Here comes summer
Well, summer is here! The sun is finally shinning, our lawn is green and growing, the vegetables are growing, and maybe you have even harvested a few. Rain may be scare in July and August, and the humidity will increase with the southern flow of air. It is now time to enjoy the out-of-doors in Maryland throughout the summer season.
Here is a list of garden tips for the month of July:
Give your plants a mid-season feeding or side dressing of a slow-release fertilizer
Try to stay ahead of the weeds
Replace mulch as needed
Keep tabs on the rainfall and water your annuals as needed (DO NOT WATER YOUR GRASS, LET IT GO DORMANT IN THE HOT WEATHER AND IT WILL TURN GREEN AGAIN IN THE FALL WHEN THE RAINS COME AGAIN)
Clean the bird feeders and bird baths regularly (keeping mosquitos larva out)
Keep mowing the lawn 3-3.5 inches high, keeping the grass roots cool during the hot weather
Sheer back spent annuals by 1/3
Do a final pinching back of fall blooming flowers like mums, goldenrod and asters
From the vegetable garden, treat yourself to a few new potatoes
Clean up fallen fruit from beneath the fruit trees
Check the berries-- pick and enjoy
Check for pests such as Spider Mites, Tomato Horn worm (By the way, if you see little white egg cases on the horn worm, let him live. The egg cases are the babies of the Braconid wasp. They are beneficial and she is smart to lay the eggs on the grocery store. The babies need this protein to develop)
Tomato Horn Worm(Courtesy photo)
In the yard and garden, Japanese beetles and June beetles will be feeding at this time of the year. Handpick them into a bucket of soapy water. The use of Japanese beetle traps is not recommended. If you do use these traps, make sure they are very far away from your plants
Examine your plants and trees for some of the diseases that make themselves known at this time of the growing season such as powdery mildew on peony and lilac, Southern Blight on Black-eyed Susan, leaf galls on tree leaves, and cherry shot hole disease. While all of these are not pretty, they will not kill the trees or shrubs, and no treatment is necessary. However, in the fall, make sure that all of the leaves and debris are cleaned up from under these trees and shrubs.
Last, but not least, if you have not put in a garden, try some pick your own venues, and please visit the local farmers’ markets, produce stands, and local orchards for great veggies and fruits. ENJOY !
Nature Note for 7/9/2017