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DOUG’S GARDEN BLOG – July Gardening Chores

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

ALERT! – Here we are in mid-July and the Japanese Beetles are out and about eating away on many of our favorite plants such as roses, basil, tomatoes, crape myrtles, and others. I have been talking to customers daily about these nuisance beetles. They will be around for a few more weeks so protect your plants.

Our weather is the old “HHH” (hazy, hot, and humid) and we are a little on the dry side. We could use some good soaking rainfall. Thank goodness we are not in a drought situation where we could be on water restrictions.

HERE ARE SOME TIMELY GARDENING TIPS AND COMMENTS FOR JULY

During these months be sure to mow your lawn to the appropriate height, about 3 to 4 inches. This height reduces water loss and helps lower the soil temperature. Do GRASS CYCLING – when you mow leave the grass clippings on the lawn to decompose. Decomposed grass clippings add nitrogen back into the soil.

POWDERY MILDEW – With our humid weather, this time of year we can have powdery mildew on many of our plants. Check your dogwood trees, crape myrtles, summer phlox, and others for curling and deformed new growth that looks grey. Treat the plants with a fungicide that lists powdery mildew on its label.

Once the Bearded Iris and Daylilies are finished blooming and the leaves start to turn yellow and die, this is a good time to consider digging them up and divide and transplant.

Check your needled evergreens, such as junipers, spruce for red spider mite damage. You can see the damage being down because of the browning of the needles but you can’t see the actual mite.  Test for mite presence by shaking some of the foliage over a white sheet of paper. Inspect the paper closely for small, red moving specks. If you detect a mite problem then you want to spray with an insecticide that lists miticide as an ingredient.

Be sure to give your container plantings a good feeding now.

Stay on top of watering. With this heat, plants will tend to dry out much faster than they did just a month ago. When you water, try to water the soil only. Don’t rely on a sprinkler system to do an adequate job of deep, thorough watering. And, try to water in the early morning to reduce evaporation.

Keep up with controlling weeds. Don’t let summer weeds go to seed. Personally, I love spending time outside and hand-pulling weeds. I use no herbicides this way. Plus it gives me something to do outside. Bending over and moving around is good exercise.

 

THE GLORY OF GARDENING:  HANDS IN THE DIRT, HEAD IN THE SUN, HEART WITH NATURE!

LIFE IS GOOD!!! Even during these trying times with Covid-19. 

SMILE & PLANT A LITTLE HAPPINESS!!!!

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