at the latest.
  • Give a light haircut to bushy or leggy perennials to encourage blooming.
  • Stop deadheading perennials if you want to collect seed pods from them.
  • Areas with longer summers have time for one more planting of gladiolus.
  • Cut flowers in the early morning when the stems are plump.
  • Order your spring blooming bulbs now for the best selection.
  • Divide and transplant Oriental poppies this month.

Potted Plants
Containers require frequent watering in the July heat. (Mariana Mikhaliova/Getty Images)

Annuals and Containers

  • Add a balanced fertilizer every couple of weeks.
  • Deadhead faded blossoms to increase blooming.
  • Pinch back leggy stems to encourage branching.
  • Start seeds for pansies and other winter annuals.

Cool-season grasses may go dormant during July. (freenaturestock/pixabay)


  • Continue mowing as needed, at the highest setting for your lawn type (3”- 4” for cool-season grasses, 2”- 3” for warm-season grasses).
  • Make sure your lawn gets at least one inch of water per week.
  • If water is scarce, consider allowing cool-season fescue or bluegrass to go dormant for the summer.
  • Mulch grass clippings to help shade, cool, and feed your lawn.
  • Edge planting beds with a string trimmer or lawn edger, for a nice clean look.
  • Plant warm-season grasses and keep watered.
  • Stop fertilizing lawns in midsummer.
  • Make sure lawn mower blades are sharp, so they cut cleanly.

Green Tomato
It’s time for the summer veggie harvest! (Cool-Mau/Getty Images)

Vegetables and Herbs

  • Order garlic bulbs for fall planting.
  • Add compost or organic fertilizer to vegetable gardens.
  • Harvest veggies. Give away any produce you can’t use, and remove plants that have finished producing.
  • Continue weeding, watering, and removing insects.
  • Start seeds for cool-season fall vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and spinach.
  • Give herbs a haircut, and use the cuttings.
  • For maximum flavor, harvest herbs just as the flower buds appear. Shear back annual herbs (such as basil) to encourage a second harvest.
  • Mulch sprawling plants to keep vegetables off the ground.
  • Harvest berries before birds and squirrels eat them.
  • Remove and discard fallen fruits and vegetables.
  • Harvest corn when the tassels turn brown and the kernels are full and milky.
  • Harvest melons when they slip easily from the vine.
  • Give tomatoes extra water, and perhaps a little shade, when temperatures are over 90° F.

Houseplants like summer heat and humidity. (DariaMinaeva)


  • Put houseplants outdoors in the shade for the summer.
  • Water houseplants regularly.
  • Feed houseplants every couple of weeks with a balanced organic fertilizer.
  • Repot pot-bound houseplants.

Suet Feeder
Suet feeders are still popular but spoil more quickly in hot weather. (weaver1234/Getty Images)

Cleanup and Maintenance

  • Attack poison ivy in your yard the moment you spot it!
  • Work outdoors in the cool of the morning and stay hydrated.
  • Add extra mulch to keep plant roots cool and moist.
  • Stay on top of weeds by first pulling any that are blooming, before they set seeds.
  • Start a compost pile, or turn your existing one. Sprinkle it with water to keep it moist.
  • Clean the filter in water features, and add extra aeration to fish ponds in high temperatures.
  • Refresh the water in fountains and birdbaths.
  • Change suet bird feeders regularly, since it’s more likely to go rancid in the heat.
  • Reduce fertilizing, and don’t put fertilizer on dry soil. Use water-soluble fertilizers or compost instead of granules.
  • Make sure your lawn and garden receives an inch of water per week. Water deeply, at the root zone, and avoid spraying the foliage.
  • Use rain barrels to collect and reuse valuable rainwater for your lawn and garden.
  • Remove Japanese beetles and other pests when you see them.
  • Begin ordering bulbs and seeds for fall planting.
  • Provide a shallow pan of clean water for birds and butterflies.
  • Take cuttings of annuals, perennials, and herbs for rooting or drying indoors.

Further Reading


  1. Very helpful tips you got here. Good job. It is always important to take care of the lawn and the garden. It always looks good when your lawn is taken cared properly.

  2. I am having a serious issue with my yard and would like your opinion.I had someone to come out and look at my yard and was told that my newly sodded yard was infested with Dalis grass,to treat it would kill my yard.Is it possible to treat this?

  3. This is not a gardening question but in our home nails from the ceiling and walls work their way out and look bad. This is happening all over the house. When it is repaired it still looks bad to me and it does it again. I have wondered if this is something structural. They really show up on the walls.
    Joyce Ellis

  4. Question. I only have a small yard whereby most of it is shaded much of the dau However the front yard is in sun all day. It is beginning to look a little brown. Is there anything I can put on it to green it up thats not real expensive??
    Thank You,

  5. Joyce Ellis, rather than using nails for the ceiling drywall, use srews. These don’t work out like nails. Elaine

  6. I appreciate all the reminders and tips. Are there any brands of grass seed that I can buy without any weeds? I notice on the bags that there is a certain percentage of weeds. I have some type of broad leaf weed that has developed in my grass. It’s either from the grass seed or corn gluten I used awhile back to control crab grass.
    Thank you.

  7. How to get rid of the voles? They are making tunnels all over my yard. The ground is all puffed up and it makes the yard looking very ugly. In my state(NC) is illegal to kill them. Please help!

  8. Everyone love to have a beautiful and healthy lawn. This calendar lawn care helps a lot especially for the month of July!


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