CALENDAR

    A Gardening Calendar from Morrison's.

    You might think that this being New England that there are only a few precious months to tend to your home & garden. We're here to show you 12 months of reasons why there's always something "green" to do.

    July

    General

    • With long sunny days, low humidity, and rapid growth occurring your plants need to be watered. Pay close attention to newly planted shrubs and trees. As a general rule, we need about an inch of water per week. Be sure your beds are mulched to help conserve moisture and control weeds. Always water in the morning, so the foliage is not wet at night.
    • Potted plants will need more frequent watering. Push a finger into the soil to first knuckle and if the soil is dry; water thoughly so that water comes out of the bottom of the pot. When soil gets too dry, it may require several applications of water to wet the soil.
    • As flowers go by, dead head them (pick off old blooms) to keep them neat, and this will also cause many plants to rebloom quicker.
    • When composting do not use diseased plants or grass clippings that have had a herbicide treatment.
    • Check your birdbath once a week, and when dirty, clean with water and a scrub brush.
    • Monitor your hummingbird feeders and clean regularly.
    • Adult Japanese beetles arrive this month. Small quantities can be hand picked. If you must spray an insecticide, be sure the plant is listed on the label. Try to use products that are less toxic to bees. Never spray when beneficial pollinators are about.
    • Plants growing in a container are still easily planted with attention paid to watering. Plants already growing in the ground should not be dug and transplanted this time of year.
    • Ornamental grasses are best planted in the spring and early summer.
    • Keep fertilizing the flower garden to encourage more flowering.
    • Potted flowers need to be continuously fed and dead headed for maximum beauty.

    Edibles

    • Watch watering being sure that your veggies don’t run out of water. Always water in the beginning of the day to conserve moisture and lessen disease pressure.
    • If your plot is small enough, then mulch it with chopped straw to conserve moisture and discourage weeds.
    • It is best to pull weeds when they are small and young. Never let them go to seed and produce more weeds.
    • When early season veggies have been harvested, replant with new plants for another crop. Remember to apply more fertilizer.
    • Monitor for insects and diseases, and always use the least toxic product to do the job.
    • Blossom end rot in tomatoes is a sign of calcium deficiency with uneven watering. A calcium spray will correct this. Interveinal yellowing of leaves is a sign of magnesium deficiency, and Epsom salt will correct this.
    • The end of the month is the best time to plant cole crops (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale). All of these plants mature and do better in the cooler fall temperatures.
    • If part of you garden is going fallow, then plant a cover crop; consider planting buckwheat and/or clover to improve soil quality.
    • Thin reseeded plants to proper spacing.
    • Cover blueberry bushes with netting before the berries turn blue. 

    Lawn

    • The last week of June, and first weeks of July, are ideal times to apply Merit or a systemic insecticide to protect grass from Japanese Beetle grubs. An organic solution would be to apply Milky Spore when young grubs are present in August.
    • Mow grass higher in hot weather.
    • Check your lawn mower blade and maintain sharpness. Be sure to check your oil level on 4 cycle engines and be sure to change once a year or after every 25 hours of use. It is best to refer to manufactures recommendations . Also remember to check and clean the air filter; particularly when it is hot and dusty.
    • If the lawn runs out of moisture, it can go into dormancy. Most lawns require 1 inch of water per week.
    • It is always better to water longer and less frequently for lawn health.
    • If you have used a weed killer on your lawn, it is best to mow more frequently and leave clippings on the lawn. Never put treated lawn clippings in the compost pile.

    August

    General

    Step back and admire your handy work. Regular monitoring helps with spotting disease or insect problems early, making the issues easier to correct before they cause serious damage.

    Many annuals, and some perennials, benefit from dead heading. This also stops the plant from wasting energy in making seed resulting in more flowers.

    Morning is always the best time to water due to less moisture being lost to evaporation. Watering in the morning also helps with disease control.

    Check your compost pile for moisture, and be sure to keep it from drying out. Turning your compost and getting it more air also helps to speed up decomposition.

    Keep weeding, and make sure that you pay close attention to removing weeds that are about to spread seed.

    Use Glyphosate mixed at the tough brush rate for poison ivy control. This is most effective when done early in the month.

    Japanese Knotweed should flower at the end of the month. This is the best time to treat it with an herbicide.

    Later in the month it is safe to lift and divide spring blooming perennials where needed.

    Hot, dry weather is most favorable for spider mites, so be on the lookout and treat if necessary.

    Edibles

    Picking young fruit frequently will encourage more fruiting in vegetables. Older beans and squash tend to be tougher too.

    When onion plants have died back, dig the bulbs and cure them in warm dry ventilated areas.

    Cool season crops like lettuce and beets can be started from seed now. 

    Harvest potatoes when the foliage has turned yellow and died. Dry the potatoes first, and then store them in a cool, dark place.

    How do I know that a cantaloupe is ready? It separates easily from the vine.

    If growing dry beans; harvest when the foliage has dried.

    Prune out and remove raspberry canes that bore fruit this spring.

    Harvest sweet corn when kernels are plump; wait too long and you will lose the sweetness of the corn.

    Lawn

    When using a broadleaf weed killer, be careful that the temperature and humidity is not too high, as this will damage cool season grasses.

    The end of the month is a good time to treat Japanese beetle grubs with Milky spore disease. Ask us how.

    Make plans to dethatch and aerate around Labor Day if needed. 

    If a new lawn, or an old one, needs refurbishing start planning now as September is the best time to plant for the year.

    Always water in the morning to help prevent disease.

    Where possible, always mulch your grass clippings back into the lawn.

    Organic fertilizers are safer for the lawn during hot weather, as the lower nitrogen levels are less likely to burn.