July Garden Tips

Juniper shrubJunipers

There are hundreds of varieties of Junipers, they are making a comeback in popularity (especially low growing and ground cover varieties) because of their drought tolerance and non-desert look. Trim overgrown juniper by cutting stems back to starting point shorten others stem by stem only as needed. Thin out cautiously removing or trimming only a few of the longer branches. Do not sheer

chorisia silk floss treeSilk Floss TreesChorisia speciosa

This beautiful tree with green bark and grey thorns on trunk. Stop watering through August (same as the conditions they get in their native Brazil). To prolong the bloom start watering when the flower bases begin to swell. Needs little pruning. Thorns on trunk can be rubbed off.

mexican feather grass in 1 gallon potsMexican Feather Grass – Nassella tenuissima

If reseeding is a concern, and or you do not like the look of the seed heads, delay the shearing operation until after the flower scapes have emerged early this summer.

 

Hemerocallis Daylily plantsDayliliesHemerocallis

To prolong the bloom of your daylilies feed with complete fertilizer now and water thoroughly. This is one of Southern California’s most popular plants because it is easy to grow and has long blooming season and many different varieties with different color flowers.

 

Duranta plantDuranta

This is a fast growing plant has beautiful flowers now. Garden View nursery has been selling small garden trees with beautiful drooping blooms and Terrine asked me to include care in our garden tips. To keep this plant as a small patio tree it will need to be pruned often. After the plant blooms and sets out berries trim hard. Trim every other month and remove suckers regularly.

 

Armeria maritima - thriftPink ThriftArmeria maritima

Blooms in spring till summer cutting spent flowers prolongs blooms. These grassy ground cover plants need little to moderate water and good drainage, they are moderately durable. Small sections will probably need to be replanted occasionally. Prefers full sun but Garden View’s experience is that Armeria will tolerate some partial shade.

 

Tea Tree LeptospermumTea Tree ShrubsLeptospermum

when pruning, clipping, or shearing into hedges don’t cut into the bare wood, new growth is unlikely to sprout. This plant requires little water and good drainage too much water can cause root rot. Plant can grow into and nice tree if not pruned regularly.

 

Creeping Rosemary Shrub hanging over wallRosmarinus officinalisCreeping Rosemary (right) & Upright Rosemary

Heavy feeding and too much water results in rank growth and subsequent woodiness (occasional light feeding is good). Control growth by frequent pinching when plants are young. If plants become woody cut into the leafy wood about half way through and encourage new growth. Plant will not re-grow from bare wood.

Mexican Feather Grass – Nassella tenuissima

Shearing plants back in summer gives a tidier look. If reseeding is a concern, and or you do not like the look of the seed heads delay the shearing operation until after the flowerscapes have emerged.

Alstroemeria - Peruvian lilyPeruvian LilyAlstroemeria

These beautiful plants flower off and on throughout the year. They are generally not blooming in the hottest months and the foliage can get sparse. But don’t think they are dead or they are not going to come back. These plants are drought resistant meaning if you stop watering them they will generally live. But the foliage will die back but the roots and tuber of the plant will stay alive and come back when watering. This plant will bloom on an off most of the year with sufficient water and fertilizer. Garden View Crews will often use this plant in annual flower beds and supplement it with annual flowers. Azalea shrub

AzaleasRhododendron

Keep azaleas well irrigated now that the weather is warming up. Azaleas are shallow rooted and will dry out quickly. Avoid cultivating or allowing other plants to grow in competition with the roots.

 

Salvia leucantha flowersMexican Bush SageSalvia leucantha

(right): This plant has abundant blooms for a long season. Prune sparingly now to limit plant size and renew flower stems. Limit watering now to enough to keep it alive, it may be able to survive nicely on watering only once every two weeks. Remove blossoms as soon as they fade.

 

Erythrina - coral treePrune Coral TreesErythrina

Thin coral trees now before strong winds in fall. Thinning is important for those growing in lawns or where water is plentiful their growth is faster and wood is softer.

 

Roses

white pink and yellow rose shrubsGiven the proper care, combined with a few simple pruning techniques, roses will re-bloom every six weeks until the first frost. There are two ways to prune roses during the growing season, and both will encourage new blooms to set. Most roses have leaflets (with three to seven leaves) every couple of inches along the stems. In order to produce blooms you need to prune at least to the second five-leafed leaflet. (Pruning just above will eliminate nasty dead stems called coat hangers.) If you also want to prune for size control, you can go as far down as two leaflets above the previous cut. Pruning beyond the previous cut tells the rose you don’t want it to bloom. Remember that hybrid tea and grandiflora rose stems tend to grow at least 18 inches after each pruning before blooming, so if you prune only the minimum amount you will have a very tall (and possibly leggy) rose by the end of summer. Because roses are constantly growing, they are in constant need of food. It’s important to feed roses every 6-8 weeks with a quality rose food. Continue feeding through September, and you will have quality rose blooms into fall.

Hydrangea plant in gardenHydrangeas

Big leaf type hydrangea set their flower buds at the ends of the upright or lateral branches, during late summer to early fall. Big leaf hydrangea should be pruned as soon as the flowers have faded. Pruning hydrangea in the spring or even late fall, after the buds have been set, will remove the flower buds and any chance of getting flowers that season. You should begin to see new growth coming in from the base of the plant. To keep the plant vigorous, selectively prune out the dead and weaker stems, both old and new. Don’t prune out all the old wood, since this is what will keep flowering as the new growth matures.

