Horticulture Tips for July

Home Grown  by Keith Reed
It is a Consider the following tips for your July landscape:
  • It looks like it may be another bad year for webworms. We will follow-up with more details next week about this common pest but the take home message is these insects are more of a visual nuisance than a real treat to your plants. However, if you wish to treat for them, treat soon.
  • Even though it’s a little on the dry side, the humidity is still high. This means fungal diseases may continue to be a problem on many plants.
  • Many blooming perennials are now passed peak and can benefit from a good dead-heading. In some cases, yarrow being a good example, a hard pruning will make way for the plant to rebloom nicely later this summer. Not all perennials will respond in this way. If you unsure, contact us in the Extension office.
  • Perennials like iris and daylilies can be divided and/or moved the later part of the month. This is also a relatively good time to do the same with peonies. I say relatively because peonies prefer to be left alone and should only be divided if they are really overgrown.
  • Now is the time to get serious if you are considering a fall vegetable garden. OSU Fact Sheet HLA-6009 Fall Gardening provides helpful information on this under-utilized possibility for gardeners in our part of the country. Growers using minimal materials and supplies as temporary covers are reporting extending the fall growing season by an average of 30 days. The same principles are also allowing gardeners to start their spring gardeners well in advance of our normal spring planting dates.
  • With this year being another summer struggle for many vegetable gardeners, I am personally becoming a bigger fan of gardening spring and fall and just relying on the Farmers Market vendors for the summer crops. Payne County is fortunate to have markets in both Stillwater and Cushing. Stop in and give them a try.
  • As summer advances and the rains diminish, look for potential water leaks or inconsistencies in your irrigation patterns and correct as needed. Also remember to shut the system down for a few days when we get those bonus summer rains.
  • If you have not already done so, adjust the mowing height of your cool season turfgrass (such as tall fescue) upwards. About 3” will help it hang on through the summer heat. Do not fertilizer it until this fall.
  • Manage your bermudagrass lawn growth with fertilizer management. Let grass clipping volume help you determine nitrogen needs. If you are mowing weekly and excess clippings are building up, consider reducing your fertilizer rates.

For more information of this or any other horticultural topic, you can contact Keith Reed, the Horticulturist in the Payne County Extension office. Keith can be reached via email at keith.reed@okstate.edu, phone at 405-747-8320, or in person at the Payne County Extension office, located at 315 W. 6th in Stillwater.

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