Wednesday, August 12, 2009

July Landscape And Garden To Do's

By Keith Markensen

The landscape and garden is in full swing now. Here's a quick list of items you need to handle this month (July) in the Northern landscape and garden to keeps things blooming and in good shape.

Shade Greenhouse Type Mums for very early flowers outdoors. If four hours of light per day is cut out for six weeks they can be brought into bloom six weeks early. Black cloth draped over a light framework of posts and wires about five o'clock each evening and left on until eight am. will do the trick. When the buds start to show color stop using the black cloth.

Portable Sprinklers and Soil-Soakers are worth while investments. Evergreens and shrubs planted this past spring need water during the summer months. For large trees, particularly, the watering fork is ideal. It is a metal spike that attaches to the hose, and the perforated point is pushed into the ground so that water can more quickly reach the roots of the plants. The soil-soaker is a porous canvas hose that can be placed around shrubs or stretched out for slow, thorough watering.

Biennials and Perennials Sowing can continue this month with biennials. Perennials can be sown in July and August. Fresh seed is generally produced these two months and is best sown right away. Some you may wish to sow are aquilegia, hollyhock, digitalis, myosotis, Bellis perennis, heuchera and lavender. Delphiniums are also best sown in late summer using only fresh seed. Pacific hybrids are my recommendation.

Old Rose Blooms should be removed and the wood shortened somewhat. Blind growths must be cut back to a strong leaf bud. Feed rose bushes with rose food or any good garden fertilizer. Cultivate and water well. Spray frequently with rotenone or nicotine and fermate for control of aphids and blackspot.

For Winter and Spring Flowers in the Greenhouse sow seeds of the following ideal plant for indoors: cineraria, calceolaria, antirrhinum, stock, Leib's winter-flowering marigold, schizanthus, clarkia, winter-flowering pansy, primula, leptosyne, browallia and annual chrysanthemum. Sow in a very light soil mixture and start in a cool shaded spot indoors making it an ideal indoor plants. Keep them well watered, for containers dry out rapidly at this time of year.

Chrysanthemums get their final potting this month or are moved into the benches. Plant firmly to prevent soft growth. Pinch for the last time this month. Spray regularly for protection against aphids. In watering keep the leaves dry. Wet foliage encourages the spread of disease.

Poinsettia Cuttings can be taken now and rooted in sand in a warm house.

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