July Gardening Checklist

July Gardening Checklist

July Gardening Checklist

We’re in the heat of the summer. It’s July. What needs to be done in the garden?

Planting

  • Plant tomatoes and peppers from transplants They need full sun, mulch, and water several times a week. Plants should survive through a hot, dry summer if kept well watered. Other fall vegetables can be planted in August.
  • Use tomato varieties that are early maturing and tolerant of the summer heat. Best varieties for our area include Celebrity, Juliette, Porter Improved, Cherry and Sweet 100.
  • Plant warm-season grasses such as St. Augustine and Bermuda from sod. It should look fresh and recently dug. Bermuda grass, which is the most drought tolerant, can also be planted from seed or by hydro-mulching. Both grasses need to be kept moist until established

Pruning and Fertilizing

  • Deadhead all blooming plants and fertilize sparingly. Clean up container plantings by removing dead leaves and flowers.
  • Pinch off flowers of herbs that are going to seed to encourage additional foliage.
  • Keep pinching back growing tips of fall-blooming plants so they remain compact.

Garden Watch

  • Grassy weeds such as dallisgrass and crabgrass will have to be weeded by hand or dug out. The chemical herbicide MSMA, previously used on Bermuda turf, is no longer available.
  • Dead turf that does not respond to irrigation may have chinch bugs. Check by parting the blades and looking for small black bugs with white diamonds on their backs. Treat with an insecticide for chinch bugs. Brown area in a lawn may be grub worms. Check by grasping a handful of turf and pulling. If grass easily comes up you may need to treat, especially if you had them last season.
  • Weed nutsedge by hand in mulched areas. It has underground rhizomes with nutlets. Remove them all or it comes back. Nutsedge likes moist or wet areas and can be controlled by applying Image or Manage. It will usually require two applications, ideally two to three days after mowing.

Source: Ellis County Master Gardener’s Association

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