July Top Tips

ANNUALS & PERENNIALS

• Keep deadheading spent annual flowers for continued bloom.
• Perennials that have finished blooming should be deadheaded. Cut back the foliage some to encourage a tidier appearance.
• Don’t pinch mums after mid-July or you may delay flowering.
• Bearded Irises can be divided at the end of the month. Discard old center sections. Replant so tops of rhizomes are just above ground level. Top dress ground with bone meal or super phosphate.
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• While spraying roses with fungicide, mix extra and spray hardy phlox to prevent powdery mildew.
• Remove infected leaves from roses. Pick up fallen leaves. Continue fungicidal sprays as needed.
• Prune climbing roses and rambler roses after bloom. Prune to the first 5 leaf leaflet.

BIRDS

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• Provide water in the garden for the birds, especially during dry weather.

Moving water draws more attention, but birdbaths also work well.

 

VEGETABLES

• Blossom-end rot on tomatoes and peppers occurs when soil moisture is uneven. Water when soils begin to dry and maintain a 2-3 inch layer of mulch. Treat plants with liquid calcium and then lime the garden area at a rate of 50 lbs. Per 500 sq. ft.
• Dig potatoes when the tops die. Plant fall potatoes by the 15th.
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• Harvest onions and garlic when the tops turn brown.
• Sweet corn is ripe when the silks turn brown.
• For the fall garden, sow seeds of carrots, beets, turnips, winter radish, collards, kale, sweet corn and summer squash as earlier crops are harvested at the end of the month. Also, set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower for the fall garden.

FRUIT TREES, GRAPES & BERRIES

• Prune out and destroy old fruiting canes of raspberries after harvest is complete.
• Cover grape clusters loosely with paper sacks to provide some protection from marauding birds.
• Pick blackberries as they ripen this month.

TREES & SHRUBS

• Newly planted trees and shrubs should continue to be watered thoroughly, once a week. Deep root watering will last longer with a root feeder.
• Fall webworms begin nest building near the ends of branches of infested trees. Prune off webs. Spray with B.T. or permethrin if defoliation becomes severe.
• Summer pruning of shade trees can be done at the end of the month. When pruning any limb larger than your thumb, the surface should be treated with pruning paint.
• Powdery mildew is unsightly on lilacs, but rarely harmful. Shrubs grown in full sun are less prone to this disease and fungicides will prove effective.
• Hot, dry weather is ideal for spider mite development. Damage may be present even before webs are noticed, leaves may be speckled above and yellowed below. Evergreen needles appear dull gray-green to yellow or brown. Treat ASAP with permethrin or Malathion or Kelthane.
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