July: To-Do List

1. Enjoy the early sunrise
If you run or go to the gym after work when the weather is cool, consider getting up early to beat the heat and still keep your fitness goals. 

2. Change your water filters
You’ll probably be drinking more water during the summer months, so if you’re using a water filter, make sure you’re changing it more often.

3. Refresh your flower annuals
By now, you’ve probably lost a few of those snapdragons that you bought to perk up the patio. Get yourself a new six-pack or two to restock.

4. Stake out your fireworks spot
July Fourth will be the big display after the Made in America concert. If you don’t want to brave the crowds and you don’t have a roofdeck—or friends in high places—you can get your fireworks fix early. Check out the displays at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing after the July 1 Philadelphia Orchestra concert or after the July 2 U.S. Army Band performance.

5. Go to the shore
Even if you only go down for the day, take advantage of the fact that a relatively short drive will put you face to face with the beauty, power and cooling breezes of the ocean.

6. Buy an energy efficient air conditioner
Start shopping now for an energy efficient air conditioner. The shelves will start getting bare when the August heat hits, and you don’t want to be left buying an inefficient beast. 

7. Water, harvest, repeat
Remember that when you’re watering, it’s better to give your patio plants and garden a good soak a few times a week rather than a little every day. It will help the roots grow deep and create healthier plants. If you’ve already planted leaf lettuce or flowers, keep up with your harvesting routine so that your plants continue to produce through the fall.

8. Do a good turn
The heat can take its toll, especially on the elderly, so if you know an older person on your block, make sure they are aware of the closest city cooling center.

9. Set sail on our waterways
If you want to get out on the water to get wet or see the world from a different perspective, try heading down to Bartram’s Garden, where you can not only enjoy the grounds in their summer glory but also rent a kayak on the river.

10. Plant your fall veggies
Kale, carrots, beets and chard can all be planted this month so that you have a bountiful harvest when the weather cools down. Get your starts from a local farm stand or try sourcing them from a local business that works with area farmers.