To Do – July

Lawn Care
•    Fertilize warm-season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine if you haven’t already done so.
•    A 1/3rd of the growth should be removed when mowing warm season grasses.
•    Try to change direction when mowing your lawn.  This will help strengthen the roots system and expose different sides of the plant to sunlight.

Fertilizing
•    Continue side-dressing your garden vegetables.
•    July is the last month to fertilize landscape plants.
•    Now is a good time to take soil samples from your lawn.  Soil boxes can be picked-up at the County Extension office.

Planting
•    Vegetable to be planted in July: brussel sprouts, collards, beans, carrots, tomatoes, and pumpkins.
•    Start broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower plants in peat pots to be transplanted in mid-August.
•    Now is a good time to repot overgrown houseplants.

Pruning
•    “Bleeder” trees like maple, dogwood, birch, and elm can be pruned this month.
•    Outgrown hedges can be pruned.
•    Pinch off garden mums till mid-July.
•    Narrowleaf evergreens like junipers and aborvitaes can be pruned.
•    Fruiting canes of raspberry and blackberry can be cut down to ground level after the harvest.
•    Remove faded flowers on flowering perennials to encourage a second flowering.
•    The dieback on hybrid rhododendrons, azaleas, and blueberries can be pruned out
•    Lastly, don’t forget to pinch your chrysanthemums to encourage branching.

Spraying
•    Watch shrubs for the following insects: bag worms, leaf miners, aphids, spider mites, and lace bugs.
•    Japanese beetles if needed.
•    Use recommended herbicide to control poison ivy and honeysuckle if desired.
•    Start fungicide treatment on tomatoes, which show signs of blight.
•    Continue with rose spraying program.
•    Continue fungicide program for fruit trees and bunch grapes.
•    Spray the following vegetables if insects are observed: cucumber (cucumber beetle), squash (aphids), tomato and eggplant (flea beetle).
(Pesticides should be used sparingly!  Use only when needed and always follow the label)

Other Activities
•    Prune any branches damaged by summer storms.
•    Fruit trees like peach, plum, and apple that bore no fruit can be pruned as if they were dormant.  This will allow more sunlight in and prepare the plant for the next year.

Tips on Shopping at the Farmers Markets
•    Fresh green beans should “stick” to a t-shirt.
•    The stem ends of fresh tomato should have a white color.
•    Smell may not always be a clue to a cantaloupe’s freshness.  Older varieties of cantaloupe have a great smell however; newer varieties may not have the same smell but taste just as good.  No cantaloupe should smell bad.  A bad smell is a sign of bacteria and spoilage.

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