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July Garden Hints

Apply broadleaf weed control products to the lawn right now in preparation for the Fall seeding season. Weed killers require a several week waiting period between their application and seeding time. Spraying now will allow plenty of time for the waiting period to expire and still seed during the prime season between August 15 and October 15.

That fast-growing, tall grass that shoots up a couple of days after you cut your grass is called nutsedge. There is an effective way to get rid of this mess. Let Snow's come out and give you a price on treating your lawn.

If your lawn is starting to look a little yellow, spray with some liquid iron. This will help bring back the green color without stimulating fungus development like fertilizer will.

Now is the time to get your soil tested in preparation for the Fall seeding season. Send the sample off to the lab this month to be sure to get the results back in time to take advantage of the prime season. Come by the garden center to pick up a mailer or the kits to do the testing yourself.

If you have lots of blooms on your squash, melons, or cucumbers, but very few fruit developing, you may be getting poor pollination. The plants have both male and female flowers. The male flowers have straight stems, the female flowers have small fruit for their stems. If you suspect a problem with pollination, go out in the early morning and pick a couple of male flowers. Gently pull off the petals to expose the pollen-bearing anthers. Swab the anthers around inside the female flowers to manually transfer the pollen. This should greatly increase your yeild!

Prevent blossom end rot on tomatoes by maintaining even soil moisture levels. Avoid getting the soil extremely wet and then letting it get dried out between waterings. Calcium sprays for the fruit can also help.

Add pre-emergent weed control to your flower, shrub, and vegetable beds now. The applications made earlier in the Spring last for about three months, so replenish the beds now.  Don't let the weeds get away from you now, especially while you're on vacation!

Fertilize your vegetable garden, annuals, and perennials with Bloom Plus fertilizer to help stimulate that profusion of bloom through the rest of the season.

Fertilize waterlilies and other water plants every three to four weeks to keep them growing and flowering vigorously throughout the season.

Tag the waterlilies that are not performing well this summer. These are probably ready for division next Spring. Dividing the lilies regularly helps keep them from becoming pot-bound and keeps them vigorous.

Apply high phosphorus fertilizers to all your Spring flowering shrubs now to stimulate bud formation for next Spring.

Do not do major pruning of Spring flowering shrubs after mid-July. Flowerbuds for next season are forming through later July and August. Major pruning from then through Spring of next year will reduce the bloom count for next year.

Low-hanging branches on trees can be removed any time. There is no need to put up with that branch that always hits you in the head when you're mowing the lawn or blocks your sidewalk or driveway!

Spray azaleas, rhododendrons, and pieris for lacebugs now through the end of the summer. Small, bleached-out looking spots on the upper side of the leaves and dark, tarry-looking spots on the bottom side of the leaves are indicators of lacebug infestation.

Check all junipers, arborvitaes, cedars, and similar evergreens for bagworms. These look like little ornaments hanging from the foliage. The sooner you treat, the more successful you'll be. Mature caterpillars are much harder to kill than young ones.

Fertilize your roses with a systemic rose care product through mid-August. This will keep your roses healthy and growing while providing systemic insect control to keep the bugs at bay!

Keep a gardening journal to track pest problems and when they begin. Keep track of which varieties you plant in your vegetable and flower gardens. Track your successes and your failures so you can repeat the successes for next year!

Use a water breaker nozzle on your hose to deliver a gentle shower to tender plants. Get a watering can-like stream without the constant refilling!

Consider a large rock or element of garden statuary as a focal point in your landscaping. You would be surprised what a well-placed rock does for the look of a bed! Uprooted, cleaned tree stumps add interest, as well!

Add SoilMoist to your container gardens if you're having trouble keeping the soil moist through the day. This acts as a reservoir for water that is released slowly to your plants roots through the course of the day.

When watering trees and shrubs, water slowly and deeply to ensure saturation of the root zone. Set the hose (without any nozzle) a few inches away from the base of the plant. Allow the water to trickle gently until the area is thoroughly watered.

Always check the soil to be sure plants need water.  Wilting during the heat of the day is an unreliable indicator of water needs. As the sun shines on the plants, they can sometimes loose so much water through the leaves that they wilt even though there is planty of moisture in the soil. As soon as the sun starts to go down, the plants revive. Adding water to these plants won't help them recover, and can actually damage the root system.