Northern & Central Midwest
Mow Lawn High
Mow your lawn high (at least four inches) to keep weeds down and prevent moisture stress. As the summer weather turns dry, allow your lawn to go dormant to save water. Give it about a quarter inch of water every two weeks to keep the crowns alive, but not to green it up.
Mulch your vegetable garden well to avoid moisture stress in the drier part of the summer. Four to five inches of straw mulch laid over moist soil will go a long way toward preventing stress as well as keeping the weeds at bay. Moisture stress will compromise your tomato and pepper crops.
Harvest Green Beans
Green beans should be starting to come in. Remember to pick them young- no bigger around than your little finger- for the tenderest beans. Keeping them picked will keep the vines producing long into the later part of summer. Start a new crop of bush beans now.
Cut Back Lilies
Cut back lily stalks by about half after they finish blooming. Don't take them out entirely because the leaves are still photosynthesizing to make food and send it back into the bulb for next year's flowers. Lily stalks can be hidden by planting tall perennials around them.
Watch for Japanese Beetles
Here come the Japanese beetles. Keep an eye out for the iridescent green beetles, and hand pick and drop in a bucket of soapy water to kill them. Blanket sprays don't work very well, so hopefully the predator populations will be high this year to prevent a huge outbreak.