Garden Update – July 2020

— Written By

Plants in Flower

Trumpet Creeper, Phlox, Butterfly Weed, Daylily, Red Hot Poker, Rose-of-Sharon, Sourwood, Crape myrtle, Stewartia, St. John’s Wort, Abelia, Peegee Hydrangea, Chaste-Tree, Canna, Dahlia, Shasta Daisy, and summer annuals.

What to Fertilize

  • Continue side dressing your garden vegetables.
  • July is the month we recommend giving landscape plants a second (last) feeding of fertilizer.
  • Take soil samples from your lawn areas for testing. Soil boxes are available at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center.

What to Plant

  • Plants of Brussel sprouts and collards can be set out in mid-July.
  • You can begin your fall vegetable garden this month.
  • Plant beans, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and tomatoes in July.
  • Start broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower plants in peat pots to transplant into the vegetable garden in mid-August.
  • Begin repotting overgrown houseplants.

What to Prune

  • Prune “bleeder” trees like maple, dogwood, birch, and elm this month.
  • Prune the fruiting canes of raspberry and blackberry plants after harvest is over. Cut canes at ground level.
  • Prune off dieback limbs on hybrid rhododendron, azalea, mountain laurel, and blueberry. Trim hedges as needed.
  • Continue pruning white pines and narrowleaf evergreens like juniper early in the month.
  • Remove faded flowers on flowering perennials to encourage a second flowering.
  • Complete pruning of spring-flowering shrubs by July 10.

Pest Outlook

  • Scout the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: arborvitae (bagworms), azalea, and pyracantha (lace bug).
  • Use Neem Oil for Japanese beetles as needed.
  • Spray your tree fruits and bunch grapes on a regular basis.
  • Scout the following vegetables for insects: cucumber (cucumber beetle), squash (aphids), tomato, and eggplant (flea beetle).
  • Woody weeds like poison ivy, honeysuckle, and kudzu can be controlled with a recommended herbicide.

Lawn Care

  • Remember to change direction when mowing your lawn. Travel north to south on one mowing and east to west on the next cutting.
  • Continue feeding your zoysia lawn with fertilizer.
  • Do NOT give tall fescue or bluegrass lawns any fertilizer this month. Maintain 3″ mowing height on tall fescue and bluegrass lawns.


  • This month is still a great time to take semi-hardwood cuttings of azaleas, holly, rhododendron, and many other shrubs.
  • July is an ideal time to divide and transplant your iris and daylilies.

Specific Chores

  • July is a good month to see if and where your home can use some additional shade trees.
  • Blossom-end rot may be seen on tomatoes this month. Two factors – too little water and too little lime in the soil – may be the reason.
  • In dry weather, both your vegetable garden and landscape plants will benefit from a good soaking watering. Slow watering will penetrate the root zone better. Apply 1″ of water early in the day.
  • Purchase locally grown blueberries and blackberries.