Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in July

Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in July

Article excerpt

PLANTING

* DRESS UP PERENNIAL BEDS.

When spring-blooming perennials such as bleeding heart, fernleaf peony and Oriental poppy go dormant in summer, cut off their yellowed foliage and fill the gaps with container-grown annuals. Dig the planting holes for the annuals off to the side of the perennials, being careful not to disturb their roots.

* REPLACE COOL-SEASON ANNUALS.

Clarkias, Iceland poppies, pansies, and stock can't stand intense summer heat. When they start looking ragged, pull them out and replant beds and containers with heat-tolerant annuals such as gazania, globe amaranth, gloriosa daisy Madagascar periwinkle, marigold, moss rose, petunia, sunflower, and zinnia.

MAINTENANCE

* BE KIND TO BLUEGRASS LAWNS.

When temperatures regularly exceed 90[degrees], bluegrass goes dormant and turns brown if it does not receive adequate moisture. During heat waves, water every other day to prevent stress to the grass.

* CARE FOR CONTAINER PLANTS.

In really hot weather, check containers daily and water when they start to dry out. Foliar-feed container plantings with a liquid fertilizer weekly. If annuals become leggy; Cut their stems back by half to renew their vigor and restore their shape.

* DIVIDE TALL BEARDED IRIS.

The best time to divide overcrowded clumps of tall bearded iris is six weeks after they finish blooming. Toss out all old rhizomes and replant only healthy new fans. Irises are heavy feeders, so before replanting dig in a bucketful of compost or well-rotted manure and a handful of balanced fertilizer. …

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