July Tips

Lawn Care
Here are some helpful tips to having a healthy and beautiful lawn.

•    If you have not applied an all season long grub control to your lawn and grubs have been a problem in the past, then do so before the middle of July.
•    That light green broad-bladed grass that is coming up in the lawn now is probably crabgrass. Better kill it now before it goes to seed and produces thousands of more plants next year. If left untreated, your will have large bare spots this fall when the crabgrass dies and you will have more plants next year.
Tip to Remember! If watering the lawn, remember a deep watering several times a week is better than a shallow watering every day or so. A deep watering will drive the grass roots down deeper into the soil for a more drought resistant lawn. Where as shallow watering will keep the roots up near the surface and be more susceptible to drought.
•    There is still time to kill the weeds in your lawn.
Tip to Remember! When killing lawn weed in the summer there should be some moisture in the ground and the temperature mist be below 90°F. Most lawn weed killers can be applied up to a hour before a rain and no effectiveness is lost.

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Ornamental Flowers, Trees and Shrubs
Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your landscape beds beautiful.

•    There is still time to fill in any open spaces in the flower garden, whether it be with perennials, annuals, shrubs, or evergreens.
•    To add color to an older landscape, accent shrubs with some flowering perennials. Either plant in front of existing shrubs or remove a shrub that is overgrown or not doing well. Mound up the soil, add a few large rocks and your landscape has a new look, plus extra color for minimal expense.
•    When filling in open spots, do not always look for flowers, try selecting plants for their foliage color and texture.
Tip to Remember! Select yellow, gold, white or lime-colored foliage to help brighten up dark spots or areas in the landscape.
•    If there happens to be a lot of heavy rain showers lately, then plants are in need of nitrogen fertilizer. Most nitrogen fertilizers are water soluble; therefore they are easily leached out of the soil. For good plant growth, this leached out nitrogen must be replaced, and the easiest way to do that is fertilize with nitrate of soda or urea.
Tip to Remember! When fertilizing with a nitrogen fertilizer, it is better to spread it lightly and do it more often, like once a week, than it is to use a lot at one time. This is because nitrogen can burn and can cause foliage growth. Too much foliage growth on certain plants is not needed.
•    Be sure to dead head any spent flower buds. This will prevent the plant from setting seed, which means more flowering; because once plants set seeds they tend to slow down flowering. If seed pods have formed then simply remove them.
• If there are any unruly plants then they should be pruned back, and any plants that need some extra support should be staked.
•    Be on the lookout for mites and whiteflies. When spraying, be sure to get under the leaves and to thoroughly soak the plant to run off.
• Stop pinching tips of outdoor mums by July 10th since pinching anytime afterwards will delay flowering.
•    Be sure to keep plants well watered. Flowering plants that are left to wilt can be stinted and blooming delayed for up to two weeks.
Tip to Remember! When watering plants in containers, be sure to water until water drains out the bottom of the container. It is a good practice to let the container sit in water for 15 to 20 minutes to give the soil time to draw up extra water and thoroughly saturate the root ball. Soil in containers tends to contract when it dries out, causing a gap between the pot and the soil. So when water is applies, it runs down the side of the container and out again giving the impressing that the plant is thoroughly watered when it is not.
•    Fertilize plants growing in containers once a week, with a liquid fertilizer such as Bloom Booster. This will keep plants healthy and performing to their peak. The reason to fertilize plants often in containers is that the nutrients are leached out of the soil with every watering.
•    Keep roses sprayed for both insects and diseases by spraying every 10-14 days, sooner if it rains.
Tip to Remember! If poison ivy is a problem among shrubs and trees, then very carefully spray the poison ivy with either RoundUp or a brush and poison ivy killer, being careful not to get any spray on the shrub or tree. If you happen to get some on the shrub or tree, it will not kill the entire thing but might damage the part sprayed.
•    For any grass growing among the ground covers, spray in with a grass killer, such as Grass-B-Gon or Grass Beater.
•    Spray birch, holly, azaleas, rhododendron, and euonymous with an insecticide that will help control insects that attack these plants at this time of year.

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Vegetable Garden
 Here are some helpful tips to getting the best yield.

•    To help in the prevention and spread of late blight and other soil born diseases, mulch tomatoes so when watered the disease spores can’t be splashed up on the plant. Also water tomatoes at root level, trying to keep the foliage dry, which will also help in preventing the establishment of disease spores.
•    If white moths are landing on cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and/or Brussels sprouts, start spraying or dusting with an insecticide. This innocent looking white moth is laying eggs that will hatch into very hungry caterpillars called “cabbage loopers” who would love to eat your plants before you do.
•    If the leaves of your cabbage or other cold crops are being eaten check for “cabbage loopers”. They are a light green and blend right in with the foliage. Look on leaves and stems. If you find any make sure to squish them, and then spray or dust to kill the ones you missed.
Tip to Remember! When spraying or dusting vegetable garden plants, do so in the early morning or late evening when insect activity is at its lowest.
•    Keep all plants in the garden well watered so that the plants do not become stressed due to lack of water. Stressing plants will cause them to drop blossoms and fruit.
•    Be sure to protect your vegetables from deer, rabbits, ground hogs and birds with garden netting.
•    Fertilize sweet corn this month with urea or nitrate of soda since it is a heavy user of nitrogen.

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Here is a list of plants that can be planted now for a fall harvest.

•    The following seeds can be planted now and will be ready for gravest in the fall.
          Onion seeds planted now will make for wonderful green onions by fall.
          Endive and escarole can be planted from now till the first or second
           week of August for fall greens. Mulch or protect endive from freezing
           in October and you could be picking fresh endive for Thanksgiving
           Dinner.
          Peas will do great if planted late this month.
          Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower will all produce if planted early this
           month.
          Beans, squash and cucumbers varieties with shorter growing seasons
           can all be planted.
          Winter squash is a must to plant now. It is easy to grow and easy to
           store after harvest. Just keep it in a cool area of the basement
           and it should last until spring.
•    Whichever you may choose for a fall harvest, be sure to keep the seed bed moist. Once plants start to grow, keep them watered through the hot days of August and you will be rewarded this fall.

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Orchard
Here are some helpful hints on taking care of your orchard.

•    Continue spraying fruit trees, grapes and berries with an all purpose fruit tree spray. Spray every 10-14 days up until 14 days before harvest.
•    Protects fruit trees and berry bushes from the birds with bird netting.
•    Be sure to remove water sprouts and suckers from apple trees.
•    Check peach tree trunks for gumboils which are a telltale sign of borers. Trim off the boil and poke a wire into the tunnel entrance in hopes of killing the borer, and then treat the tree with a borer spray.

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Pantry Pest Traps
Here is some helpful information on taking care of those awful pests in the house.

•    This time of year small moths start to appear in the house. These moths are small and narrow and they vary in color, from a coppery brown to a mottled gray.
•    These pests are found world-wide among dried goods and foods including:
           wheat, cornmeal, dried fruits, seeds, crackers, biscuits, nuts,
           powdered milk, dried pet food, bird seed, chocolate, dried red peppers
           and tobacco.
•    The Pantry Pest Trap uses a powerful attractant that has a strong effect on certain moths which include:
           Indian Meal moths, seed moths, raisin moths, almond moths and
           tobacco moths.
•    The Pantry Pest Trap is the most effective way in eliminating theses moths, and it’s safe and nontoxic.

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For more helpful tips and answers to questions you may have, refer to FAQ.