Some summer gardening tips – Prince George Citizen

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Here are some tips to help you maintain your garden in July: Fertilize the lawn. It’s time for the second fertilizer application. Most lawns that were fertilized in May should be fertilized again.

This gardening tip first appeared in The Citizen in 2014, but Jos Van Hage’s wisdom never gets old:

Here are some tips to help you maintain your garden in July:

Fertilize the lawn. It’s time for the second fertilizer application. Most lawns that were fertilized in May should be fertilized again. Use a good quality slow-release fertilizer that has added minerals, such as 24-4-16

Vegetable gardens and flower beds could benefit from a second application of fertilizer. Use a fertilizer that has a high average index (phosphorus). Phosphorus helps root development and increases flower and fruit production. 8-20-20 is a good granular fertilizer for flowers and vegetables.

Trees and shrubs that were fertilized in May can also be fertilized a second time this season. Use a tree/shrub fertilizer such as 18-4-8. Nitrogen (first number) is higher because that’s what promotes a lot of new foliage.

Container gardens and hanging baskets really get full and need to be fertilized weekly. I prefer to use a water soluble fertilizer such as 12-36-12. It is mixed with water, following the instructions given on the container, then put in the watering can or a fertilizer applicator at the end of the hose.

Remove finished flowers (dead head) to keep flowering plants healthy and tidy. Finished flowers should be removed before they begin to set seed, as this takes energy away from the plant. This is done on annuals, perennials and flowering shrubs. Removing finished blooms will also keep plants clean and prevent mold or mildew that can occur when blooms begin to decay.

Early flowering shrubs that are not pruned in the spring should be pruned right after they finish flowering. These are the flowering shrubs that bloom on old wood (growth from previous years). If these were pruned in the spring, many future blooms would be suppressed.

Mid-summer is a good time to prune evergreens like cedars. New growth is sheared off to keep the tree/shrub even looking healthy and full.

Keep watering, especially on newly planted planting material and container gardens. Recent rain has been good but the ground has been very dry for the past 2-3 weeks of hot dry weather. Vegetable gardens and hanging baskets should be watered daily. Vegetable gardens and flower beds benefit from a good, prolonged watering every few days (when needed) rather than short daily watering times. By watering longer, the water sinks deeper and makes the roots of the plant deeper, which is better in the long run. If possible, try to water in the morning rather than the evening so that the foliage of the plants is dry overnight when the temperatures are cool. Cool temperatures and wet foliage can cause mold and mildew.

Everything grew well, including the weeds. Continue weeding. It is much easier to walk the garden every 10-14 days to remove weeds when they are small. Weeds take away important moisture and nutrients from desirable plants and harbor pests and diseases.

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