Seasonal Advice for July: Recipes, Gardening, Folklore

Backyard Giant Sunflower

Love those big long lasting sunflowers! This was grown in the back yard and after the flower faded we ate the sunflower seeds. It is a “win-win” flower.

Midge West


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July is the month when summer has a firm hold on all of us. The average temperature just about everywhere in the country is above 70ºF, and thunderstorms are nearly as abundant as ants at a picnic. See our July long-range weather forecast.

A moon-flooded prairie; a dreaming
Of brown-fisted farmers; a gleaming
Of fireflies eddying nigh –
And that is July!

–James N. Matthews


July received its name in order to honor the Roman dictator Julius Caesar (100 B.C.–44 B.C.). With the help of Sosigenes, Caesar developed the precursor to the Gregorian calendar we use today.

On July 3, the hot and sultry Dog Days begin. How did the phrase, “Dog Days” get started? Find out.

Independence Day on the fourth of July celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Don’t forget to raise the flag! See American Flag Rules.

July also brings two other days of independence: Canada Day (July 1), which commemorates the creation of the Dominion of Canada, and Bastille Day (July 14), which commemorates the storming of the Bastille (the start of the French Revolution).

July’s zodiac signs are Cancer (June 21 to July 22) and Leo (July 23 to August 22). Find out your zodiac sign profile.

Recipes for the Season

Summer RecipesVisit our Fourth of July recipe page for a list of festive dishes!

You can also try some of these other summertime recipes:
Grilled Chicken and Herb-Cheese Wraps
Baked Summer Squash
Grilled Summer Vegetables

See our tips on how to grill vegetables.

Visit the garden-fresh Summer Recipes collection for great meal ideas using fresh, seasonal ingredients.


Pests and ProblemsIn July, summer bugs are at their best (or worst, as the case may be).

Check out our pests and problems page to help you identify and eliminate critters in your garden.

Are your crops starting to take over your kitchen? Check out some of our storage tips for fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Everyday Advice

Painting Your HouseWarm weather allows us to get outside and complete some annual household duties.

Do you have some painting to do? Learn how to choose and use the right paintbrush for the job.

Many folks sell their house in the summer. Check out our tips on a speedy house sale.


Sky WatchFor July of 2016, there is one full Moon known as the Full Buck Moon!Get your Moon dates and times.

Look up! Summer is a great time for stargazing. See our Sky Watch highlights to know what’s you’re seeing above.


Folklore for the Season

  • Ne’er trust a July sky.
  • If ant hills are high in July, the coming winter will be hard.
  • As July, so next January.

Whatever July and August
do not boil,
September can not fry.

Birth Flower and Birthstone


July’s birth flowers are the larkspur and water lily. The larkspur, especially white forms, generally indicates lightheartedness; pink, fickleness; purple, first love. The water lily symbolizes purity of heart. Find out more about July’s birth flowers.

The July birthstone is the ruby, which is believed to protect its wearer from evil. Find our more about July’s birthstone.

Reader Comments

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best day to drill water well

please tell me the best day to drill a water well in Texas between Hempstead and Brenham, 77426, (South Central Texas) I am guessing that its either on a new or full moon but please educate me towards a better probability of sweet clean plentiful water...I can also be contacted at 832-545-8178 or email
thank you for your kind attention...BD.

Where would I find "sign of

Where would I find "sign of the heart" information? Best days to cut brush so that it won't come back. I haven't had any luck finding that here or elsewhere.

We have the "Best Days by the

We have the "Best Days by the Moon's Sign" information if that helps. See this page:

When is the best day to stop

When is the best day to stop smoking cigarettes.

For the best days to stop

For the best days to stop smoking, please see our Best Days timetable. You can find the next two months here:
The full year is available in The Old Farmer's Almanac in our store!

Today, the sooner the

Today, the sooner the better. The easiest way i found to quit was to quit buying them. When you walk into the gas station, and the lady gets ready to give you your cigarettes just say no thanks. Pretty simple.

Need best day to stop smoking

Need best day to stop smoking in July

See our best days timetable

See our best days timetable for best says to stop smoking and best days for other activities:

Been reading your publication

Been reading your publication for over 40 years I'm glad that ya'll went digital for easier reference.

Hi, James, We're happy to

Hi, James, We're happy to hear you enjoy our Web site. We continue to publish our little yellow book, too! Here's where you can find it online:
Our popular annual reference guide is what keeps us going and keeps the Web site "free." 

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