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Things to Do in the Garden in July and August

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July Gardening in Transylvania County

July is a very active time in the garden in Transylvania County. The fruit and vegetable plants really start producing, the annual flowers are blooming beautifully and the summer flowering trees and shrubs are in their glory.

July is also when the garden pests, diseases, and weeds are also really coming on strong so now is not the time to let the scouting and maintenance slide.

To help you keep up with all that is going on, we’ve put together a list of gardening tasks to do now with links for more information on each topic. If you have questions or need more information, please contact the Transylvania County Cooperative Extension at 828.884.3109 send us an email.

 Fertilizing

  • Continue side dressing your garden vegetables. Sidedressing with Fertilizer
  • Apply the last dose of fertilizer to landscape plants. Do not fertilize landscape plants after mid-July as lush new growth may not have time to harden off before freezing weather arrives.
  • Take soil samples from your lawn areas for testing to be ready for fall fertilization and seeding. Soil boxes are available at the County Extension Center.

Planting

  • Set out plants of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, pepper, eggplant, and tomato in mid-July. A Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening
  • Begin your fall vegetable garden this month. Plant bean, beet, carrot, cucumber, leaf lettuce, head lettuce, mustard, rutabaga, summer squash, and turnip seeds. Start broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower plants in peat pots to transplant into the vegetable garden mid-month.
  • Re-pot overgrown houseplants. Repotting Houseplants

Pruning

  • Prune the fruiting canes of raspberry and blackberry plants after harvest is over. Cut canes at ground level and destroy them.
  • Prune off dieback limbs on hybrid rhododendron, azalea, mountain laurel, and blueberry.
  • Pinch old blossoms off of rhododendron. Pinching
  • Remove browned foliage from spring blooming bulbs.
  • Trim hedges as needed. Trimming hedges
  • Continue pruning white pines and narrow leaf evergreens such as juniper early in the month.
  • Remove faded flowers on perennials to encourage a second flush of flowers.
  • Pinch your chrysanthemums the first week only!
  • Do not prune spring flowering shrubs after July 4th.

Managing Pests and Diseases

  • Monitor for insects and if needed, spray the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: arborvitae (bagworms), azalea, and Pyracantha (lace bug) Shrub pests
  • Spray for Japanese beetles as needed. Japanese beetles
  • Continue with the rose spray program. Fungus on roses
  • Spray your tree fruits and bunch grapes according to your spray plan. Fruit Spray Schedule.
  • Spray vegetables with fungicide if signs of fungus are present. Vegetable disease control
  • Monitor for insects and if needed, spray the following vegetables if insects are observed: cucumber (cucumber beetle), squash (aphids), tomato, and eggplant (flea beetle). Vegetable pests control
  • Spray woody weeds including poison ivy, honeysuckle, and kudzu with a recommended herbicide. Controlling woody weeds
  • Watch for white fly and spray with insecticidal soap or summer oil if needed.
  • Control aphids by washing them off with a blast of water from the hose. You can also spray with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil if needed.

Lawn Care

  • Remember to change direction when mowing your lawn. Travel north to south on one mowing and east to west on the next cutting.
  • Continue feeding your zoysia lawn with fertilizer. Do not fertilize tall fescue or bluegrass lawns this month.
  • Maintain 3″ mowing height on cool season grasses.

Propagation

  • Continue to take semi-hardwood cuttings of azaleas, holly, rhododendron, and many other shrubs. Propagation from cuttings
  • Divide and transplant your iris and daylilies after they finish flowering.

Miscellaneous To Do

  • July is a good month to see if and where your home can use some additional shade trees and make notes for fall planting.
  • Blossom-end rot may be seen on tomatoes this month. You can try a blossom end rot spray to help fruit that has not been affected. Consistent watering and adding lime may also help.
  • In dry weather, both your vegetable garden and landscape plants will benefit from a deep soaking. Slow watering will penetrate the root zone better. Apply 1″ of water early in the day. Watering plants
  • Weed in cloudy weather or in the cool of the evening. Disturbed plants need time to adjust before being in the hot sun.
  • Start planning fall bulb purchases for October planting.

Plants in Bloom in July: Sourwood, Crape myrtle, Stewartia, Chaste-Tree, St. John’s Wort, Abelia, Peegee Hydrangea, Rose-of-Sharon, Trumpet Creeper, Phlox, Butterfly Weed, Daylily, Red Hot Poker, Canna, Dahlia, Daisy, Summer annuals

 August Gardening in Transylvania County

There are still things to do in the garden in Transylvania County in August, just be sure not to spend too much time in the heat, wear your sunscreen and hat, and don’t forget your insect repellent.

To help you keep up with all that is going on, we’ve put together a list of gardening tasks to do now with links for more information on each topic. If you have questions or need more information, please contact the Transylvania County Cooperative Extension at 828.884.3109 or send us an email.

Fertilizing

  • Fertilize strawberries with nitrogen this month. Strawberry Grower Guide
  • Do NOT fertilize shrubs in August, September, October or November.

Planting

Pruning

  • Do not prune shrubs in August, September, or October.
  • Prune “bleeder” trees including maple, dogwood, birch, and elm. Pruning trees and shrubs

Managing Pests and Diseases

  • Monitor for insects and if needed, spray these landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: arborvitae and juniper (spider mites), azalea, and Pyracantha (lace bug). Shrub pests
  • Continue with the rose spray program. Fungus on roses
  • Spray peach and nectarine tree trunks at the end of August for peach tree borers. Fruit Spray Schedule.
  • Monitor for insects and if needed, spray the following fall vegetables for insects: broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower (worms), squash (borers). Vegetable pests control
  • Continue spraying bunch grapes and tree fruits according to the spray schedule.
  • Control the following woody weeds by spraying them with the recommended herbicide: greenbrier, kudzu, trumpet creeper, and wisteria. Controlling woody weeds

Lawn Care

  • Treat lawns for grubs if needed using recommended insecticides. Controlling Grubs
  • Prepare lawn areas for seeding late in the month if you plan to seed a tall fescue or bluegrass lawn. Lawn Information

Propagation

  • Divide and transplant your iris and daylilies after they finish flowering. Dividing Perennials

Miscellaneous To Do

  • If you are planning to do some fall landscape planting, be sure you have a planting plan prepared. Landscape Design
  • Continue watering your favorite landscape plants and your vegetable garden if dry weather persists. Watering plants
  • Build a compost bin. Compost Bin Plans
  • Dig Irish potatoes this month when the foliage has died back completely. Harvesting Potatoes
  • Stop watering amaryllis and allow them to go dormant for winter blooming.

Plants in Bloom in August:  Crape myrtle, Rose-of-Sharon, Peegee Hydrangea, Abelia, Canna, Dahlia, Cardinal Flower, Butterfly Weed, Phlox, Cleome, Hosta, Liriope, Trumpet Creeper, Summer Annuals