University of Illinois Extension
Bruce Spangeberg

These articles are written to apply to the northeastern corner of Illinois. Problems and timing may not apply outside of this area.

Stateline Yard & Garden

July Lawn and Garden Calendar

June 25, 1998

Ready or not, July is just about here, meaning we are reaching the midpoint of the summer season. The yard and garden calendar focuses primarily on maintenance of existing plants.

As we advance into July, little should be done to trees and shrubs except watering if conditions are dry. Hold off until October if trees and shrubs are in need of fertilizer, as supplying nutrients in late summer may promote new growth that does not have time to harden off before winter. This could lead to winter injury. Likewise, avoid heavy pruning of trees at this time.

July lawn care consists primarily of mowing as needed and watering if conditions get dry. Fertilizing, weed control with herbicides, and seeding should wait until the end of summer. White grubs are not likely to become a problem until later in August.

It's important to keep ahead of the weed explosions that often follow rains. Hand pull or carefully cultivate existing weeds, and place mulch over the soil to help keep them from coming back. In addition to competing for nutrients, light, and moisture, weeds can also provide habitat for insect pests and diseases.

In the vegetable garden, keep crops picked as they ripen. Remove any damaged or rotten material to help keep away pests such as picnic beetles. Some crops can be seeded in July for fall harvest, including beets, carrots, lettuce, snap beans, spinach, summer squash, and radishes. Water as needed to get the new plants going.

If vacation plans are called for in July, try to arrange for someone to do minimum care of the yard and garden. For example, developing vegetables will suffer under drought stress. Keeping the lawn mowed not only is good for the lawn, it avoids the "overgrown lawn" signal the home is vacant. Pinch- off flower heads of annual flowers, as by the time you return the plants will be sending out another set of blooms.

Finally, monitor plantings for insect and disease problems. Identify the problem before trying to control it. Many plant problems are not as serious as they may first appear. Contact your local Illinois Extension office for help in identifying plant problems.


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