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How Does Your Garden Grow? July checklist

Published: Saturday, July 12, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Summer is in full swing and there is plenty to do in the garden this month. Here's a checklist of things to be aware of in July.

Woody plant care

The end of July is the correct time to use 20-20-20 fertilizer for the final rose treatment for this season.

Redtwig dogwood, lilac, forsythia and lilac should be through with spring bloom and may be renovated by removing a third of the older branches.

Summer blooming shrubs such as Hydrangea, Saint Johnswort, Rose of Sharon and Summersweet will all be attractive additions to your mid-summer garden.

Annual and perennial care

Summer annual care involves mainly consistent deadheading, control of weeds and proper watering.

Hanging baskets and containers of annuals will need frequent, sometimes daily, watering as the temperatures increase.

If you lost perennials this winter and are planting new ones, be sure to supply adequate water during and after the transplant period. If perennials appear stressed, it is probably a water problem and not a need for more fertilizer.

Perennial seeds may be sown in July. It is a good idea to mark the location of the new seed areas.

Oriental poppies can be divided this month.

Lawn care

Turf may show signs of dormancy as the heat of summer increases. The crown will remain alive as long as the grass receives at least 1 inch of water a week.

Mowing at 2 1/2 to 3 inches is recommended for summer lawns.

Herbicides should be avoided in hot weather.

Fruit and vegetable care

Ground suckers should be removed from apple, apricot, crabapple, peach and plum trees.

Monitor apples in late July for possible infestations of apple maggots.

If your tomatoes, peppers or summer squash are brown or black on the end , they probably have blossom-end-rot. This is a calcium deficiency problem and can be prevented by supplying a consistently even application of water.

Harvest onions and garlic when ready and begin the drying process.

July tip

In mid-summer our gardens can look a little tired; and this year, we may even have blank places where we lost plants due to the severity of the winter. Why not take this opportunity to try new plant varieties.

Today, the DeKalb County Master Gardeners will again present the Garden Walk and Plant Sale.

Hundreds of plants will be available for sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Farm Bureau Center for Agriculture. Master Gardeners will be on site to help you with your selections and answer questions.

A garden boutique offering everything related to gardening will be a special feature in the Plant Sale area.

This year's Garden Walk includes seven beautiful gardens. While visiting these gardens, you will be able to get some fantastic ideas to take home to your own garden landscape. Host gardeners will be present to talk to you about their gardens.

Maps and tickets are available at the Extension office and at a few local nurseries.

• The Master Gardeners are available to answer your questions from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday at the University of Illinois Extension DeKalb County office in the Farm Bureau Center for Agriculture, 1350 W. Prairie Drive in Sycamore. Call 815-758-8194 or email DeKalb_mg@extension.uiuc.edu. Walk-ins are welcome.

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