In The Garden – July-August gardening tips
Helpful tips for gardening in the Triangle.
• Fertilize container plants every week to 10 days and keep these watered, sometimes twice a day if in full sun.
• Deadhead perennials and annuals for continued blooming.
• Refresh your annuals with new ones, cut back plants that are leggy or struggling.
• Spray roses for black spot and other fungus type diseases.
Fruits and Vegetables
• Check your vegetable garden daily for water needs. Fertilize weekly, as these plants are heavy feeders. Keep watch for disease and insects.
• Watch for blossom end rot on tomatoes. Provide plenty of water and some fertilizer. Provide light shade if blossom drop is a problem.
• Start planting the fall garden. Turnip, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower can be direct seeded into the garden in August.
• Harvest vegetables and fruits in the morning, not during the heat of the day. Place the harvest in a cool place to prevention deterioration of taste.
• Don’t fertilize your fescue lawn until fall. Fertilizing now makes fescue lawns more susceptible to disease problems. Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass may benefit from a light application of fertilizer unless you have done that recently.
• Spot treat broadleaf weeds. Apply a pre-emergent for bluegrass, henbit, chickweed, and other winter weeds.
• Keep mower blade sharp. Smooth cuts cause less moisture loss of the blades of grass. Mowing heights for your lawn are important. Cut tall fescue at 3 inches, making sure to leave the clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil.
• Manage your lawn watering needs through the Turf Irrigation Water Management Program at NC State. The program calculates watering requirements based on current weather data. Details at turffiles.ncsu.edu.
Trees and Shrubs
• Stop pruning evergreens and hedges in late August. New growth from late pruning can be harmed in winter.
• Fertilize shrubs in August and then not until spring.
• Keep young trees and newly planted shrubs watered throughout the summer.
• Japanese beetles are here. You can hand pick them off the plant or use traps, if you clean these daily.
• The single most effective means of reducing mosquito populations is to eliminate standing water.
For a complete list of garden maintenance activities, visit the NC Cooperative Extension web site at www.ces.ncsu.edu.
For lawn care go to the NC State Turf Files at www.turffiles.ncsu.edu.