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Let’s Get Gardening: July 2017

My apologies for the delay in getting the July newsletter to you – I seem to be a little behind in many things, especially my weeding! I hadn’t gotten to one of my flower beds for a number of weeks, and it looked like a jungle when I finally did. I spent hours cutting down and pulling weeds, and carted off two full loads to the compost pile when I was all done. I’m going to do my best not to let them get ahead of me again – I believe I pulled out something I had acutally planted because I couldn’t tell the weeds from the plants in all that mess!

~Jennifer

In this issue:

Vegetables & Herbs

  • When it comes to pest control, unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits all solution, and it’s important to know what’s eating your plants, so you can be sure to use the proper controls.
    • Cabbage moth larva can easily be picked off of your plants and squashed.
    • A good squirt or two of insecticidal soap is all it takes to neutralize aphids, but you need to spray them directly for it to be effective. So, find them, and then spray them.
    • Diatomaceous earth, which can be sprinkled around plants, is one option for getting rid of slugs. You can also use window screening, cut into circles, and placed at the base of your plants.
    • Diatomaceous earth can also be effective against flea beetles and Mexican bean beetles.
  • Weeds are the other big problem in gardens at this time of year. Get them while they’re small, before their roots are too established.
  • Spring crops, such as lettuce, spinach, and peas will mostly finish producing this month, while summer crops, such as zucchini, cucumbers, and early tomatoes will just be getting started by the end of the month.
  • Garlic is generally ready for harvest between mid-July and early August, depending on the variety and when it was planted (fall vs. spring).
  • July is also a time for planting and starting new seedlings for fall harvest.
  • You can plant late season successions of lettuce, spinach, peas, beets, carrots, and Swiss chard at the end of the month, to be ready for picking before it gets too cold.
  • Wait to plant radishes until early or mid- August, as it will generally still be too hot at this point for these cool-weather lovers.
  • Don’t forget to water your veggie garden regularly.
  • Side dress your summer crops this month. Side dressing is just the simple act of giving your plants a mid-season boost of fertilizer.
  • Keep up with your program of fungicide spraying.

Flowers

  • Much like in the veggie garden, keeping insects under control has been a challenge lately. I’ve relied on Espoma’s Insect control for the aphids and sawfly larva, but the best way to deal with Japanese beetles is to simply pluck them off the plants and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.
  • If you are using insecticides of any kind, be aware of when to apply them.
  • Be sure to fertilize roses throughout the month, but stop fertilizing at the end of the month to allow the new growth to harden off before winter. Also remove diseased leaves immediately, and pick up any that have fallen.
  • As in your vegetable garden, keep weeds under control in the flower garden, so they don’t compete with your flowers for moisture and nutrients.
  • Cut back perennials that have finished blooming.
  • To keep your potted annual flowers looking great all summer long, be sure to fertilize them.
  • Don’t forget to water!

Trees & Shrubs

  • Regularly water any trees and shrubs planted this year.
  • Do not apply fertilizer to trees or shrubs after the 4th of July, to avoid a flush of new growth that doesn’t have time to harden before winter.
  • Finish up pruning of trees and shrubs this month or early next.

Lawn

  • When mowing this summer, leave your grass between 3 and 4 inches tall, and only cut off the top third of the blades at each mowing.
  • The larva of the nasty Japanese beetles we’re seeing now are the grubs that will be eating your grass roots later in the season- use milky spore as a long-term control option.

Birds

  • Keep your birdbaths full, and consider putting out additional baths in the heat.
  • Keep hummingbird feeders cleaned out and filled.

Store News & Specials

  • $10 off $50 coupon.
  • Fairy Garden Make & Take Workshop on Saturday July 15th, 2017. Space is very limited, please contact us for reservations. 734-475-3539 or customerservice@thegardenmill.com.

Read the July 2017 issue of Let’s Get Gardening

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