Northern & Central Midwest

July, 2004
Regional Report

Continue to Take Care of Roses

Finish the last fertilization of hybrid roses before August 1. Continue to cut off spent blossoms, and keep an eye out for black spot on non-resistant varieties. Remove any leaves that have olive brown or black spots or that are all yellowed, especially if they have already fallen from the plant.

Cut Back Perennials for Rebloom

Some perennials that have given a spring show can be sheared back to produce more blossoms for the end of summer and into early autumn. Trim back leggy stems and faded flowers of catmint, delphiniums, geraniums, and salvia to make the plants produce compact new foliage and blossoms.

Cut Back Unattractive Perennial Foliage

As daylilies and other sturdy perennials begin to fade, remove the unattractive foliage to keep the garden looking good. In fact, daylilies, columbines, centaurea, and many other perennials can be cut back entirely to encourage attractive new foliage for the late-summer and autumn season.

Seed Fall Crops

The end of July is the time to plant seeds for fall crops. Plant beans, bush cucumbers, beets, and carrots now and save spinach, lettuce, and other greens for sowing in a couple of weeks. Keep sowing every two weeks to keep the crops providing your table with goodies throughout autumn.

Water Soil Before Fertilizing Vegetables

If you are fertilizing your vegetable garden with a commercial fertilizer, be sure to water first. Otherwise, you may risk burning the foliage and roots with a high concentration of fertilizer salts. Avoid this by using liquid fertilizer or organics such as compost or composted manure.

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