Monday, August 17, 2009

Tree Shaded Patio And It's Wonder

By Thomas Fryd

Activity has definitely slowed down during mid-day. Scarcely a leaf stirs. One of the pleasures of the July garden is the tree-shaded patio or terrace where the outdoor garden enthusiast may relax and survey the results of their labors. During this period of reflection it is good to take a second look at the results of the planning done in January and make further plans for the fall garden. In this day of air conditioning, big screen TV and Wii many people are prone to stay inside all day and not relax in the out-of-doors.

Patios and Terraces

Lucky indeed is the family which has a part of the garden developed as a retreat from the excessive heat or cramped interiors. These areas are easily designed and constructed and make a wonderful project for the entire family. They provide an ideal place for outdoor picnics and BBQ or regular eating and in the late evening they are delightful. Have you ever thought of providing a cable connection for the TV on these out-door terraces? There are many possibilities that when properly planned will give a wonderful use of the garden and relieve the house from much heavy traffic.


Lawns always suffer during July. The grasses tend to turn brown and become dormant. This makes this very important part of the garden unsightly and encourages lawn diseases. Regular watering, feeding and mowing are essential to get the most out of a lawn during July. Feed once during July with a high nitrogen content fertilizer such a 16-20-0 or 18-8-8. Water thoroughly to prevent burning or streaking and to insure assimilation by grass plants. If there are weeds and foreign grasses present now they should be hoed or pulled. These pests rob the grass of in much needed food.

Everyone has their own method of mowing but if you will mow in an overlapping pattern of cuts somewhat as a farmer plows a field it is easy to double-cut and thoroughly eliminate streaking. Most essential for good mowing that the mower blades be sharp. Sharp blades make the job easier and are much easier on the grass. Beginning this month allow the grass to lengthen and raise the mower to cut at a of height of about three inches. This will protect the grass by shading, will discourage germination of crab grass and weeds, and, most important, will prevent undue loss of moisture by evaporation. As cooler weather comes, the mower should be lowered again to allow the grass to thicken for winter.


July is the last time the chrysanthemums can be planted for fall bloom. These should be plants that are container grown or "bench" grown and rather fully developed. July planting has a great deal of merit in that the plants will not have time to become or overgrown to the point of being out of scale in the garden. On specimen chrysanthemums disbudding should be begun early to select the bud to develop into the bloom. All evidence of disbudding will soon disappear.

Most Daylilies like daylily bulbs need plenty of water now as many varieties are still producing and require a good supply of moisture to keep going. Plant the "rain lilies," better known as lycoris. The more common one, Lycoris squamigera is a beautiful addition to the early fall garden. As they flower on naked stalks they should be planted in company with other plants for a background and planting daylily bulbs can also do the trick. Many of the perennials will respond to careful feeding and water during July can be considered the ripening month for most perennials and this is all important in their life cycle.

Buddleia or summer lilac will continue blooming until frost if the faded blooms are kept cut. Prune wisterias now to stimulate new growth. They can take rather heavy pruning. Beans and Chinese cabbage can be replanted in the vegetable garden.

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