Mike's Mini-Garden Calendar


This is obviously one of the hottest months of the year and with it comes insects, disease and sometimes little moisture. The hot sun, humidity and lack of rain wrecks havoc on the landscape, especially the cool season lawn. Fescue and blue grass require a lot of care during the year and these conditions will separate the lawns, which have had the proper nurturing, and those that have been neglected. Ideally the cool season lawn will go semi-dormant. These lawns can survive two or three weeks before they must have water. But if you replanted in the spring or even last fall, these grass seedlings will need an inch of water a week to make a go of it. There is always the danger of disease like brown patch, which is caused by over fertilization, and cutting it too low. You can use a fungicide to help keep in check, but changing your ways will prevent headaches in the future. Please donít fertilize the cool season lawn in July. Warm season grasses should be going strong this month. Spray for broad leaf and grassy weeds with the proper herbicides. Follow your schedule of fertilizing and mowing according to the cooperative extension service pamphlets or the information Anne and I have given out on the "Weekend Gardener".

July is the optimum time to make cuttings of plants. If you have a friend or relative who has a camellia, azalea or other shrub you admire you can take semi-hardwood stems from the plant that breaks when it is bent. Dip the stems in some rooting hormone, and store them away in a container with a moist mix of sand and potting soil. Cover them with some plastic wrap and place them in an area away from direct sun. You should be able to germinate many plants using this method

Roses in July slow down a bit because of the hot sun unless you give them a lot of fertilizer and water. Otherwise deadhead, continue a spraying program and enjoy them. They do require regular watering even if you arenít intent on pushing them through the summer.

Do not fertilize trees and shrubs in July unless youíre willing to water them properly. The salts in fertilizer can deplete the water quickly. You can plant Crape Myrtles this month. Since they are blooming now you can go the nursery and make sure they are color you want. Do make sure your plants are given an inch of water each week. Japanese beetles can still be a problem this month. They attack all kinds of plants. Kill them with a direct hit from Sevin or just pick them off the plant. The beetle traps can be used but be sure and place them a long way from they plants that are most susceptible to damage. Anne and I are always taking calls from listeners who are having problems with white flies, aphids, spider mites and scale. Horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps can help with most of these problems.

Tomatoes should be producing vigorously now. Blossom end rot and wilt diseases are among the problems you will be experiencing now. Tomatoes like plenty of water on the roots and a dose of fertilizer might help now. Your other vegetables may need a little side dressing too.


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