Suggestions for July:
1. Be water wise and use soaker hoses or drip system. Water early in the morning or late evening. Keep water from the leaves to prevent fungus.
2. Dead head salvias and other flowers after the first heavy bloom. For a second set of blooms, remove the blooms and cut to a set of leaves using sharp scissors or pruners. Fertilize and water.
3. Mow often, but don’t remove more than one-third of the leaf. Leave the clippings on the lawn for nutrients. The clippings will decompose quickly. A season of clippings will add a pound of nitrogen to the lawn.
4. Pull weeds as soon as they appear. Rid the garden of weeds before they have a chance to go to seed. Remove weeds and spent vegetable plants and replace with compost, fertilizer and mulch over the empty space.
5. Replenish water in the birdbath and give animals fresh water daily.
6. The large fruited tomatoes will not continue to set fruit during this hot weather. Small cherry tomatoes will continue to produce. This is the time to seed tomatoes for fall gardens.
7. Vegetables that like the summer are: black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, okra, winter squash, Malabar spinach and eggplant.
Woody ornamentals and trees that have been planted less than a year need regular watering during this heat. Build a berm around the plant to help hold the water. It needs at least one inch a week; add two to three inches of mulch around the plant.
Repeat blooming roses should be cut back after a bloom cycle. Fertilize and water to prepare the roses for another blooming period.