Gardening TipsWhat you Need to Know When You Don't Have a Green Thumb
Gardening Tips for July
Gardening is in full swing now and to keep everything looking great and growing healthy there are some gardening chores to help things along.
• Lawns should be fertilized again if you haven’t already done so. Its time for that second application of lawn fertilizer. A good quality, slow-release fertilizer with added minerals such as 24-4-16, will keep the lawn healthy and attractive for a number of weeks.
• When you are fertilizing the lawn don’t forget to fertilize the flowerbeds and vegetable gardens too. They would benefit from a second application of flower/vegetable fertilizer. Use a fertilizer that has a high middle number such as 8-20-20. The middle number indicates the amount of phosphorous which helps in root development as well as increase flower and fruit production.
• Trees and shrubs will also benefit from a second application of fertilizer, if the first application was done in May. Use a tree/shrub fertilizer such as 18-4-8 which helps promote the foliage.
• Container gardens require weekly maintenance. They should be fertilized weekly with a water soluble fertilizer such as 12-36-12. Old finished blooms should be removed as you see them, before they can form seed pods, which takes energy away from the plant producing new flowers. When cleaning up the finished flowers, remove any damaged or mouldy stems and leaves before they can affect the plant. Its also a good time to check for pests, and remove them quickly before they become a major problem. If the plants look a little uneven or tired, they can be trimmed back to rejuvenate them. It is very important to keep up on the watering. As the plants root systems grow larger, they will require to be watered more frequently. The best time to water plants is in the morning.
• By now all those early blooming flowering shrubs have finished flowering. The old flowers should be removed, and any pruning that needs to be done should be done now. These early blooming shrubs form next years flowers, this season so you want to prune them before the flowers are formed.
• Evergreen shrubs and trees can be sheared now to keep them looking full and even. Only shear back the new growth, as evergreens will not put out new growth on old wood.
• We have been experiencing good growing weather. Keep plants watered as they need it. It is better to water less often but for longer periods of time and soak the garden, rather than daily for short periods of time when only the top surface of the soil gets watered. If possible try to water plants in the morning so that the foliage of the plant is dry by evening. This will help in controlling mildew and fungus.
• It may not be everyone’s favorite chore, but weeding is an important chore in keeping everything looking neat and growing well. Weeds can take important nutrients and moisture away from plants as well as harbor disease and pests. Many gardeners find weeding very therapeutic especially after it has been done and you can look back on a job well done.
• Vegetables should be harvested on time when they are in their prime. Vegetables such as lettuce, spinach etc., should be harvested before they bolt or go into seed, as well as broccoli and cauliflower.