 

california native plantsCalifornia Native Plants

Be very cautious irrigating most of our native plants during the summer. Most are adapted to a wet winters and dry summer moisture cycle. Too frequently irrigating now (especially in soils with a clay content) will most likely cause problems.

 

coleonema in the groundColeonema – Breath of Heaven

(right): Trim after its main blooming season: Spring and early summer. It still will bloom sporadically through the warm months but you can keep it compact and increase the quality of blooms in the future by pruning now.

 

martha washington geranium with multiple flower colorsMartha Washington Geraniums

(left): When they stop blooming lip off their faded flowers and begin to cut them back progressively. These plants are not true geraniums but are actually pelargoniums. They prefer well drained soil and not too much water. Though they can survive many seasons they are often treated like annuals.

 

many types of coleus in a concrete potColeus

This is a shade loving plant (does not do good in deep shade) that is planted for its brightly colored leaf. Remove the flower to prolong the life and to keep the plant compact.. There are newer varieties that grow in the sun but they are generally not as colorful. This plant can be used as a house plant if it is in a bright area in the house.

 

yellow coreopsis flowersCoreopsis

(right): Easy to grow member of the sunflower family. Blooms profusely through the summer. It needs little to moderate water.Dead head for longer bloom. You can use a hedge shear t remove spent blooms.

 

various colors of geranium flowersPelargoniums – Geraniums

(left): Remove faded flowers regularly to encourage new blooms.

 

multiple colored chrysanthemum stacked on top of each otherCare for Chrysanthemums

(right): For the last time, pinch growing tips this month. Continue regular feeding and generous watering.

 

purple flowered groundcoverGround Covers

(left): Trim Vinca major and other ground covers after they’ve finished blooming.

 

purple iris flowerDivide Iris

(right): Lift, wash, and separate three to four year old clumps of bearded iris. Throw away spongy rhizomes, and let cut ends of healthy rhizomes heal several hours or a day before replanting. Cut tops off leaves to compensate for root loss. Set rhizome top just below soil surface; point the end with leaves in the direction you want growth.

Deciduous Fruit Trees:

Do your last thinning on deciduous fruit trees after June drop, nature’s way of getting rid of an overload of fruit. It may occur any time between early May and July but is most likely to happen in June. One day you visit your deciduous fruit tree and find a circle of immature fruit lying on the ground under the branches. You may worry if you are new to fruit trees, but don’t panic! It’s a natural part of the cycle. These trees often set more than double the amount of fruit they could possibly ripen properly, so they simply drop off part of it. If you thinned out fruit on your trees earlier, you enabled the remaining fruit to grow larger and thus will have less fruit dropping now. Nevertheless, you may need to remove even more fruit than naturally drops in order to space your crop evenly down the branches. Inspect other deciduous fruit trees that are less subject to June drop and thin out their fruits also. Clean up any fallen fruit under the tree before it has a chance to rot and spread disease. If it’s healthy, chop it and add it to your compost pile (cover it with earth to keep away flies and rodents). Also water your deciduous fruit trees deeply in June and July.

Feed Warm-Season Lawns:

This month and next, lightly feed Bermuda, Dichondra, St. Augustine, and Zoysia. Follow directions on product label. Or use less expensive nitrogen-only fertilizer; over 1,000 square feet, scatter 1 pound urea, 2 ½ pounds ammonium sulfate.

Watering:

If you have not increased your watering from the spring months, you must do so now. Trees (non-citrus) and shrubs will need deep soaks once each month in the summer, and regular irrigation in between. Citrus and your flowerbeds need regular weekly watering.

Mulch:

To suppress weeds, enrich soil, and conserve soil moisture, mulch flowers, fruit trees, shrubs, vegetables-every plant you can. Spread a 2 to 3 inch layer of sawdust, compost, ground bark, weed-free straw, or dried grass clippings around plants.

Plant midsummer Color:

Marigolds, portulaca, annual verbena, and Zinnias are best bets for fast summer color; they take (even enjoy) heat. Perennials to plant now for flowers this summer and next include vinca rosea (Catharantus roseus), coreopsis, blanket flower (+Gaillardia grandiflora), gazania, sunrose (Helianthemum), sea lavender (Limonium latifolium), and gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta).

Plant Vegetables:

Set out seedlings of beans, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, squash, and tomatoes. In the garden, sow seeds of beans. beets, carrots, corn, cucumbers, pumpkins, and summer squash.

Watch for Plant Pests:

Ripening ears of corn, geraniums, and petunias are favorites of corn earworms (same as tobacco budworm and geranium budworm). Spray with Bacillus Thuringiensis (sold as Biotrol, Dipel, and Thuricide). Control leaf miners in dahlias with the same systemic insecticides used for roses.

Water Lawns Efficiently:

Lawns near the coast need less water than those inland. Depending on weather and where you live give Kentucky bluegrass lawns 3 ½ to 5 inches of water this month. Spread over 10 waterings; give bermuda lawns 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches of water over three or four waterings. DISCLAIMER: Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Garden View.