Red, white and blue with salvia, petunia, Angelonia and ‘Diamond Frost’ Euphorbia.
Perennial lilies and hyssop for summer color
Bring the tropics home with hibiscus
Being led down the garden path
Butterfly bush doing its’ thing
Sunflowers brighten our lives
A Tiger Swallowtail, the Virginia state insect
The spring garden has fully transformed into the summer garden. Crape myrtles and hydrangeas are in bloom, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash are thriving and cookouts on the patio are finally routine.
Maintain a healthy garden this summer by assuring that your plants have the correct amount of water. New plants and those growing in containers will dry out faster than established plants growing in the ground. Root competition from shade trees may cause soil to dry faster than soil shaded by the house or deck. This is why it’s so important check the soil for moisture before you water. Too much water can be just as damaging as not enough water. If you are unsure about the need to water, dig 4”-5” down into the soil and feel it with your fingers. If the soil is moist it should feel like a moist sponge. See the our full watering instructions.
Trees and shrubs that provide color in the month of July include crape myrtle, althea, spirea, hydrangea, summersweet, hypericum, butterfly bush and golden rain tree.
Avoid pruning azaleas and rhododendron after the second week of July as they will begin setting their buds for next year’s blooms.
Deadhead old flowers from roses, butterflybush, althea and re-blooming hydrangeas to keep the flowers coming.
Perennials that provide interest in the month of July include daylilies, rudbeckia, phlox, veronica, ligularia, tickseed and much more.
Stop pinching chrysanthemums by July 16th.
Lightly prune and fertilize leggy annuals in hanging baskets, containers or flower borders and they will be looking good as new within a few weeks.
Fertilize all water lilies and lotus once a month to keep them blooming continuously throughout the season.
Achieve clear pond water with proper plant balance. If the pond is in full sun, 50-70% of its surface must be covered with foliage, such as floating heart, water hyacinth, water poppy, water lily, or lotus.
Underwater grasses produce oxygen and use the nitrates in ponds, helping to improve the water clarity. Here are some simple guidelines to follow when trying to figure out how many grasses you need in your pond:
Add day and night blooming tropical water lilies to enjoy show stopping color regardless of the time of day. Hardy water lilies bloom only during the day and tropical varieties, which are considered annuals in this area, include day and night bloomers. This makes it possible to enjoy the bloom in the late afternoon and evening. Day blooming tropical water lilies bloom heavier than hardy lilies. The flowers stay open longer each day and they bloom much later into the season. Night blooming tropical water lilies open their flowers at approximately 5 pm and do not close until the following morning around 9 am. This is perfect timing for those evening barbecues and parties.
Feed your pond fish with summer fish food now that the water temperatures are above 70 degrees. At the higher temperatures, fish metabolize at a faster rate, creating a need for more protein.
Stake tomato plants or use Merrifield’s custom made two piece tomato cage. This tomato cage can be placed around mature plants and is made from extra heavy gauge wire.
Start seeds for fall vegetables this month. This includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and many others.
Avoid frequent (daily) light watering as this leads to shallow root systems and promotes the spread of disease.
Keep your mowing height high, 3’-4” through the summer. This encourages deep roots and helps shade the soil for improved heat and drought tolerance.
Fertilize zoysia, a warm season grass, with Merrifield Premium 26-0-12 Lawn Food.
Lawn growth will slow and color will begin to fade for the summer with cool season grasses Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue.