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GARDEN TIME with DOUG – July Gardening Tips

JULY IS HERE AND CAN BE ONE OF THE HOTTEST MONTHS OF THE YEAR. BE PREPARED TO GIVE YOUR PLANTS A LITTLE EXTRA TLC.

Before I get into the list of gardening chores for July, I want to do a little re-cap of June. For the month of June, we had close to average temperatures. The official rainfall was 5-inches, which is an inch below average. I know some of you had much more rainfall this month, with heavy, isolated downpours. Most of this official rainfall occurs in the first half of June. After the 13th, the rain has shut down. The second half of June has been hot and dry.

ALERT!!! JAPANESE BEETLES ARE HERE!!!

Every day I am talking to customers about the plant damage being done by active Japanese beetles. Japanese beetles love to eat on our beloved roses, crape myrtles, grapes, and other plants. The life cycle of the Japanese beetle consists of four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Female Japanese beetles will leave the plant that they are feeding on to find ideal conditions and soil to lay eggs in. The females will lay anywhere between one to five eggs throughout the area they choose. When done with this egg laying process the females return to a food source (i.e. roses, crape myrtles, etc.) to continue feeding until another mating cycle occurs, where this process is repeated all over again. This process will repeat itself until the female lays over 40 eggs throughout her life cycle (2 months).

WAYS TO CONTROL THESE UNWELCOME INSECTS

Beetle Traps: Traps are a great means to control beetle populations. Place these traps at least 25 feet away from the plants that are being damaged. The lure inside these traps will draw bettles to the trap and away from plants.

Chemical Controls: Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew is excellent. Its main content is Spinosad. Spinosad is regarded as a natural product and approved for use in organic gardening. Spinosad is safe for birds and mammals. It can be toxic to bees, but once dry it is considered negligible. So, timing is very important. Because bees do not fly late in the day or after dark, Spinosad should be applied late in the day.

JULY TIPS

  1. July is a good month to give your flowering annuals a trim. Trimming blooming annuals will encourage new growth and more blooms. Also, once pruned, it is a good practice to feed your flowering annuals monthly.
  2. During hot July weather, be sure to mow your lawn to the appropriate height, about 3 to 4 inches. This reduces water loss and helps lower soil temperatures. Leave grass clippings on the lawn to decompose, as this adds nitrogen back to the soil.
  3. Check your needled evergreens, such as junipers and spruce for red spider mites, a problem on conifers during hot, dry weather. Test for mite presence by shaking some of the foliage over a white piece of paper. Then, inspect the paper carefully for small, moving red specks. If red spider mites are present, apply an appropriate insecticide that lists mite control.
  4. Don’t be alarmed with trees dropping leaves. Trees may lose up to 10% of their leaves during very hot, dry conditions. It’s natural! Dropping leaves will help reduce water loss from the tree by transpiration, and does not harm the tree.
  5. Keep up with the weeding! 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!!

For more tips from Doug, visit our blog

18 thoughts on “GARDEN TIME with DOUG – July Gardening Tips

  1. How do you deal with spider mites on juniper that’s 15′ tall? The needles are turning brown from the inner part and moving down the limbs.

  2. Doug,
    I like to do some gardening in the evening however mosquitoes make it difficult even with the right clothing. I do have a Dynatrap, but that’s set up on the patio, a little distance from the plant bed. Any suggestions.

  3. Leslie,
    I understand. I don’t know if I have an answer. One thing is to be sure that you do not have anything holding any water in your gardens such as old buckets, etc. Mosquitoes will lay eggs and they will hatch out very quickly. Maybe using something like Deet spray on your self before going out. I wish I had a good answer to solve this issue. take care, Doug

  4. Ani,
    Did you do a mite test. If not, then take a white sheet of paper out to the juniper. Shake some limbs and let the fallen needles fall onto the white paper. Then inspect the debris on the paper very closely. If you see small little dots moving around on the paper then that will be mites. You will need a mitacide spray. Some sprays and sprayers should be able to reach 15 ft. If not, then you may want to look into having a professional horticulturist company do the work for you. Good luck, Doug

  5. Are you suggesting pruning roses? I thought I should only prune in March. What is the best way to prune climbing roses? Please advise. Thank you.

  6. Randee,
    The most effective method toward reducing / eliminating Japanese Beetles is to kill the white grub worm in the soil. Milky Spore is the product to apply to the soil. you want to apply Milky Spore in the fall the kill the white grub worms while they are still at the surface of the soil before going down deep for the winter months. The next time to apply Milky Spore is in late February to kill the white grub worm as the grubs begin to surface in the soil. Education is the key to being successful. I would do some studying on the Japanese Beetle as well as learn more about the Milky Spore product. Let me know if you have any further questions. Take care, Doug

  7. Patricia,
    Glad that you sent me your questions on pruning roses. You prune climbing roses differently that you do with shrub roses. The best time to prune climbing roses is right after they finish blooming. What I have learned is to only prune the branches that are considered “wild” and needing a cut in order to keep the rose firmly trained onto its trellis. Let me know if you have any further questions. Doug

  8. My MFarms regular impatiens (potted on a 1/2 day morning sun glassed-in balcony) were bought with many small blooms 1 1/2 months ago, but now seem to have very few new buds. The Sunpatiens are also becoming mostly greenery. Do I trim imps to encourage new blooms? Deadheading has been done by the imps themselves-the blooms fall when done. I use MiracloGro fertilizer sparingly (once in past two months) on flowering potted plants. Any other tips for getting potted flowers to rebloom?

  9. Hi Doug,
    You mentioned pruning climbing roses what about shrub roses? should I dead head the buds after the pedals fall off. And when should I trim it down?
    thanks
    Sheryl

  10. Diane,
    You seem to be doing most everything right to keep impatiens healthy and happy for the remaining growing season. The location is fine with the 1/2 day morning sun. You can give them a trimming in order to encourage new growth and eventually new blooms. Not much more I can advice as to getting the impatiens to rebloom. Good luck, Doug

  11. Tasneem,
    Your Japanese Maple is doing what so many others are doing this time of year – including mine. Basically, Japanese maple trees do not like our summers with the high heat index and high humidity. Leaf scorching is common this time of year. Not much any of us can do. It is cosmetic damage only. Your Japanese Maple tree will survive. Doug

  12. Sheryl,
    You can give shrub roses a slight trimming this time of year by cutting off the old buds. Pruning encourages new growth. It’s this new growth that will form flower buds and flower later this season. Take care, Doug

  13. Hi Doug😃
    I have had 3 random episodes of a yellow substance (looks like spilled paint) in my garden area and in different spots. Ugh!! I have seen this once or twice in the past. Wish I’d thought of taking pics of this mystery substance, then I could have sent you a picture as I have done in the past.
    Any ideas as to what it could be?

  14. Dianne,
    This is a common occurrence. It is a fungus, but usually a harmless fungus, that is growing now with all the heat and high humidity and with you watering the ground. The combination of wet soil, high heat, and high humidity leads to this fungus growth. I don’t think it is doing any harm to any plants. It’s just unsightly to see in the garden. Doug

  15. Kerry,
    The best time to trim back azalea bushes is right after they finish blooming in the spring – even the Encore Azaleas. And, this is only if they need to be trimmed. I would not recommend trimming now. Azaleas have or soon will be forming their flower wood for next springs’ blooms. Pruning now will interfere with azaleas blooming. Personally, I like not to trim azaleas and let then grow in a more natural shape. Let me know if you have further questions. Doug

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