July often brings drying winds with excessive heat and no rain to the Rim Country. While waiting for the monsoons, deep watering and preserving precious moisture by mulching heavily are a must.
Flowers – You will notice that perennials bear the heat much better than annuals. All flowers will now appreciate regular feedings and deep watering. Deadhead spent flowers diligently.
Trees – Again, deep watering will save trees and shrubs from stressing in the heat. Watch for signs of fire blight and prune affected limbs radically and dispose of the prunings – never compost them. Sterilize pruners with bleach.
Lawns – Set that mower blade higher to leave grass longer during the hot months. Use a mulching blade and do not rake. Water deeply and fertilize.
Roses – Black spot can be a threat now. Watch for telltale yellow leaves and dispose of them carefully – not in the compost pile.
Vegetables – Heavy mulching, drip irrigation or soaker hoses are essential for water conservation. Preparing to harvest monsoon rain water can be as simple as making channels from the downspouts to the vegetable beds, to sophisticated English rain barrels with spigots and hose connections.
Irrigate Trees – Deeply irrigate trees when the top 2 – 3 inches of soil are almost dry. Build a berm around the tree’s drip line, turn on a hose to a slow trickle and allow it to run into the basin for at least 30 minutes, longer if necessary. To irrigate more mature trees, use a deep root irrigator.