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Garden to-do list for July

Petunias and Nasturium in bloom.
Petunias and Nasturium in bloom.
Shawna Kennedy

July is one of the hottest times of the year in Fresno, but a gardener's to-do list doesn't cease because of the summer heat.

  • If you haven’t already, spread a thick layer, at least 2 to 3 inches of mulch around your flower beds. This will help regulate the soil temperature, protecting sensitive roots from the heat as well as help your soil retain moisture.


  • Raise the blades of your lawnmower to keep your grass 2 to 3 inches tall. This will keep your lawn healthier by shading the soil in which your grass grows.


  • Continue to dead head flowering perennials and annuals to encourage more blooms.


  • Check your vegetable garden daily. In hot weather, tomatoes and zucchinis ripen over night. It may be necessary to provide some shade for your tomato plants as they tend to falter in temperatures above 90 degrees F.


  • Peach, apricot and plum trees are also ready, or almost ready, for harvest.


  • Water regularly, and deeply, following the City of Fresno’s water schedule. Watch all your plants for signs of heat stress such as wilted leaves.


  • Container plants will need to be watered daily.


  • In intense heat, roses and other flowers don’t last as long in the garden as they will in a bouquet. Cut roses, gladiola and daisies in the early morning, before it gets too hot, and bring them inside for a cut flower display.


  • Plant vegetable seeds, such as tomato and snap peas, for your fall garden.


  • This is the last month to fertilize your roses. Roses shouldn’t be fertilized later than about the end of July in order to prepare them for winter dormancy.


  • It's not too late to plant heat-tolerant annuals to add spots of color in the flower bed. Plant in the early evening so the plants have time to adjust before the heat of the day.


Happy Gardening!



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