July Garden Calendar

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Fertilizing

  •  We recommend giving landscape plants a second (last) feeding of fertilizer.

 Planting

  •  Begin your fall vegetable garden this month, planting beans, carrots, Brussel sprouts, collards and tomatoes
  • Start broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower plants in peat pots to transplant into the vegetable garden in mid-August
  • Re-pot overgrown houseplants
  • Take semi-hardwood cuttings of azaleas, holly, rhododendron, etc.
  • Divide and transplant your iris and daylilies (late this month through September) 

Pruning 

  • Deadhead perennial flowers (sends extra plant energy to promote healthy roots for next year or for more blooms later in the summer)
  • Prune suckers from flowering trees and shrubs like crape myrtles, crabapples, apples & pears (improves appearance and reduces chance of diseases that are attracted to the young, succulent growth)
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs ONLY: such as azaleas, forsythia, and big leaf hydrangeas as their blooms fade (do this by mid-July to avoid cutting off next year’s flower buds)
  • Trim up hedges as needed
  • Pinch chrysanthemums to encourage branching (1st week only!) 

    image of pinching mum

    Pinching mums (Wilsons Bros Gardens)

Spraying

  • Certain pesticides have a waiting period of several days between the time of the last spray and harvest called “Harvest Interval Date.” Read and follow directions on all labels before applying to your vegetable crops. Wash all produce thoroughly before use
  • Spray foliage for Japanese beetles as needed (don’t spray flower blooms because the chemicals are toxic to beneficial pollinators)
image of Japanese beetle on a leaf

Japanese Beetle (Union County CES)

  • Spray the following vegetables if insects are observed: cucumber (cucumber beetle), squash (aphids), tomato and eggplant (flea beetle)
  • Spray woody weeds like poison ivy, honeysuckle and kudzu with a recommended herbicide

Lawn Care 

image of soil sample equipment

Soil sample equipment (Harnett County CES)

  • Mow fescue turf at 3-4 inches for best quality & to avoid scalping/scorching
  • Take soil samples for testing and to prepare for fertilizer applications in the fall. Soil boxes are available at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Alexander County Center (Free until December 1!)
  • Remember to change direction when moving your lawn. Travel north to south on one mowing and east to west on the next cutting

 Chores 

  • Harvest garden crops daily/regularly (early picking is best) to help increase production
  • With herbs, harvest before they flower for peak flavor or aroma. Pick herbs in the morning when the dew has dried off, when the aroma will be the most intense

Summer Garden Problems

  • Blossom-end rot (too little water or too little lime /calcium the soil)

    image of a tomato with blossom end rot

    Blossom end rot (Martin County CES)

  • On hot days, water important plants (veggies, landscape plants, spring-planted landscape trees, pots, & hanging baskets) in the morning. Slow watering (approx. 1” of water) will penetrate the root zone better
  • Reduce the mosquito population by emptying standing water (larvae only need a small amount of water to grow)
  • Downy mildew, powdery mildew, and anthracnose – causes rapid wilt & leaf and stem dieback
    • Treat with chlorothalonil, mancozeb, fixed copper, or other recommended sprays
    • Always read the labels!
  • Early and Late Tomato Blights – causes dark spots occur first on leaves, then stems (if not treated, causes plant to look scalded)
    • Treat with chlorothalonil, mancozeb, fixed copper, or other recommended sprays
  • Mexican bean beetle – larvae are yellow and covered with little spines and adults are copper colored (resemble large ladybugs).
    • Feed on undersides of bean and pea leaves leaving behind a lace-like appearance
    • Reduces plant productivity
    • Treat with Sevin, Bifenthrin, Spinosad, and other recommended sprays
  • Squash bug – an oval elongated dark brown bug with light gray on its back
    • Lay eggs on top of leaves of gourds, squashes, and melons

      image of squash bug

      Squash bug (Chatham County CES)

    • Feed in colonies by piercing vines and injecting toxins, causing vines to blacken and dry out
    • Treat with Bifenthrin
  • Corn earworm – 2in brown to green worm with stripes on their backs (adult stage)
    • food of choice is sweet corn but may also feed on tomatoes, beans, or cabbage
    • treat with Sevin, Bifenthrin, or other recommended spray