July in the Southern California Garden
Each month has its special joys and tasks in the garden. Below is a suggested calendar for July. Remember that
gardening depends on the weather, so tasks, bloom season and activities may vary from year to year.
Best of Show:
Flowers: tree/shrub: Aesculus californica, Calycanthus occidentalis, Eriogonum giganteum, Heteromeles arbutifolia, Holodiscus
discolor, Lyonothamnus spp., Malosma laurina, Rosa californica;
smaller shrubs: * Abutilon palmeri, Clematis ligusticifolia, Eriogonum spp., Grindelia spp., *Monardella spp., Oenothera spp.,
Penstemon spp., Solanum spp., Asclepias spp., Cirsium occidentale, Corethrogyne filaginifolia, *Erigeron spp., Euthamia occidentalis,
Helianthus annuus, *Madia elegans, Solidago spp., * Sphaeralcea ambigua
Fruits/berries/vegetables: Comarostaphylis diversifolia, * Morella (Myrica) californica, Prunus ilicifolia, non-native fruits (peaches,
nectarines, plums), summer vegetables
Yearly assessment of your garden: decide what needs improvement and what is successful
Start a garden journal & photo log if you don’t already have one– or get yours organized
Start a design: great time to create a garden design for your whole garden or just a part that you’re re-doing.
Prepare for fall planting: order native seeds & bulbs (before they’re out of stock)
Make repairs/changes that weren’t possible in spring
From cuttings: soft-wood (tip) cuttings of Mints, evergreen shrubs & trees
Last chance to plant bean, corn, cucumber and summer squash in the ground from plants
Plant pond/water plants any time in summer
Watering: Major watering month
Check soil weekly; water as needed in the cool part of the day
Give new plants the extra water they need
Check containers often in dry, windy weather; consider installing drip irrigation to containers
Give plants from N. coast a ‘fog’ spray every other week or so.
Prune to shape/train: Ceanothus; Arctostaphylos (manzanitas) if any needed
Prune for safety & plant health; cut back plants growing over walkways/paths
Hedge-shear if needed
Dead-head Salvia and Penstemon to prolong bloom
Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major weeding month – summer weeds are ready to pull
Keep on top of summer weeds: bindweed, mustard, wild lettuce, prickly ox-tongue, sow thistle
Collect/dry leaves for tea and seasonings
Pick elderberries, other ripe fruits; use now or dry/freeze
Enjoying the garden: Major month to enjoy the garden
Make iced tea from native ‘mints’
Enjoy and learn more about butterflies: take a class, participate in a count, observe in your yard
Renew your inspiration: buy a new gardening book that inspires you; or search the web, go to the library
Certify your garden as a wildlife (Nat. Wildlife Foundation) or butterfly (N. American Butterfly Assoc.) habitat garden; display your
certification sign/plaque with pride.
Spend time in your front yard getting to know you neighbors
Dine al fresco in your lovely garden; breakfasts and dinners are especially nice this time of year
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.