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Your Regional Garden News - Zone 7

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:

 

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    Learn about growing flowers from seed

    Is it too late to plant a flower garden? No way! If your spring flowers such as bachelor’s buttons, poppies, and nemesia have stopped blooming, chop them down and plant sunflowers, zinnias, strawflowers, cosmos, and other hot-weather lovers in their place. There’s plenty of time in zones 7 and 8 for these cut flowers to grow and bloom before frost. Get the scoop on how to grow these blooming beauties.

     

 

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    Plan your fall vegetable garden

    While you’re nursing your summer vegetables and flowers along you might as well start planning your fall garden! It takes a little bit of planning, organization, and scheduling to get all of the seeds sown at the right time to get fall vegetables. Most of the fall veggies like to germinate during warm weather but mature during cooler weather. It can be a guessing game as to when the temperature will start routinely dropping, but planning and ordering your seeds

     

 

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    Plant a summer cutting garden

    There is still plenty of time to grow some gorgeous summer flowers. Zinnias, sunflowers, and cosmos are all easy to grow from seed. The main concern right now is keeping the seeds moist while they germinate. We recommend that you sow these seeds and then cover them with a thin layer of straw. Then run a sprinkler for ten minutes two to three times per day to keep everything hydrated. Once the plants have two sets of leaves you can back off the watering. These flowers all need full sun to grow and bloom. Plant and enjoy!

     

     

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    Learn to cook and preserve summer vegetables.

    What’s the point of a gorgeous summer bounty if you have to eat it all at one time? Eating squash every day is a surefire way to get sick of it! There are lots of ways to keep the taste of a fresh summer harvest going all winter long. Pickling and canning are easy techniques once you have a few instructions. While the pots are bubbling on the stove, pre-heat the oven and enjoy some healthy and tasty eggplant hoagies. Eggplant really does taste better when eaten fresh.

     

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    What you need to water plants

    The full heat of summer is bearing down which means watering is a major concern in the garden. A watering wand can help you reach farther into the garden beds, so you make sure to soak every last plant thoroughly. It also helps you direct the water to the root zone instead of the leaves, which keeps disease from spreading and puts the water right where the plants can use it. If you’re planning on taking a vacation, drip irrigation and/or an irrigation timer will ensure that your plants get the water they need while you’re gone. If you’ve come home to dead container gardens and crispy tomato plants after paying your teenage neighbor to water, it’s time to try a timer!

     

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Of all the summer crops, with the possible exception of okra, eggplant is the most finicky when it comes to temperature. The plants simply refuse to tolerate cool weather. Plants set out too early grow slowly, can be stunted, and usually produce smaller yields. If you really want eggplant to thrive, don't be in a hurry to get them in the ground. Wait until about a month after your last spring frost, preferably until overnight temperatures stay in the 60s. Generally, the later you wait the better the production.