July / August Gardening Checklist

posted by Ron Wilson -

-Keep watering as needed.  General rule of thumb for established plants and turf is 1 inch rainfall every 10 days or so.  A rain gauge will tell how much rain has fallen in your yard - don't count on the weather reports! 

 -Newly planted trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials may need watering more often.  Check soil moisture before watering.  For established trees, evergreens and shrubs, try using a "Ross Root Feeder".  For landscape beds, try stationary sprinklers or soaker hoses.  "Tree Water Bags" are good for newly planted (or up to 3 inch diameter) trees.  Water deeply and thoroughly each time, water the soil not the foliage, and try to water between 5am and 9 am. 

 -Keep fluffing the mulch to prevent crusting of the top layer.  Mulch helps to prevent weeds, control soil temperatures, and maintain soil moisture. 

 -Feed amaryllis bulbs growing thru the summer.

 -Keep weeds under control by hand weeding, spot spraying, pre emergent herbicides and mulching.

 -Garden during the cooler hours.  Protect your skin from the sun.  Keep yourself hydrated.

 -Keep up fungicidal sprayings as needed in the landscape, lawn and garden, especially with the rainy weather.

 -Make your fall plans now.  Need to add new trees, shrubs, screen plantings, etc?  Looking at a landscape overhaul?  Need to renovate the lawn?  Make your plans now.

 -Pinch mums and asters for the last time by no later than July 15.

 -Late July and August are the perfect times for digging, dividing and moving iris. 

 -Keep deadheading spent flowers on annuals and perennials to encourage new growth and new flowers.  Cut back leggy annuals to rejuvenate the plant.  Keep planting fresh annuals for summer colors, as well as blooming perennials.

 -Be sure to feed roses, perennials, annuals, veggies, etc as needed.  Container plantings usually require a little more frequent feeding.

 -Watch for hornworms on tomato plants.

 -Keep harvesting veggies, fruits and herbs as needed.  Have extra?  Share with the local food banks or homeless shelters.

 -Blossom End Rot on tomatoes?  Keep even soil moisture and add calcium to the soil.

 -Use bird netting to protect berries and fruits from the birds. 

 -Remove dead branches, water sprouts and suckers as needed.

 -Stop pruning spring flowering shrubs if you want to protect next years flowers.

 -Deadhead and feed roses to keep them blooming all summer long.

 -Mow the lawn as needed (never remove more than 1/3 grass blade each time you mow).  Mow at a higher mowing level (2 ½ to 3 ½ inches), and return the grass clippings back to the turf.  Change directions each time you mow, and keep that mower blade sharpened!

 -Still time to apply Grub Preventers to the lawn if needed. 

 -Keep lawn weeds under control by hand weeding, spot spraying, pre emergent herbicides, and of course, always striving to thicken the lawn, as a thick healthy lawn means fewer weeds, insect and disease problems.  Lawn thins, weeds move in

 -Monitor your plants for insect or disease problems.  Not sure what it is?  Bring samples and pictures (or email pictures) and let our gardening pros identify the problem, determine amounts of damages, whether or not it needs control, and what the control options are, including the most environmentally safe options.

 -Watch for infestations of Japanese beetles.  Hosing off the early scouts and females may help keep them moving on.  Hand pick beetles, or knock them off into a bucket of soapy water.  Covering plants with cheesecloth may also help.  Spraying insecticides has limited control - Sevin, Eight, Neem, Capt. Jack's and Insecticidal Soaps - spray when bees are not present.  Do not spray plants that are in flower which attract bees. Systemic insecticides applied earlier as a soil drench may help minimize beetle damages.

 -Do not apply insecticdes and fungicides when the temps are above 85 degrees.  Always read the label for restrictions.

 -BEE FRIENDLY in your gardens!

 


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Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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