Mow grass one-half inch higher than usual during the dry, summer months to help conserve soil moisture. Do not mow when lawn is under severe drought stress.
Don’t remove clippings from the lawn unless grass is excessively tall or weedy. Clippings return some nutrients to the soil and do not add to thatch buildup.
GARDEN (Flowers, vegetables and small fruits)
Supplement natural rainfall, if any, to supply 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week in a single application.
Start seeds of broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts to transplant later for a fall harvest. Harvest crops such as tomatoes, squash, okra, peppers, beans and cucumbers frequently to encourage further production.
Complete succession planting of bush beans and sweet corn.
Harvest summer squash while small and tender for best quality.
Standard sweet corn is at its peak for only a day or so. The supersweet corn maintains its peak quality for a longer period. Harvest when silks begin to dry and kernels exude a milky, rather than watery or doughy, juice when punctured.
Broccoli will form edible side shoots after the main head is removed.
Mulch garden to control weeds and conserve soil moisture.
Make sure potato tubers, carrot shoulders and onion bulbs are covered with soil to prevent development of green color and off flavors. Applying a layer of mulch will help keep them covered.
Allow blossoms on newly planted everbearing strawberry plants to develop for a fall crop.
July is a good time to fertilize strawberries with .5 pound of actual nitrogen per 100 feet of row.
Harvest raspberries when fully colored and easily separated from stem. After harvest is complete, prune out the fruiting canes to make room for new growth.
Remove faded blossoms from annual and perennial flowers to prevent seed formation.
Condition flowers cut from the garden for arranging by removing lower leaves, placing cut stem ends in warm water and storing overnight in a cool location.
The foliage of spring-flowering bulbs can be removed safely after it fades. This also is a good time to lift the bulbs for transplanting or propagation.
B. Rosie Lerner is a Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist.