This article appeared in the July 2002 web issue of Horticulture Update,
edited by Dr. William C. Welch, and produced by Extension Horticulture,
Texas Cooperative Extension, The Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas.

Garden Checklist for
July-August, 2002

By Dr. William C. Welch, Landscape Horticulturist
Texas A&M University, College Station

  • Check plants for mulch. Replace or add when needed.

  • Keep close check on recently set out plants. Inadequate root systems and drought can be damaging. Plants injured by last winterís cold should not be allowed to suffer drought stress.

  • Sow seeds of the following annuals for late summer and fall flowering: marigold, zinnia, periwinkle, petunia, cosmos, portulaca, Click on picture to view larger image ageratum. Transplants, if available from your nursery or garden center, will usually provide faster color.

  • To keep hanging baskets looking attractive, soak them in a tub of water every few days in addition to the regular daily watering. This is also a good time to fertilize baskets by incorporating water-soluble fertilizer into the water every 3 to 4 weeks.

  • Divide spring and early summer perennials - including daffodils, daylilies, iris, etc., and replant the best clumps. Discard the diseased or damaged material and share any surplus with friends.

  • Donít forget to water large leaved plants like hydrangeas, coleus, caladiums, and chrysanthemums. Even in shade, the hot, dry wind can soon deplete the soil of moisture where these plants are grown.

  • Bluebonnet seeds should be ordered this month so you will be ready to plant in August and September.

  • If you have planted copper plants for fall color, be sure to pinch out the tips of the branches to encourage branching and develop bushy, compact plants.

  • Gladiolus corms can be dug, cured, and stored as soon as the foliage turns brown.

  • Many spring flowering shrubs will be forming flower buds in late July and August. Drought conditions can reduce both the quantity and quality of spring flowers. This is true of azaleas, camellias, peaches, pears, forsythias, and other similar plants. Donít allow them to suffer drought stress at this critical time.

  • Clean up iris beds and thin out clumps if crowded. They can be transplanted and divided anytime from late July to October.

  • The care you give your rose garden in July and August will determine both the quality and the quantity of flowers you will have in late September and October. Adequate moisture and an application of nitrogen fertilizer in late July will be beneficial.