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Garden Solutions - July 2010

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Local Blogs - Hillermann Nursery & Florist
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
              Even though the weather outside is not as enticing or enjoyable as it is in the spring of the year, we can still enjoy being outdoors. In addition, there are things that still need to be done in the garden and landscape.

            The most important item to consider this time of year, naturally, is water... Provide water to your garden, for not only the perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs, but do it also for the wildlife such as birds, rabbits, and squirrels. This can be done in several different ways. One way would be to install a drip irrigation system. These systems can be installed with tools as simple as a scissors or knife. Timers are also available to take the guesswork out of the project, and the system continues to work even when you are on vacation. This will be extremely important during summer seasons to provide moisture to new and established plantings. Now, Don't forget the wildlife as well. Birds continue to give us enjoyment with new fledglings arriving as well as their daily antics. Supply water for them in forms of birdbaths, water fountains, or water garden displays. Moving water is a bigger draw for this wildlife activity than still water, and it is safer, too. With moving water, you do not need to worry about mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus.

            Now that I have spent time expressing my concern and importance for water during the summer months, let me give you some other tips for the garden...

  • Apply the chemical "Permethrin" after July 15th, to guard off grubs, fleas, ticks, etc. in the yard.
  • Keep deadheading spent annual flowers for continued bloom.
  • DON'T pinch hardy garden mums after mid-July OR you may delay blooming for fall.
  • Keep an eye out for powdery mildew and red spider mites this month in the garden. Treat with Copper Fungicide or Malathion insecticide respectively.
  • MULCH VOLCANOES KILL!! What this means is that you should NOT build up mulch around your trees with the tip of the volcano up on the tree trunk. In fact, it has to be just the opposite. Put the shallow ring of mulch around the tree trunk and build up a saucer effect of mulch around the outside of the tree ring. This will save the tree in several ways. First, it will not kill off the trunk, and second, it will keep mowers and trimmers from disturbing the trunk bark, which can be devastating to the trees success.
  • Bearded irises can be divided at the end of the month. Discard old center sections. Replant so that the tops of the rhizomes are just above the ground level.
  • Remember to deep root water established trees and shrubs, as well, during drought conditions.
  • Prune out and destroy old fruiting canes of raspberries after harvest is complete.
  • Dig potatoes when the tops die and plant fall crops by the 15th.
  • Sweet corn is ripe when the silks turn brown.
  • For the fall garden, sow seeds of carrots, beets, turnips, winter radish, collards, kale, sweet corn and summer squash as earlier crops are harvested at the end of the month. Also, set out transplants of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower for the fall garden.

This is also a good time of year to consider water conservation. Here are some water conservation tips for the home and garden:

  • Water plants where it counts. Water at the roots of plants not the leaves. Focus on watering more expensive trees and shrubs.
  • Stop feeding and fertilizing. Plants and grass that have been fertilized grow faster and consume more water.
  • When you mow your grass, cut less frequently and at a higher level. Cutting the lawn short promotes growth, and growth promotes water consumption. Longer grass will shade the ground and stay healthier.
  • Cut back on household water use. Place a plastic jug filled with water inside your toilet tank. The sealed jug displaces water and allows the tank to fill up more quickly. Use a half-gallon milk jug for older toilets, and a one-liter soda bottle for newer, low-flow toilets. Keep the jug in place with a string tied around it, secured in place from the weight of the tank lid.
  • Plant drought tolerant, native plants. Many native plants are drought and disease resistant and make great additions in your gardens. Once established, these plants will need less water than hybridized varieties. Your local independent garden center can help you choose varieties that will work well for the location of your garden.         

            For additional garden tips for summer, check out our website at


Time to go... See you in the Garden...

Sandi Hillermann McDonald

Hillermann Nursery & Florist


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