Putting new plants in the garden in July will not be a problem, but you must remember to keep newly planted flowers and bushes watered.
When watering plants, make sure you water enough to reach the plant roots. Also, 2 to 3 inches of mulch will help keep plant roots cool and help retain much-needed moisture.
Remember to deadhead established flowers so they will continue to bloom. Fertilizing regularly will keep plants healthy and blooming. Always follow package directions for correct application.
Now is the time to spray gardenias for control of white flies and sooty mold, and spray crape myrtles with insecticides for aphid control. Apply a second application of pre-emergence herbicide for crabgrass and broadleaf weed control. Treat lawns for mole crickets in early July. Now is also the time to spray roses for insect and disease control, and be on the lookout for chinch bugs.
If you notice irregular patches of dead grass surrounded by a halo of yellowing and dying grass, you may be seeing your first clue of chinch bugs. The islands of dying grass increase in size as the chinch bugs increase in numbers. During sunny, hot, dry weather the damage develops rapidly. There are several insecticide products, liquid and granular, available for chinch bug control. Catch this pest early to reduce damage to the lawn.
This is the time of year for daylilies. Once daylilies are established they need very little care. They are very tolerant of most gardening mistakes, and they make a great flower for beginning gardeners to plant.
Here are a few hints to help establish a beautiful daylily garden or border.
First, most varieties of daylilies should be planted in an area where they receive at least 6 hours of sun each day. Choose an area where the soil drains well. If your soil is heavy or wet, you will need to create a raised bed. Do not plant near trees or bushes that will rob daylilies of necessary water and nutrients. If you choose such an area, be diligent in watering and fertilizing. When digging the bed, be sure to remove all weeds and roots.
Next, determine the spacing of plants. If the landscape plan is to cover a bank with daylilies, plant each plant approximately 24 inches apart. If you plan to edge along a walkway with daylilies, use a short variety and space plants 12 to 18 inches apart in a single line. If you are planting daylilies as a flower border, space them a minimum of 6 inches apart. A sufficient depth for planting daylilies is approximately four to six inches deep for most varieties. Plant each root with the growing tips facing up.
For excellent daylily growth, fertilize with any slow release, composted, organic matter, or your own compost in the spring or fall. Mulching your daylily bed with one to four inches of mulch will not only help retain moisture, but will also inhibit weed growth. As with other flowering plants, daylilies need deadheading to encourage blooming. Snip off the dead blossom an inch below the flower base, and remove foliage that looks past its prime.
Always remember, if you have a problem with garden pests or diseases that you cannot solve, contact the Clemson University home gardening information center at (888) 656-9988 or visit hgic.clemson.edu.