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July Organic Maintenance




  • Prepare new beds with quality compost, expanded shale, lava sand, greensand, dry molasses and horticultural or 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.  Add bacteria and mycorrhizae products such as Bio S.I.

  • 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-seasonal lawn grasses.

  • Herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, lemon grass, lemon verbena, etc.

  • Tomatoes, peppers, melons, and other warm-season vegetables for fall garden.  Plant pumpkin seeds around July 4th for Jack-o’ Lanterns for Halloween.  Also plant beans, black-eyed peas, cantaloupe, chard, cucumber, egg plant, New Zealand and Malabar spinach, and summer and winter squash.

  • Wildflower seed – better to do now than waiting until fall. 



  • 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 and other trace mineral deficiencies. 

  • Use high calcium lime for low pH soils and calcium deficiencies.  Also drench with fireplace ashes and water.  Use 1 rounded tablespoon per gallon of water.

  • Spray Garrett Juice Plus and drench plant roots with Garrett Juice Plus and Bio S.I.

  • Roses, to encourage fall blooms.



  • Dead or damaged limbs.

  • Flowering plants to remove spent flower heads and encourage new flower production.

  • Trees and shrubs if needed—no flush cuts or wound dressing.

  • Lightly prune roses.

  • Prune spent flower heads off crape myrtles to encourage a second flush of flowers.



  • Water carefully and efficiently during drought periods.
  • All planting areas deeply but infrequently during dry periods.
  • Outdoor container plants daily, others as needed.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water when watering potted plants.



  • DISEASES:  Spray hydrogen peroxide for bacteria and viral diseases and  Bio Wash for fungal diseases

  • Cinch bugs:  Dust natural diatomaceous earth (DiaSource) 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 any spray that contains liquid seaweed.  Garrett Juice can be used.

  • Fire ants:  Drench with one of the mound drench products. Apply Spinosad dry 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 off moths and butterflies:   spray Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) with 1 ounce of orange oil per gallon. 

  • Add 1 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 un-adapted plants.  Southern gardeners should avoid evergreen euonymus.

  • Mosquitoes – Spray garlic tea and apply dry granulated garlic to the soil and pots.  Dry garlic should be broadcast at 1 – 2 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.

  • Weeds:  Hand remove or use mechanical devices.  Spray vinegar-based herbicides if needed.



·        Mow weekly or as needed and leave clippings on the lawn.

·        Turn compost pile, (See Shepherd’s Compost Bin)  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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