July 2011

Gardening tips for July

Well I hope everyone enjoyed the abbreviated spring this year. Did not really last too long. Rained and snowed forever and then not too long after it all stopped it got hot. Oh well, can’t do much about the weather.

The biggest thing to do this month is water. When it is this hot it is time to step up the watering. Increase time on timers to give plants good deep soakings.

Some signs to look for that show not enough water are wilting in the heat that does not recover when the weather cools for the evening. If water is not increased when you see this the next thing will be leaves dropping and flowers dropping before the blooms are spent. The next thing is edges of leaves will turn brown and then die back on branches. If you see any of these signs increase the water to the plant. If a plant is stressed due to lack of water or other reasons, use Superthrive. Mix 1 to 3 caps of superthrive with 5 gallons of water and soak the plant. This will help the plant to recover. Also a good idea to use it when transplanting or plants during warm weather. We use it on all planting here at the nursery. We start most of our 1 and 5 gallon shrubs during the summer since it is when we have the tiem and we have excellent success using superthrive when planting.

If you are unsure of how much water to give you plants, let us know. We have a sheet available at the nursery which shows how much water per week is required by trees during each month of the year. It can be used for shrubs as well by reducing down for the size of the plant. Basically, don’t be worried about overwatering during the summer when it is so hot. Unless the plant is soggy it is okay. It is best to soak long and deep about 2 to 3 times a week rather than short wtering every day. This produces a much healthier plant that withstands the heat much better. Rmember that drip systems are rated for gallons per hour not gallons per minute. So if you have a 1 gallon per hour dripper on your plant and you run the system 15 minutes you are giving the plant a quart of water.

Mulching is an excellent way to reduce the amount of water you have to apply. It will keep the moisture in the soil rather than allowing it to evaporate. Lay mulch 2 inches deep around your trees and shrubs. When putting it around your trees, keep the mulch back away from the trunk by about 3 inches.

If you do want to plant in the summer it ceratainly can be done. Plant in the evening and use superthrive and then make sure to keep the new plantings well watered and you should have no problems.