Ten Tips for the July Gardener:
- Inspect garden plants regularly for insect and disease problems.
- Sanitation practices, insecticidal soaps, and insect traps are alternatives to pesticides.
- Properly placed shade trees will reduce air conditioning costs.
- Try shade tolerant ground covers in areas where lack of sunlight limits grass growth.
- Yellow leaves of cucurbits and tomatoes may indicate waterlogged conditions or the need for nitrogen because of all the rain we have received last month. Fertilize if necessary.
- Raise your mowing height to 3 inches during hot weather.
- Cucumbers get bitter if water is lacking during ripening.
- Tomato hornworms are large green caterpillars that feed on the leaves of tomatoes and related plants. Hand-pick or control with B.t.
- Cut back mums, tall asters, Montauk daisies and helianthus by about one-quarter for bushy, more floriferous plants.
- Hummingbirds are attracted to red salvia, coral bells and bee balm.