The Q&A Archives: July Gardening

Question: I am building a my first house in Indianapolis (zone 5) . It will be completed in July. I would like to know what I can plant in my back yard at that time. Ideally, I would like some flowers and vegetables. And keep in mind that I am just a starter... my gardening knowledge comes from just finished reading Gardening for the Dummies.

Answer: Once you prepare the planting areas you should still be able to plant container-grown perennials and perennial transplants in your flower garden in July if you are careful to water them and mulch them during the summer heat. You can also start perennial seeds then so that the transplants can be set out in very early fall. Mid summer is stressful for new plants because it is so hot and often dry. Early fall is a better time to plant many perennials, bulbs, trees and shrubs so you may find that the summer months are better spent planning and preparing the soil than actually planting. The plant selection should also be better then when the nurseries bring in their fall stock.

Unfortunately, July is a bit late to start most annuals and they may be sold out at the nurseries by then. To ensure some color at your new home, you might want to make some portable container plantings in the spring to take with you when you move. Herbs, bush beans and summer squash would do well planted in July. You could also begin thinking about planting your fall vegetable garden since these plants are started during the late summer.

Enjoy your new garden!

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