July Tips and Tasks
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- Remember to water according to plant needs. Vegetables and newly established plants require more frequent watering than established lawns and plants. Sandy soil requires more frequent watering than heavier soils. Most plants grow best with about 1 inch of water per week. Install a rain gauge so you can track how much rainfall you get. We’ve had plenty of rain this year so watering needs have been low.
- Mulch plants to conserve moisture, inhibit weeds and reduce disease.
- Drip irrigation and soaker hoses deliver water to the root zone without wetting leaves. Moisture on leaves can contribute to disease development. If you must use sprinklers, water early in the day so leaves dry quickly.
- Deadheading promotes new blossoms for many annuals and perennials.
- Remove weeds before they set seed.
- Calibrate your sprinklers. Use a couple of straight-sided containers such as coffee cans to measure just how much water you are putting out. Some of my sprinklers will apply 1” of water in 30 minutes while others only apply ¼ inch over 4 hours! It depends on the sprinkler, your water pressure and the amount of area being watered. For lawns, aim for 1 inch of water per week on heavier soils, ½ inch of water twice a week on sandy soils.
- Mow lawns regularly and at the correct height to promote dense turf and reduce weeds. Centipede, bermuda and zoysia should be mowed to 1 inch, while St. Augustine should be mowed at 3 inches.
- Time your last application of fertilizer for no later than August 1.
- Difficult weeds may need a repeat application of herbicide to control.
- Provide appropriate support for fruit and vegetable plants such as tomatoes. Trellises and staking will reduce disease and make maintenance easier.
- Harvest fruits and vegetables as they ripen. Remove overripe, damaged or diseased fruits immediately to help control diseases and insects.
- Watch for insects and diseases. If you find an insect or disease, have it identified by your Extension agent and get recommendations for control.
- Plant a second round of tomatoes and cucumbers early this month to extend your harvest through the fall.