Garden Checklist for
July - August, 2003
By Dr. William C. Welch, Landscape Horticulturist
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
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Caladiums require plenty of water at this time of year if they are to remain lush and active until fall. Fertilize with 21-0-0 at the rate of l/3 to l/2 pounds per 100 square feet of bed area and water thoroughly.
- Don't allow plants with green fruit or berries to suffer from lack of moisture. Hollies will frequently drop their fruit under drought conditions.
- Prune dead or diseased wood from trees and shrubs. Hold off on major pruning from now until mid-winter. Severe pruning now will only stimulate tender new growth prior to frost.
Grow gourds for birdhouses
- In August, sow seeds of snapdragons, dianthus, pansies, calendulas, and other winter flowers in flats for planting outside in mid- to late fall.
- It's time to divide spring flowering plants such as irises, Shasta daisies, ox-eye daisies, gaillardias, cannas, daylilies, violets, liriopes, and ajugas.
- Plant bluebonnet seeds in August. This winter annual must germinate in late summer or early fall, develop a good root system, and be ready to grow in spring when the weather warms. Plant the seeds in well prepared soil, l/2 inch deep, and water thoroughly.
- Make your selections and place your orders for spring flowering bulbs to arrive in time for planting in October and November.
- Mid-summer pruning of rose bushes can be beneficial. Prune out dead canes and any weak, brushy-type growth. Cut back tall, vigorous bushes to about 30 inches. After pruning, apply a complete fertilizer, and water thoroughly. If a preventive disease-control program has been maintained, your rose bushes should be ready to provide an excellent crop of flowers this fall.
- Establish a new compost pile for the fall leaf accumulation.
- Picking flowers frequently encourages most annuals and perennials to flower even more abundantly.
- It is not too late to set out another planting of many warm-season annuals such as marigolds, zinnias, and periwinkles. They will require extra attention for the first few weeks but should provide color during late September, October, and November.