Garden tips for July
By Ray Ridlen
July is a busy month for gardeners. Here are some suggestions for caring for your vegetables, fruit, landscape and lawn this month.
Maintain frequent, shallow cultivation.
Keep an eye out for corn earworm, cucumber beetle and squash vine borer.
Check your tomatoes for blossom end rot.
Set out late cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, leeks and celery.
Sow beans, beets, corn, and other vegetables for late fall crops.
Irrigate where needed.
Continue spraying your fruit trees with fungicide.
Pinch back new canes of blackberry, dewberry and raspberry.
Rub off second crop of buds on grapes.
Thin out if too many bunches; also thin plums, peaches and other fruit too thick or touching.
Divide and replant crowded hybrid iris (bearded iris) after flowering until August.
Apply preventative white grub treatments until mid-July.
Expect some leaf fall, a normal reaction to drought. Water young plantings well.
Mowing heights for cool-season turf grasses should be 3 inches during hot, dry summer months. Gradually raise mowing height of bermudagrass lawns from 1 1/2 to 2 inches.
Vegetative establishment of warm-season grasses should be finished by the end of July to ensure the least risk of wither kill.
Brown patch disease of cool-season grasses can be a problem.
Meet water requirements of turf.
Fertilization of warm-season grasses can continue if water is present for growth.
The hotter and drier it gets, the larger the spider mite populations become. Spraying plant foliage will provide partial relief of this pest.
You may apply nitrogen to bermudagrass and zoysia lawns this month.
Lawn aeration can be done any time your warm-season lawn is actively growing.
Be aware of watering restrictions in your community. Water well on assigned days. One inch per week is the appropriate amount for most lawns.
Trees and shrubs
Now is another good time to prune most trees and shrubs. July and August are the months to prune azalea, dogwood, forsythia, redbud and rhododendron. They should be pruned after they bloom but before bloom set in the fall. Oakleaf hydrangea and late-flowering azalea cultivars might also be pruned now. Avoid any pruning in the spring and fall if at all possible.