July 2012 Gardening Calendar
June 28, 2012 | 4031 views | Post a comment
This is an occasional column available to all users. Watch for Calvin Finch's weekly column, South Texas Gardener, every week in the Wilson County News. Subscribe today.
Thank goodness, it has been a wetter and cooler spring than 2011. Your plants should be in generally good condition. Don’t be surprised, however, if there is some hangover from the 2011 drought. Root systems that were injured in 2011 may not be capable of supporting the lush foliage that is a response to the good growing conditions in 2012. The result is that some shrubs and trees will suddenly drop foliage or die when we have a typical South Texas dry, hot spell. The best you can do is provide regular deep watering to high risk plants such as those planted in the last few years or those that showed stress symptoms in 2011. Regular deep watering means every three weeks if there is no rain. Overwatering wastes precious water and can be as detrimental to the high-risk trees as insufficient water.
In the vegetable garden, you should be reaching the end of your tomato harvest for the spring. Spider mites have been a problem this year, so don’t prolong the season. Get the fruit off as soon as it shows some color and discard the plants as soon as possible. It will be time to plant fall tomatoes late in the month or in early August and you do not want spider mites to move from the old plants to the new plants.
Peppers, eggplants, okra, and southern peas can continue to produce through the hottest part of the summer but everything else should be removed by now. Till-up any vacant soil so it can dry out and heat up. The condition helps reduce disease pathogens, and other pests in addition to the spider mites.
For those of you who plant fall tomatoes this month or early August, watch for Surefire transplants. This wonderful fall tomato is now in heirloom status as the hybridizers have quit producing seed. Surefire is a relatively small (tennis ball size) heat-setting determinate tomato that produces mature fruit very quickly and always beats the earliest freeze.
Jerry Parsons, the Gardening Volunteers of South Texas, and cooperating nurseries are producing enough seed for a small compliment of transplants every autumn. Grow Surefire with Celebrity, Tycoon, 444, Solar Fire, and other recommended varieties.
In the flower garden your zinnias, vinca, purslane, moss roses, and cosmos should be performing well. Keep them watered and add one-half cup of slow release lawn fertilizer per eight feet of row every four weeks. To maintain zinnia blooms at peak levels they should be used for cut flowers or deadheaded. If you allow the seed to drop they will produce new plants but the results may not be as colorful or large-flowered as the transplants you originally planted.
Keep watch for marigolds at your favorite nursery. If they have large African or American hybrid plants, you may want to plant a bed for fall color. A solid bed of 18-inch tall gold or yellow marigolds planted on 18-inch centers makes a spectacular show.
The key is to plant sturdy transplants before they show any bloom. That way they grow large enough to support as a full head of blooms. The advantage to planting in the fall is that spider mite populations do not grow as fast as nights become longer and temperatures become cooler. Like tomatoes, marigolds are very attractive to mites.
Even, after you harvest the fruit, it is important to keep irrigating peaches and other fruit. Buds for next year’s blooms form over the next two months.
To keep the hummingbirds happy keep the sugar water feeders full. In the summer they need to be rinsed every week with clean water and then refilled. Use a bottlebrush to clean them once every month.
Calvin R. Finch, PhD, is a SAWS Director and Horticulturist.
|Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post comments:
|Other Agriculture Today
| Cattle fever tick area in effect (October 29, 2014)
El Niño development stalled out, but cool,... (October 29, 2014)
Greens are easy to plant (October 29, 2014)
Hay & Forage Report (October 29, 2014)
Livestock Market Reports (October 29, 2014)
Local vs. state control, groundwater is groundwater (October 29, 2014)
SA ranching event Oct. 29 (October 29, 2014)
TDA Market Report (October 29, 2014)
Wilson County Farm Bureau recognizes tenured members (October 29, 2014)
Workshop will focus on saving family lands (October 29, 2014)
AgriLife economist: ‘High’ 2014 grains stocks... (October 22, 2014)
Anthrax case confirmed in Jim Wells County (October 22, 2014)
Corn price plunges, but food prices still increase (October 22, 2014)
Don’t overseed lawn in winter (October 22, 2014)
Enroll for new voluntary dairy program by Nov. 28 (October 22, 2014)
Floresville welding student attends D.C. training... (October 22, 2014)
Hay & Forage Report (October 22, 2014)
Land losses in Texas: 15-year net loss (October 22, 2014)
Livestock Market Reports (October 22, 2014)
No new cases of VS in state (October 22, 2014)
Panhandle vet clinic a rural semifinalist (October 22, 2014)
Pieniazek elected to ag leadership (October 22, 2014)
TDA Market Report (October 22, 2014)
World Trade Organization announces COOL decision (October 22, 2014)
Breed bull, female sale Oct. 24 (October 15, 2014)
Cattle raisers ranch gathering Oct. 24 (October 15, 2014)
Do not be threatened by sapsuckers (October 15, 2014)
EPA extends Clean Water Act deadline (October 15, 2014)
Hay & Forage Report (October 15, 2014)
Livestock Market Reports (October 15, 2014)
Osborne Stables fund-raiser, open house (October 15, 2014)
Rainfall Report (October 15, 2014)
Stocker gains more than 2.5 pounds per head per day (October 15, 2014)
Survey indicates ranchers anticipate herd rebuilding (October 15, 2014)
TDA Market Report (October 15, 2014)
Bluebonnet Horse Expo Oct. 18 (October 8, 2014)
Bull-A-Rama set for Stockdale (October 8, 2014)
Cattlemen to gather in Falls City (October 8, 2014)
Floresville teen is 'sweetheart' — in and... (October 8, 2014)
Hay & Forage Report (October 8, 2014)
Hill Country Agri-Land Workshop (October 8, 2014)
Horseback team rounds up stray cattle on border (October 8, 2014)
Livestock Market Reports (October 8, 2014)
Quail Appreciation Day set for Oct. 15 (October 8, 2014)
Rainfall Report (October 8, 2014)
Taking control of termites (October 8, 2014)
TDA Market Report (October 8, 2014)
The Andersons signs agreements (October 8, 2014)
Farm Bureau county convention Oct. 16 (October 1, 2014)
Going hog wild with ranch rodeo (October 1, 2014)
Hay & Forage Report (October 1, 2014)
Is Clean Water Act protecting water or taking land? (October 1, 2014)
Livestock Market Reports (October 1, 2014)
Nation’s ag commissioners unite to dry up... (October 1, 2014)
October 2014 Gardening Calendar (October 1, 2014)
Stocks make a great addition to winter annuals (October 1, 2014)
TDA Market Report (October 1, 2014)
Texas Beef Checkoff assessment begins Oct. 1 (October 1, 2014)