July Garden Checklist


Keep your eye out for dry periods and water your annuals if we receive less than 1/4 inch of rain every few days. Container gardens need daily watering. Watch out for root rot; too much water can create problems.Watch annuals for spider mite damage. These small pests are almost invisible and feed on plants by sucking juice out of the leaves. They generally live on the underside of leaves, and when the population gets large, there is often a webbing material going from leaf to leaf. These pest reproduce quickly and can go from egg stage to egg-laying adult stage in seven days. If plants are being damaged, spray with malathion or insecticidal soap two to three times, seven days apart.Annuals to plant include celosia, coleus, crossandras, exacum, impatiens, kalanchoe, nicotiana, ornamental peppers, portulaca, torneias, salvia, and periwinkle.


Watch over bulbs that have a tendency to overtake your garden. Separate those and give away to friends. Bulbs planted too deeply need to be removed. Transplant bulbs if the area is receiving too much water.


Bay laurel, culantro, ginger, horehound, lavender, mexican tarragon, mint, parsley, oregano, rosemary, sesame, and thyme can be planted now.


Mower blades may need sharpening by now. Add iron to green up the lawn but avoid nitrogen fertilization this month. Watch for chinch bug damage in St. Augustine lawns."Take-all-root-rot" will be in full force during the summer.Be sure to avoid over watering and over fertilizing.If mole crickets are damaging the lawn, begin applying mole cricket bait. Water before you apply the bait. Baits should be applied late in the afternoon when there is no chance of rain. When watering, don't allow baits to soak into the soil, because water destroys the product.


Summer rains should provide all the water necessary. Cut off old flower heads, prune off dead or insect infested areas, and pinch off tips of stems to encourage denser growth.


Remove seed heads of crape myrtles to encourage blooming through September. Remove old flower and seed stalks. Prune now for trees that flower in the winter. Fertilizer and water is not needed for adult trees and shrubs with the exception of palms and fruit trees.People living in the Beaches area should watch for cabbage palm caterpillars in late July. these are the caterpillars that drop out of palm s in large numbers and try to find a place to make a cocoon. They usually make cocoons out of old palm fronds and can stain siding and damage lawn furniture, doormats and other fibrous materials. If they get indoors, they can damage drapes, carpet and upholstery. To control, spray palms with Dipel or Sevin and be sure the house is sealed tightly to keep them out.


It's too hot to be planting anything but lima beans, eggplant, okra, Southern peas, peppers, and watermelon. However, this is a good month to solarize your potential fall garden. Till your plot, moisten the soil, cover the ground with clear plastic. Place heavy objects around the edges to keep the plastic from blowing away. Let the sun bake help control fungi and nematodes. After 30 days till the soil, replace the plastic and bake another few weeks. Plant your August or September garden



Rebecca Jordi
Horticulture Agent IV
County Extension Director
Contributing Editor
email: rljordi@ufl.edu