Things to Do in Your Garden – July
Garden – Continue to deadhead flowers. Snap daylily spent blooms late afternoon or evening so that you will wake up to a neat garden. Recycle spent bloom into the compost. Herbicide sprays drift even on calm days. Apply weed killer by using a painter’s trim roller. Porous plant containers dry faster than plastic and may need watering more than once a day.
Hummingbirds – Change feeder sugar water every three days during the summer, using white cane sugar (Domino or C&H), only. Hummers do not like beet sugar. The Hummingbird Society states, “Do not use any other sugar – not turinado(golden-colored raw sugar), raw, powdered(it contains starch) brown, or organic – and never use honey or artificial sweeteners. Spring water is preferred, but most tap water is acceptable.” Honey produces a fungus that clogs their throats resulting in death.
Monarchs – Whether you raise Monarchs in container to release, or observe them in your garden inspect their caterpillars for the tachinid fly eggs. The yellowish mass on their backs will eventually kill them. To destroy the eggs, Monarch Butterfly Garden recommends rinsing the caterpillars and then gently rubbing off the eggs. It will not harm the caterpillars.
Trees – Inspect trees for breakage, splitting and cracks from high winds and rains. Cut damaged into the healthy, solid wood, or back to the tree collar. The collar is a series of rings found where limbs grow from the trunk. The collar cells will scab over the cut. Do not cut into it or flush with the trunk. Painting or other artificial treatment will seal in insects and disease.
Trees that have lost half of their limbs should be removed.
Check for tree borers that appear in spring and summer. Insecticide treatment timing is critical as larvae enter the tree, 10-14 days after hatching treatment is ineffectual. Indications are frass(sawdust), round holes in the bark, and tree limbs dying from the base upwards.