July has arrived and has brought summer along with it. I have been enjoying the sun and the warm toasty weather and yes I know it’s hot but don’t you dare complain after the spring we’ve had.
After the dog walk this morning I have dogs sprawled out over the floor. The collies have taken up station right in front of the portable air conditioner and I don’t think I could move them even if I placed out a trail of Porterhouse steaks wrapped in bacon. The waterdog was in the kiddie pool but has now returned sopping wet to sit on my feet. Feels nice actually.
Here is your list:
Lawn – check to see if water restrictions are in effect in your area. It is better to water deeply and less frequently. I use a clean empty tuna can and sprinkle until it’s full. Most lawns need only a once a week watering. Using a mulching mower and leaving the grass in place will reduce your need to water and fertilize by up to 70%. If you have any areas to patch or overseed you can get a temporary permit to water as needed.
Garden beds – Continue to weed and trim. You might need to stake more plants this year due to all of the soft growth created by the spring deluge. Fertilize and topdress garden beds as needed.
Perennials - I have added new perennials to my garden this week with great success. Just have to remember to water. Watch for powdery mildew and try some organic methods to fight it. If I have a plant that is too badly affected I rip it out. In gardening it is actually legal to bury your mistakes. Keep a look out for aphids and spray off with a good sharp stream of water.
Pollinator watch – The Monarchs are here! There are a few fave plants for nectar such as Joe Pye Weed (a tall, dramatic perennial), Butterfly Weed, butterfly bush, daisy, Zinnia, Marigold, Lantana and Verbena bonariensis and of course for the caterpillars…Milkweed. There are tons of other butterflies, pollinating moths and native bees out there to watch at work now that it is finally sunny.
Trees and Shrubs – As it gets warmer, don’t forget to water your street trees too. A slow trickle of water for about a half hour for some of the mature street trees will do nicely. Toward the end of July, you can summer prune your fruit trees or Japanese maples if you want to slow growth. Remember you should be pruning off branches no bigger than your thumb and stick to the dead, diseased or damaged and crossing or rubbing branches. You should remove no more than ¼ of the growth at this time. If you have questions come in and talk to Karin, she is our Certified Arborist on site.
Annuals – continue feeding and deadheading. You will see an explosion of flowers now that the heat is here. If your hanging basket dries out, set it in a tray of water to help it absorb the water. A light clipping and a foliar feed will often bring plants back from near dead. For those that don’t return, don’t worry, we have replacements.
Water gardens – feed fish regularly. Ensure you have 75% surface coverage to prevent hair algae from taking over. Check pond levels for leaks now that its stopped raining. If you have an overabundance of floating plants you can share with your neighbours or mix into your compost.
Veggie Gardens – Stake, weed, feed and harvest. Strawberries are coming to an end and raspberries are just beginning. Tayberries and honeyberries are also starting. Plant successive lettuce and radish crops for constant harvest. Thin any fruit trees that have over cropped. Baby your tomatoes, they’ve had a cold start to their season and like my grandpa always said: “Money can’t buy real love, health or fresh tomatoes.” I don’t have a greenhouse hint hint hubby if you are reading this, so I am waiting for my first fresh tomato with bated breath. Actually it could take a while…I just have flowers on mine.