Bailey Arboretum July Horticultural Notes: July 2015

“Do what we can, summer will have flies” Ralph Waldo Emerson

June continued to put forth glorious blooms. The spring was one for the garden archives, as close to perfection as nature allows. Now for summer.

Hydrangeas Bloom! Defying all the predicted odds after our severe winter, hydrangeas are blooming with spectacular results. Keep them watered and fed.

Integrated Pest Management: As Emerson concluded insects cannot be avoided
in July. It seems every insect has a toxic “cide”. Prevention is the best solution. Purchase pest resistant plants, rotate plantings, remove all standing water, try growing insect repulsing flowers and plants like marigolds. Use pesticides when there is a measurable infestation, keep a record of their impact, seek least toxic chemicals and use sparingly.

Fruit Trees: Continue with the spraying program now that fruit is growing and ripening.

Mulches: Much ado about mulches! Now it is colors of the mulch that matter. Red plastic mulch is supposedly important to the growth of tomatoes. Try it.

Fertilizing: “Side dressing” is adding fertilizer to established plants. If done moderately
it can be very beneficial to the summer growing plants. Available charts on fertilizer bags tell how much is useful for different plants. Don’t forget to fertilize your indoor plants and containers of annuals.

Second Bloom: Perennials like delphiniums and annuals like snapdragons benefit from
cutting back after blooming for another round of flowering.

Leyland Cypress. These very popular evergreens are used for hedges and can be pruned for tight growth. Last call to prune them this month.

Harvest: Current vogue is to pick small eggplant and zucchini for summer cooking.

Weeding: A real challenge this year, mulching helps and weed preventers work with mixed results. Need to kill the roots either with a herbicide (organics are available) or
extracting them with one of the many weeding and hoeing tools available. 

Suckers, Warm wet weather promoted the unwanted growth of suckers in hybrid roses (including Knockouts), tomatoes, and trees with removed limbs. Cut out these nutrient
huggers.

Container Plants: Cut back leggy container plants   for a new flush of bloom in your 
outdoor pots.