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July is not a month-long holiday in the California garden!


A big holiday this month is usually associated with more downtime for maintenance and an emphasis on outdoor barbeques, hammock swings, and pool or beach parties. So, what is happening in the garden? For residential gardens, especially gardens that include edibles, July is a time for bumper crops and grazing (are you, like me, willing to pinch off a strawberry and eat it right there in place)? Now, squarely in summer, plants are ripening their fruits and vegetables, but it also means that unwanted weeds can start reseeding on a whim! Weeds may become abundant if weeding is not part of your winter/spring routine.
Commercial landscape maintenance crews have much to do during this time of year. June to July will expose irrigation failures as evidenced by withering vegetation. Irrigation repairs at this time can be more costly, requiring speedy responses from landscapers. If they fail, then plants will continue to wither and potentially die. If the watering system has gone unmonitored by crew and property owner alike, who’s responsible for replacing dead plants if failed irrigation is involved can be tricky. While July might be a time of slowing growth and focusing on lawns and weeds, we might also want to use this opportunity to inspect the irrigation. I can’t think of anyone who appreciates green and brown donuts in turf areas!

things to do

Irrigation Schedules Should Run Early Mornings Not Late Afternoons or During the Day
Raise Lawnmower Blades for the Warm Season
Protect Sun-sensitive Plants, Such as Some Tropicals and Succulents
Deadhead Spent Flowers on Roses, Annuals and Perennials to Promote Seasonal Blooming
Watch for Poison Oak if Your Project is in the Suburban to Rural Margin
Trim Conifers and Other Evergreens to Maintain Form, such as Hedges and Topiaries
Seek Out "Best Management Practices" to Address Pest Infestations and Diseases
Target Hand Watering Missed by Supplemental Irrigation
Consider Using Grey Water for Supplemental Irrigation
Prune to Shape Deciduous Magnolias
Prune Early Summer Flowering Shrubs, such as Philadelphus and Weigela
Continue to Remove Unwanted Weeds
Remove Fruit Tree Suckers
See Any Monarchs? Support Their Migrations by Planting Native (Not Tropical) Milkweeds
Deep Water Trees (Especially Non-Irrigated, Non-Native Species)
Cut Back Geraniums
Tie Up, Train, or Prune to Shape Growing Vines

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