July is considered a plant maintenance month here in San Antonio. You should find yourself spending much of your gardening time watering, and protecting your plants. Today we’re popping in to give you some other gardening tips to keep in mind and get you through the month of July.
- Set your irrigation systems for the morning hours, allowing time for them to finish before 11AM (San Antonio follows year-round water restrictions).
- Water container plants thoroughly, keeping in mind that if they have severely dried out you may need to water and go back in about 15 minutes and water again. (Look for soil that has pulled away from the sides of the pot or bubbling come up from the soil, suggesting dry, air pockets.)
AM watering is best.
- Observation in the landscape is key this month. Chinch bugs are rapidly ravaging large portions of your turf (look for uneven, brown patches, usually in the hottest areas of your lawn), while other garden pests are on the hunt to take advantage of under-watered, mistreated plants (spider mites love the hot conditions of summer).
- Prevention is the best method when it comes to controlling pests, but if you have a problem already, take pictures, bring in samples, and Rainbow Gardens can get you the correct products for the correct issue.
We’ll find you the right products for your problems.
- The hot temperatures make it a less than ideal time to plant practically anything in the landscape right now. If you can hold off until fall (the BEST time to plant in San Antonio), do so, if not, be prepared to spend extra time watering and caring for your plants as roots struggle to get established in the heat.
- Enjoy houseplants and succulents during this time of year. Turn your houseplants every couple of weeks so they receive equal amounts of sun exposure and grow uniformly.
- Enjoy the cool of air conditioning inside creating unique terrariums and succulent displays. Rainbow Gardens’ greenhouses are still stocked with plenty of options for indoor plants.
Why sweat outdoors whenyou can garden inside?
Now that July 1st has passed, it is safe to prune your oak trees. Pruning oaks in the heat of mid to late summer, or the coldest periods during winter, helps to prevent the devastating disease oak wilt. Pruning at the correct time of year and painting the pruning cuts are two of the top methods for preventing oak wilt. Rainbow Gardens keeps our shelves stocked with pruning sealant for this very reason. (Don’t think your trees need to be pruned? Check the turf under the canopy of your trees, if it’s declining, it could be from too much shade.)
You can help prevent the spread of oak wilt!
- July is a good time to take a look in the landscape and notice plants and areas of turf that are struggling. Plan to make changes in fall by moving and transplanting plants to another area, and replacing declining areas of turf with groundcovers.
- Fall veggie gardening is right around the corner; plan your vegetable garden layout in the cool indoors and be ready when Rainbow Gardens brings in your favorites.
- Take time to make a list of repairs and replacements that might make your landscape more aesthetically pleasing. Broken trellises, washed out fences, chipped and faded pots can take away from the overall beauty of your gardens. Tally your list, gather supplies, and you’ll be ready when cooler weather allows you to work longer hours in the garden.
Groundcovers can be a great replacement for grass in areas that are too shady to support healthy turf.
Hang in there through summer. This too shall pass!
~The Happy Gardener, Lisa Mulroy