Let’s start with a few quick summer tips: When geranium flowers wither, pinch off the flower with your fingernail about an inch below the blossom.
A few days later, tug out the dried, brownish stem at the top. A replacement stem and flower will grow quickly because you pruned properly.
Perk up flowering plants in containers or hanging baskets with an application of Greenlight’s Super Bloom once every two weeks.
Prune achillea and delphinium back to 3 inches off the ground now to enjoy another burst of late-summer and early-fall flowers.
Give lawns about an inch of water a week if we get no rain.
It is better to apply this all at once to encourage deeper roots in your lawn. Water in early morning so the grass blades dry quickly, reducing the chances of fungus.
To measure the water you apply, cut the lid off an empty tuna can and place on the lawn.
When the can is full, you have applied an inch of water.
Those folks who have sandy soil, which drains very quickly, water twice a week, 1 inch each time.
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Here is your weekly gardening schedule for July:
• Pinch back chrysanthemums for the last time to enjoy bushy plants this fall. Pinching back the tip of the stem increases flowers. (Dormant buds start forming in late July/early August).
• Mildew problems on roses, phlox, and lilac are likely to occur with the hot, humid, moist days and nights. Be sure to water only in the morning, and only on the ground around the plant, try not to get the foliage wet. If this and other fungal problems persist, we suggest using Infuse by Bonide, which is a systemic fungicide and repeat the application every ten to fourteen days.
• Prune and fertilize strawberries. By doing this now, you will allow time for the plants to develop for next year’s fruiting. It is suggested that you spade out two-year old plants and discard, as one-year old plants will produce much better fruit.
• Summer flowering bulbs need sustained moisture to stay in top shape and resist insect pests and fungal diseases that tend to strike in the hot, humid summer months. Remember, regular deep watering, unless we have a soaking rain, now through August will be helpful.
• Prepare garden space now for fall cool season vegetables. Work in composted manure or leafgro to add organic matter, remember to check pH which should be at 6.0 to 7.0.
• A reminder that frequent watering of container and patio plants as well as hanging baskets leeches the nutrients from the soil. You must fertilize to compensate for this loss. I suggest using Jack’s Classic fertilizer at half the dose rate every other time you water. Also, replace any soil that may have shrunk away with an organic compost such as Leafgro, or Composted Manure.
• Replenish the mulch in your beds where necessary to help keep the roots cool and maintain appropriate moisture levels. Remember this is the hottest and driest time of the year, and don’t forget the winds are just as drying as the sun!
• Everblooming roses like the “Knock-out” generally do not need deadheading; however, if they are not producing as expected, prune and deadhead and apply Rose-tone by Espoma per the package instructions. I would also suggest applying a water soluble fertilizer at half dose once a week.
(Editor’s Note: Ken Morgan is the owner of Robin’s Nest Floral and Garden Center in Easton, Md.)