The July hot weather has arrived, and Oklahoma State University has some suggestions for helping with our gardening needs this month.
Sharpen and replace blades on your lawnmower to prevent shredded grass blades. This practice can reduce risk of disease and create less stress on lawns. Mowing heights should be adjusted for turf grasses. Cool-season grasses should be trimmed to 3 inches and bermuda should increase gradually from 11⁄2 to 2 inches during dry hot summer months.
For best results, sod should be established by the end of July to decrease winter kill risk. Brown patch can be an issue with cool-season grasses. Fertilizing of warm-season grasses can continue with proper irrigation. Bermuda can be controlled around trees and shrubs with Poast, Fusilade or Glyphosate herbicides.
Fall veggies should be planted in late-July. Now through August is a good time for dividing to share or replant crowded bearded iris bulbs after flowering is complete.
Continue insect control in the orchard, garden and landscape if needed. With the hotter and drier weather spider mite populations will increase. It is helpful to identify insects to prevent kill off the beneficial guys. Heed label warnings for stop spraying instruction prior to harvest for edibles.
Harvest garden goodies in the morning and refrigerate as soon as possible. Water plants early and deeply, most plants need 1 to 21⁄2 inches of water per week. Shedding of foliage is normal in drought conditions. Water new plantings well.
Providing snacks, shelters, birdbaths or maybe a water feature will create a backyard oasis for wildlife and your family.
Dellena and Brian Jones are members of Garfield County Master Gardeners.