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How Does Your Garden Grow?: July checklist

Published: Saturday, June 29, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

Here’s your gardening checklist for July.

Woody plant care

Newly planted roses, shrubs and trees should receive at least 1 inch of water per week. This is especially important during the hotter months.

Water sprouts growing vertically on tree branches should be pruned out.

Roses can be fertilized with a 20-20-20 fertilizer late this month. Do not fertilize after Aug. 1. Watch for and remove Japanese beetles on roses as they begin to appear in July. If they are present in large numbers, spraying may be necessary. Also, monitor for blackspot and remove affected leaves.

Annual and perennial care

Annual hanging baskets will need to be watered every day. Cascading petunias can be pruned weekly by removing the longest stem.

For a successful, second flowering, shear back delphiniums, salvia, catmint and decorative geraniums.

Continue to pinch out asters, mums and fall sedums for fall bloom.

Water your garden early in the morning for less evaporation.

Daylily seedheads should be removed immediately to conserve plant energy.

Lawn care

In July, lawns need 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water per week.

Grass should be mowed to a height of 2 1/2 to 3 inches for the hotter part of the summer.

Fertilizer and herbicides are not recommended for use this month. Fertilize in the fall.

Fruit, vegetable and herb care

Crabapple, plum, apple, peach and apricot trees should have all ground level suckers pruned below soil level.

Harvest garlic and onions and begin the drying process.

Monitor tomatoes during hot weather and provide them with an even supply of moisture for best results.

Seeds for fall crops such as beans, broccoli, spinach, cool-season lettuce and cabbage may be sown late in July.

Harvest herbs to use fresh or dry.

July tip

This gardening season has been a bit difficult. Spring brought plenty of rain, but also brought high winds and severe cold. Many of our plants were damaged or lost due to these weather conditions.

On July 13, the DeKalb Master Gardeners will present their sixth annual Garden Walk and Plant Sale. This will provide a good opportunity to replenish lost or struggling plants in your garden. Perennials, annuals, roses, shrubs and trees will be available for sale.

The Garden Boutique area will feature a collection of items related to the garden. The very popular, wooden obelisks will again be offered this year in three sizes while supplies last.

Eight beautiful gardens will be on display for the Garden Walk. Visiting Garden Walk sites offers a great chance to get ideas for you own garden. Host gardeners will be available and will talk to you about their gardens and also answer any questions that you might have.

Both the Garden Walk and the Plant Sale are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. rain or shine.

• The Master Gardeners are available to answer questions from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday at the University of Illinois Extension DeKalb County office located in the Farm Bureau Center for Agriculture, 1360 W. Prairie Drive in Sycamore. Call 815-758-8194 or email DeKalb_mg@extension.uiuc.edu. Walk-ins are welcome.

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