July 2013 Gardening Calendar
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! https://wilsoncountynews.com/subscribe-today.php?
In the flower garden the vinca, moss rose, cosmos, zinnias and purslane should all be doing well. This has been a good year for gladiola production. Let the leaves decline from green to brown naturally before you dig up the bulbs for storage for planting next February.
July is not the greatest month for rose blooms. Keep the roses irrigated. Fertilization and pesticide sprays can be cut back until September when the autumn growth flush begins.
The best recommendation for tomatoes is to pull the spring planted plants so they don’t become a nursery for fungus and spider mite production. Some tomatoes will survive the hottest part of summer but overall production is usually better if a new crop is planted next month for autumn production.
If you have southern peas, use some of them like you would cut green beans. Harvest and cook them before the peas in the pod reach full size.
The moisture in May and June has been great, but it means that the summer weeds have really taken off. The most obvious weed in many landscapes is Bermuda grass. It spreads by seed, by underground runners and across the top of the soil. Pieces of Bermuda grass that have been dropped will even root where they fall.
You can try to pull Bermuda grass by hand but that is a very difficult job and is only a temporary fix if you don’t get all of the roots.
Bermuda grass is susceptible to contact herbicides. Glyphosate is the most obvious herbicide to use. Spray it on healthy growing Bermuda grass and within a week the grass quits growing and changes color. The chemical that dried on the green part of the plant had been translocated to the roots. The color change indicates that the whole plant is dying, underground runners and all!
The problem with using glyphosate is that it kills almost any plant whose foliage it settles on. Accidental spray contact with vegetables, roses, shrubs, newly planted trees will result in dead plants. There is a set of contact herbicides however that kills grass, including Bermuda grass but does not hurt broadleaf plants. Grass specific contact herbicides such as Grass Be Gone, Over the Top, Vantage, Ornamec, Poast and Fusilade are selective for grass. They can be applied to unwanted Bermuda grass growing in the midst of roses, groundcovers, annual flowers and shrubs without hurting the desirable plants. Check the label before use in vegetables and fruits: it is usually not allowed during the harvest period.
The hottest part of the summer is a good time to prune live oak trees. The oak wilt spores are not active in the heat. Even if the spread of the disease is not as much of a threat at this time of a year, paint the pruning wounds for extra insurance.
Midsummer is not the favored time to plant trees and shrubs but it can be done with container plants. Water is the key. Apply the water at the base so the root ball is wetted. There is very little root growth outside of the root ball in hot dry weather.
Black-chinned hummingbirds will be common in any landscape with flowers or a sugar water feeder. Rinse and refill the feeder once every week. Once a month use a bottle brush for a more thorough cleaning. Bird baths are also appreciated by resident birds. In midsummer water may be more of a limitation for bird population than seeds or other food.
Calvin Finch Ph.D. is a Horticulturist and Director with Texas A&M Water Conservation and Technology Center.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Beef cattle seven-year decline ends (May 18, 2016)
Educational video for water well owners (May 18, 2016)
Free Beef Quality Assurance training set for May 25 (May 18, 2016)
Fretwell wins Region 8 high school all around rookie saddle (May 18, 2016)
Grant to restore, enhance the monarch butterfly habitat (May 18, 2016)
Grass-fed beef conference (May 18, 2016)
Gun safety and barbecue in New Braunfels (May 18, 2016)
La Vernia Poultry Judging wins state, advances to nationals (May 18, 2016)
Lawn, landscape, rainwater program May 21 in Floresville (May 18, 2016)
Lesser prairie chicken off the list (May 18, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 18, 2016)
Luling Foundation Field Day (May 18, 2016)
Protecting your tomatoes (May 18, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 18, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 18, 2016)
As El Nińo fades, expect warmer, drier weather says Texas A&M expert (May 11, 2016)
Floresville team wins second at state (May 11, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 11, 2016)
Llamas, load up! (May 11, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 11, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 11, 2016)
Transplanting mountain laurels (May 11, 2016)
2016 La Vernia Junior Livestock & Poultry Show (May 4, 2016)
Beef, forage symposium May 10 (May 4, 2016)
Cattle raisers’ crime watch (May 4, 2016)
Corn acreage increases in Texas (May 4, 2016)
Help controlling the weeds (May 4, 2016)
Krueger leads the way at La Vernia stock show (May 4, 2016)
Land Heritage nomination deadline nears (May 4, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (May 4, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (May 4, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (May 4, 2016)
May 2016 Gardening Calendar (May 1, 2016)