South Florida sees a great deal of sunny days, abundant summer moisture, and a year-round growing season. If you are scouting for helpful hints to boost your planting success for July gardening, read on.

7 tips for July gardening in South Florida:

Deadhead flowers

Remove the faded blossoms from your perennial spring flowers to make plants look better and prevent them from producing seminal fluid that can exhaust the plant’s energy.  

Grow groundcovers

Warm-season grass lawns grow into overdrive this time of year. Worry less about mowing by replacing sections with gentle-maintenance ground covers.

Harvest daily
Check your garden and harvest daily. Vegetables taste better when harvested young. Later this month is the ideal time to start vegetable seeds indoors (then transplant them outdoors in autumn when temperatures begin to cool).

Mulch, mulch, and more mulch
You can never have too much mulch. Compost is the key component to a low-maintenance and healthy garden. Add several inches of mulch over your beds and borders to increase soil moisture, reduce weed competition, and improve the quality of fruits and vegetables. Use quick-decaying types in plant and annual flowerbeds so that you can till it all under after the season is over. Long-lasting mulches are best used in permanent landscape settings.

Replenish container plants 
By midsummer, cool-weather annual flowers have stopped blooming. Remove and replace them with heat-loving container plants. If your cool-weather annuals were growing in a mixed container, tease them out of the pot, careful not to disturb the neighboring plants. Add some fresh soil, tuck in a blooming refill, and water thoroughly. Some heat-loving annuals respond well to a midsummer trim to promote new growth.

Take a tour
Summer is a great time to gather fresh and useful ideas from other gardens and landscapes. Take advantage of local garden tours, public gardens, or parks to discover tips and tricks you can use in your backyard gardens.

Solarize soil
Now is the ideal time to solarize your soil to eliminate weeds, diseases, and nematodes before autumn planting. Spread a layer of clear plastic over the beds and leave it in place for six weeks. The soil should be slightly moist before covering it with plastic. The sun raises the soil temperature and kills pathogens and pests.

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