Summer Gardening for Zone 6 in the Southern US
Easy summer garden care
July is high season for your summer garden.
With the big spring cleanup and planting done, summer is prime time for keeping up with your burgeoning plants. Weeding, mowing, and deadheading will keep your lawn and garden looking attractive and in great condition.
- Raise lawn mowers as hot, dry weather sets in. Now mow fescue at 3–4 inches, zoysia at 2 inches, and hybrid Bermuda at 1 inch until fall.
- Watch lawns for weeks missed by earlier pre-emergent herbicide applications. Apply a second round of lawn pre-emergent for summer weed grasses such as foxtail if necessary. Take samples of weeds to the nursery. Nursery staff can help identify weed types and recommend the right pre-emergent application.
- Don´t fertilize fescue or other cool season grasses during drought.
- White grubs will soon be emerging as adult June beetles. Watch for high populations which can indicate potential damage from later life cycle as grubs in the summer. Control is best achieved in late summer.
- Check mulch levels in beds and around trees. Proper mulching will regulate soil temperatures and moisture during hot summer months.
- Continue scouting for insect problems. Positive identification of insects is necessary to properly select insect control operations. Watch for mites on junipers, Japanese hollies, willow oaks, and redbuds, as well as aphids on daylilies.
- Remove tree wraps during summer to prevent potential disease and insect buildup.
- If needed, pinch back leggy annuals to encourage new growth.
- Continue to follow annual fertilization schedule.
- Stake tall perennials before toppling winds arrive.
- Prune and fertilize azaleas and rhododendrons.
- Watch for symptoms of southern blight disease on annuals, perennials (especially vinca), and shrubs. Check with your nursery for the best products to treat it.
- Fertilize annuals.
- Continue pinching mums for compact growth.
- Yellow leaf drop is a normal reaction to drought. Check watering often.
- Water plants deeply. Most plants need 1–2 1/2 inches of water per week.
- Weekly irrigation is especially important on newly planted shrubs and trees. Be sure to check these new plantings during each visit.
- Control Bermuda grass and other weeds around trees and shrubs. Use proper herbicide and read the label. Follow directions closely to avoid harming plants.
- Continue insect and mite control. Insect identification is important so you don´t get rid of beneficial insects.
- If planting landscape material during a dry spell, water planting area a couple of days before planting.
- July is a prime month for Southern blight disease.
- Fertilize annuals as needed.
- Do not fertilize or prune azaleas or rhododendrons after the last week in July.
- Do not pinch mums after mid-July.
- Do not fertilize roses after the last week of July.
- Continue monitoring watering needs of plants.
- Scout for diseases and insects.
- Discontinue pruning and deadheading roses by mid-August to help initiate winter hardiness.
- Grassy winter weeds like annual bluegrass (Poa annual) can be prevented with a pre-emergent herbicide application.
- Areas of turf with large brown spots should be checked for high numbers of grubs. Mid- to late August is the best time to control heavy white grub infestations in lawns or beds.
- This month should be the last application of fertilizer for the year for warm season lawns.
- Toward the end of the month, divide and replant spring-blooming perennials like iris, peonies, and daylilies, if needed.
- Webworms can show up at this time. Remove webs that enclose branches and destroy, or spray with an appropriate pesticide being sure to penetrate the web well.
- Yellow-necked caterpillars can be severe on river birch, oaks, and crabapples.
- Do not fertilize azaleas or rhododendrons; it could kill flower buds.
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