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Garden Calendar for July

Contributor: David C. Zlesak, University of Minnesota Extension Educator

Recent rains throughout much of Minnesota have been much needed after the dry spring.  Continue to water plants as needed.  There are a lot of great tips on watering in the Water-Wise Gardening article in this issue.  Plants to especially pay close attention to for supplemental water include those growing in containers and those that have been recently planted and are still in the process of adapting to their new site and establishing a well-developed root system.

Photo 1: Raspberries are coming into fruit. David Zlesak

Raspberries are coming into fruit!  Raspberries produce canes that last for two growing seasons.  The first year canes start from the base of the plant and are called primocanes.  These primocanes overwinter and flower and fruit on side buds during the second growing season.  During the second the canes are called floricanes.  There are some raspberries on the market called primocane fruiting.  These raspberries produce primocanes that begin flowering and fruiting the fall of the first growing season after a predetermined number of leaves are produced.  If left to overwinter, these primocanes that began fruiting at their tips can continue to flower and fruit on additional side buds down the cane.  After second year canes have finished fruiting later this month, prune them to the ground in order to direct more energy and room to the current season’s primocanes.

Photo 2: Deadhead to improve continued flowering. David Zlesak

Faithful removal of spent flowers of many annuals and some perennials will help them continue to flower strongly.  Examples include geraniums, zinnias, dianthus, and catmint.  Plants produce flowers in order to make seeds and reproduce.  If the hormonal signal of developing embryos is removed by deadheading, many plants will respond by producing additional flowers. 

Enjoy the garden!  July is typically a month of bounty.  More vegetables are ripening, trees and shrubs are fully leafed out, and there are many flowers in bloom.  During our time in the garden we may notice a small problem starting.  If we catch it early we have the opportunity to be proactive and intervene.  For instance, small weeds can be removed before they become larger, more difficult weeds to remove. Additionally, when we notice disease or insect problem starting, we have a better chance to intervene and prevent significant spread and damage.    Please visit the diagnostics modules on the gardening information website ( for help in identifying pest problems and to learn about control options for the particular pest.  These modules will continue to expand and include more resources as time goes by.

Photo 3: Enjoy the beauty of the season!! David Zlesak

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