Regional Gardening Guide - Zone 5-6

July 1 to July 31-- Discover what you should be doing right now. Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.

Here’s what’s happening in your gardening region:

When July rolls around, the hot weather can tempt even the most enthusiastic gardener to stay indoors in the air conditioning, but there is still plenty to do in the gardens to keep them looking their best and help them survive periods of hot, dry weather. The best times to work outdoors are early in the morning or late in the evening before the sun sets. Remember to use a good sunscreen and if mosquitoes are a problem, apply a good insect repellent before going outside.


map for zone 5-6

Your Regional reporter

Carol Michel regional reporter photo

Carol Michel is a lifelong gardener and resident of Indiana with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture Production from Purdue University.
She regularly writes gardening related topics for Indiana Gardening and on her award-winning garden blog, She is the author of the recently released book Potted & Pruned: Living a Gardening Life.

To see what Carol's doing in her garden. Click Here!

1. Harvest vegetables and consider canning and pickling if you have too much to eat at one time

1. July in the vegetable garden means tomatoes, squash, sweet corn, beans and other vegetables are ready to pick. Harvest as soon as these vegetables are ripe to enjoy them at their best and pick in the early morning if possible. If you have too much to eat at once, consider freezing or canning.


  • Harvesting Vegetables
    When harvest time comes, it comes big-time. For the gardener, the challenge now may be to keep ahead of a tsunami of vegetables. Learn some harvest tips from
    Read more
  • Canning Basics
    Canning is a great way to keep enjoying your garden bounty all year long. Many gardeners think it’s difficult to do but it’s really very simple.
    Read more
  • Pickling
    Pickles dress up everything from sandwiches to salads. While it
    may seem a complex process to transform a cucumber into a pickle, it's
    actually relatively easy.
    Read more

2. Start seeds for fall crops in the garden

2. By the end of July, be ready to sow seeds for fall crops. Though it doesn’t seem like it will ever cool down again, we know it will and the cooler weather of late summer and early fall is the perfect weather for vegetables that prefer cooler temperatures, like broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts.

  • Broccoli, Sun King Hybrid, , large
  • Cabbage, Early Jersey Wakefield, , large
  • Kale, Red Winter Organic, , large

3. Water when you don’t get at least an inch of rain a week

3. Watering is important during the hot days of summer, especially if you have newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials. And if we don’t get a lot of rain in July, your lawn may also benefit from a good deep watering.

4. Sow a few last rows of green beans and try some new recipes for the beans you are picking

4. Finish succession planting of green beans. Beans often produce in as few as 50 days or less. Count back from your likely first frost date to determine the last day to plant another row or two of green beans. If your beans struggled, try a soil inoculant to improve plant growth or use the later planting as an opportunity to try a new variety.

  • Burpee Bean & Pea Booster, , large
  • Bean, Mascotte, , large
  • Bean, Bush Heavyweight II, , large

5. Deadhead spent blooms and keep pulling weeds to keep the garden looking its best

5. Deadheading spent blooms on both annuals and perennials and pulling weeds will go a long way toward keeping the entire garden looking its best through the hottest days of summer. The proper tools can make these tasks more enjoyable.

  • Straight Blade Pruning Shear, , large
  • Cobrahead® Weeder/Cultivator, , large
  • Tufftotes Gardening Bucket - 7 Gallon, , large