July Gardening Checklist: Ferns, Lawns & More
With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Ferns, Lawns, Groundcovers and more are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees, Edibles, and more.
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The information, dates and techniques in this blog are as accurate as I can currently offer. During the past three decades I have cared for, nurtured and observed tens of thousands of plants.
With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information.
Continue fertilizing. Use a mild, organic fertilizer on ferns and alternate periodically with an acid type, especially in high pH soil.
For most common varieties try blood meal alternated every third feeding with Cottonseed Meal. Irrigate most varieties regularly according to the weather and the individual varieties. Delicate varieties appreciate an occasional misting of the foliage, especially during warm, dry or windy periods. Keep checking for pests. Scale can be a problem and often goes undetected. It is often associated with ants, which need to be controlled as a part of any treatment program.
On other ferns, especially staghorns, check carefully for early signs of spider mites.
This is a good month to leach the salts out of the root zone of your plants, which will otherwise cause tip burn and a pale color to the foliage of many varieties. This is done by irrigating the plant over and over again or by flooding the root basin several times to wash any accumulated salt below and away from the roots. Continue planting, re-potting or transplanting, but keep them well watered.
Golden Strawberry Groundcover
Warm season groundcovers are growing and blooming.
Keep them irrigated as the weather warms. If not already done, mulch most groundcover areas now to reduce weed growth, improve soil quality and reduce summer irrigations.
Remember, cool-season lawns (fescue/Marathon, ryegrass, bluegrass) should be mowed about a half an inch higher in the warm months than in the cool months.
Keep the mower at this higher setting for the next several hot weather months. It’s too late to attempt to plant new cool-season lawns; better to wait until the fall. Continue feeding warm-season lawns through summer and into fall. Through the warm summer months reduce the dosage of fertilizer by half to cool-season lawns.
Too much fertilizer right now, during the warm weather, will make these cool-season turfs very susceptible to various diseases. This is still a good month to plant warm-season lawns (hybrid bermudagrass, St. Augustine, etc.) from sod. Most warm-season grasses do not grow from seed and are best only installed from sod.
Shrubs & Vines
(See also the information under Azaleas, Camellias, Gardenias, Hydrangeas and others)
(See also the information under Avocados, Citrus, Deciduous Fruit Trees and Subtropical Fruits here)
Deep water as needed according to the tree species, its age and the weather. This is a good month to “leach” the root zone beneath salt-sensitive species like Japanese Maples. This is accomplished by flood irrigating the soil very heavily and repeating it several times until the accumulated salts in the root zone are washed away from the roots
Tropicals & Subtropicals
(See also the information under Avocados, Citrus and Subtropical Fruits here)
Keep feeding with a general-purpose organic fertilizer. Most tropicals and sub-tropicals have a higher need for trace minerals like iron, zinc, manganese and others. Organic fertilizers generally contain lots of these trace minerals and work especially well in the warm soil temperatures present now. These are all growing well now and many, but not all, will be in bud or bloom now. Keep them fertilized with a general-purpose organic fertilizer.
Tropicals & Subtropicals (Cont.)
This is a very good time to plant or transplant palms and cycads.
This is a good time for planting these heat lovers, but keep them well watered to help them get established. Watering should be frequent now, but most tropicals and sub-tropicals are particular about quick soil drainage. Move or shade any bromeliads that might otherwise burn this summer from too much direct sunlight. This is also a very good time to divide and propagate bromeliads.