July

July, is the time the weather gets hot, and the rain disappears.  Time to give your plants extra attention to adequate moisture, protection from pests, plan a fall garden, and plan fall plantings.  

1.  Water lawns and gardens when needed, giving a thorough soaking rather than frequent light sprinklings.

2. Check plants for mulch. Replace or add when needed. Mulching conserves water.

3.  Keep close check on recently planted plants. Inadequate root systems and drought can be damaging. Plants, such as azalea, pittosporum, etc., injured by late cold should not be allowed to suffer drought stress.

4.  Sow seeds of the following annuals for late summer and fall flower:  marigold, zinnia, periwinkle, petunia, cosmos, portulaca, ageratum.  Transplants available from your nurcery or garden center will usually provide faster color.

5.  Check your lawnmower. With hot weather, raise the mower blade slightly, to avoid scalping and damaging the grass.

6.  Check junipers, roses and marigolds for red spider mites. The brown, discolored foliage may be due to mite damage.

7.  Don’t leave landscape areas unattended for more than 4-5 days of vacation· best to arrange to have someone take care of the yard if you leave for a longer period. Harvest fresh vegetables often. Watch for drying out of pot and tub plants and baskets.

8.  To keep banging baskets looking attractive, soak the baskets in a tub of water every dew days in addition to the regular watering. This is also a good time to fertilize baskets, but never apply fertilizer to dry plants.

9.  Don’t forget to water thirsty plants like hydrangea, coleus, caladiums and chrysanthemums. Even in shade, the hot dry winds can soon deplete the soil of moisture where these plants are grown.

10.  Bluebonnets and other East Texas wildflower seeds should be ordered soon so you will be ready to plant in August and early September.

11. If you have planted copper plants for fall color, be sure to pinch out the tips of the branches to encourage branching and develop busy compact plants.

12.  Many spring plants are setting winter buds in late July and August. Drought conditions can affect size, quality and quantity of spring flowers. This is true of azaleas, camellias, peaches, pears, forsythia and other similar plants. Don’t allow them to suffer drought stress.

13.  Clean up iris beds, thin out clumps if crowded. They can be transplanted anytime from late July to October.

14.  Don’t forget the regular spray program on roses to prevent blackspot.

15.  Control grasshopper infestations.

16.  Summer is a good time to add needed construction elements to the garden.  Consider patios, fencing, decks, garden pools, walks and overhead structures.

17.  Now is a good time to evaluate where you most need landscape house shade. Locate where trees are needed now for a winter planting.

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