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July Organic Maintenance


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JULY

Plant*:

  • Prepare new beds with quality compost, expanded shale, lava sand, green sand, dry molasses and whole ground corn meal. Work amendments into the native soil. If possible, prepare beds under trees with the Air Spade to prevent injury to roots.
  • Color for fall including: asters, celosia, cosmos, marigolds, morning glory, Joseph’s coat, ornamental grasses, Mexican bush sage and zinnias.
  • Container-grown nursery stock and field-grown trees.
  • Warm-season lawn grasses.
  • Herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, lemon grass, lemon verbena, etc.
  • Tomatoes, peppers, melons and other warm-season vegetables for fall gar- den. Plant pumpkin seeds around July 4 for Jack-o’ Lanterns for Halloween. Also plant beans, black-eyed peas, cantaloupe, chard, cucumber, eggplant, New Zealand and Malabar spinach and summer and winter squash.
  • Wildflower seed - better now than to wait until fall.


Fertilize:

  • Avoid synthetic, high-nitrogen, salt fertilizers especially nitrogen-only choices.
  • All planting areas with organic fertilizers, if not done in June.
  • Use greensand for iron deficiency and other trace mineral deficiencies.
  • Use high calcium lime for low pH soils and calcium deficiencies. Also drench with fireplace ashes and water. Use one rounded tablespoon per gallon of water.
  • Foliar feed with Garrett Juice or aerated composted tea on all foliage. Drench the soil around plants as well.
  • Roses, to encourage fall blooms.


Prune:

  • Dead or damaged limbs.
  • Flowering plants to remove spent flower heads and encourage new flower production.
  • Trees and shrubs if needed - no flush cuts.
  • Lightly prune roses.
  • Prune flower heads off crape myrtles.


Water:

  • Water carefully and efficiently during drought periods.
  • All planting areas deeply but infrequently during dry periods.
  • Outdoor container plants daily, others as needed. Maintenance Pest Control.
  • INSECTS: Cinch bugs: Dust natural diatomaceous earth or spray the orange oil-based fire ant control mound drench formula.
  • Elms leaf beetles, lace bugs: Spray summer-weight horticultural oil or orange oil based mound drench products. Use Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) on infested plants only.
  • Spider mites: Spray garlic pepper tea or any spray that contains liquid seaweed.
  • Fire ants: Drench with one of the mound drench products. Apply Spinosad product. Apply beneficial nematodes.
  • Fleas, ticks, chiggers, Bermuda mites: Dust natural diatomaceous earth during dry weather. Spray orange oil mound drench products and apply beneficial nematodes anytime, but especially during wet weather. Dust with very light amounts of sulfur in alkaline soils.
  • Webworms, bagworms, leaf rollers, and other worms of moths and butterflies: spray Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) with one ounce of orange oil per gallon. Add one ounce of liquid molasses per gallon of spray and spray at dusk. Release trichogramma wasps next year when leaves first emerge in the spring.
  • Scale insects on euonymus, hollies and camellias: Spray horticultural oil or fire ant mound drench formula or remove the ill-adapted plants. Southern gardeners should avoid evergreen euonymus.
  • Mosquitoes - Spray garlic tea and apply dry granulated garlic to the soil and pots.
  • DISEASES: Spray hydrogen peroxide products such as BioSafe.
  • WEEDS: Hand remove or use mechanical devices. Spray vinegar based herbicides if needed.


Odd Jobs:

  • Mow weekly or as needed and leave clippings on the lawn.
  • Turn compost pile, add new ingredients and start new piles. Add molasses to piles to stimulate biological activity and eliminate problems with fire ants.
  • Mulch all bare soil with composted or other shredded native tree trimmings or other coarse-textured natural material. Avoid pine bark, cypress, dyed woods, rubber and plastic materials.
  • Feed and water the birds!


*Planting recommendations based on North Texas climate, which is zone 8. Check with your local nurseries and extension service for specific varieties and timing.


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