July Garden Checklist
Here’s the checklist for things to be on the lookout for as we get deeper into summer.
- It’s time to check for bagworms on all junipers and conifers. As most of you will agree bagworms can be found on any living plant, so check all surrounding plants if you notice some on their favorite host plant, junipers. Some of the recommended insecticides are Sevin, Malathion, Bt, bifenthrin and permethrin. Always read and follow label directions.
- Pumpkins are planted this time of year for harvest this fall just in time for the holiday season. Keep plants well watered and free of insect pests. Spray every 7 days, or as needed, with bifenthrin.
- Start planning for a fall garden. Make plantings of squash, tomato, beans, cucumbers, southern peas, and any other vegetables that will mature before late October.
- If your tomato leaves are turning yellow with dark spots from the bottom up and defoliating, this is early blight. This disease needs to be prevented before it starts. This fungus can survive in the soil for several years. If you have early blight on your tomato plants, spray with chlorothalonil (Daconil) every 7-10 days.
- Tomato blossom drop is a problem as daytime temperature hits the upper 90s and night temperature does not fall below 75. As we get cooler temperatures, tomato plants will set again. If blossom end rot is a problem, remember it is a calcium deficiency and can be minimized by keeping the moisture level constant and applying a soluble calcium called Stop Rot, Blossom End Rot Control or Blossom End Rot Preventer. Soil test to make sure your pH is in the proper range.
- Keep pinching back your flowering herbs like basil, oregano and mint to prevent them from flowering and going to seed. You can use or store your trimmings.
- As you wrap-up the harvest on your tame blackberries, cut out the old canes (this year’s producing cane) to allow space for all the new canes that will produce fruit next year. As the new canes reach shoulder height, tip prune to encourage side branching, which also prevents new canes from arching over and reaching for the ground.
- Monitor water needs. We’ve had an abundance of rainfall, but summer dry spells are right around the corner. Keep in mind that plants, trees in particular, exhibit a delayed visual stress symptom. These delayed symptoms could be wilt, leaf scorch, or loss of green coloration. Drought stress to many plants, trees especially, could be the beginning of a slow decline and eventual death that cannot be corrected once it occurs. To avoid these problems, don’t wait to water until you see these visual symptoms. For mature trees, water an inch or more once a week. Newly planted trees require watering twice a week during dry weather.
- Avoid heavy summer pruning. Light pruning is fine. Even small limbs in the way of the lawn mower are fine to remove during a hot summer.
- Raise your mower blades to cut your fescue lawn to 3 inches or more. Doing this will help protect grass roots from the summer heat and encourages a more extensive root system. Deeper roots will be beneficial during a drought. Water the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches every 3-4 days if possible. Don’t fertilize your fescue lawn during the summer.
- Spider mites can be a severe problem at this time of year. They become very active during hot weather. Most ornamentals and vegetable crops are subject to attack. Bifenthrin, Malathion or insecticidal soap are good choices to use on ornamentals and Malathion or insecticidal soap on vegetable crops. Read label directions before use and most important follow directions on days to harvest vegetables after use.
- Summer is the time to dig and divide irises. Irises do best in full sun, but they will tolerate some shade. High fertility encourages rhizomes to rot and fewer blooms. Fertilize lightly this fall for beds that you dig and divide this summer.
- If grass is invading flowerbeds, use a grass-specific herbicide such as Fusilade/Ornamec (fluazifop-P), Segment (sethoxydim) or Envoy (clethodim). In our trials, fluazifop-P has been the most effective on bermudagrass. Alternatively, just get in there and remove it the old-fashioned way…by hand. Always read and follow label directions.
- If your summer annuals look like they are tired, fertilize them with a half-pound, (one cup) of 34-0-0 per 100 sq. ft. Also, keep them well watered.
- You can expect fall webworms soon if not already. We can expect two to three generations of this tree defoliator each year, depending on the weather. Female moths lay eggs on the underside of host trees in April. Eggs begin to hatch in June and sometimes as late as August (depending on weather conditions). Control is not necessary. It is more of an aesthetic problem. Sevin, bifenthrin, acephate, permethrin, Dipel, or Thuricide will control these caterpillars.
- If you haven’t already done so, put your leftover garden seeds in a ziplock bag and drop them in the freezer. You can keep many garden seeds this way for several years including seeds you collect from flowers or vegetables.
For more information on any of the above topics, please feel free to contact the University of Arkansas Division Of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service at 870-425-2335.
By Brad Runsick
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Brad Runsick
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
3 East 9th St. Mountain Home AR 72653
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