SUMMER TIPS FOR OKLAHOMA GARDENS

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

JUNE

General Landscape

· Find someone to water plants in the house and garden while on vacation. Harvesting vegetables and mowing the lawn are a must and imply that someone is home.

· Mulch ornamentals, vegetables, and annuals to reduce soil crusting, and to regulate temperatures and moisture during hot summer months. Mulching will reduce about 70 percent of the summer yard maintenance.

· Remain alert for insect damage. Add spider mite to the list. Foliage of most plants becomes pale and speckled; juniper foliage turns a pale yellowish color. Shake a branch over white paper and watch for tiny specks that crawl. Watch for first generation fall webworm. (EPP‑7306)


Lawn

· Fertilize warm-season grasses at 1 lb. N per 1,000 square feet. Don’t fertilize fescue and other cool-season grasses during the summer.

· Dollar spot disease of lawns can first become visible in mid-May. Make certain fertilizer applications have been adequate before applying a fungicide. (EPP-7658)

· Seeding of warm-season grasses should be completed by the end of June (through July for improved varieties such as Riviera and Yukon) to reduce winterkill losses. (HLA-6419)

· Brown patch disease of cool-season grasses can be a problem. (HLA-6420)

· White grubs will soon be emerging as adult June Beetles. Watch for high populations that can indicate potential damage from later life cycle stages as grubs in the summer.


Fruits and Nuts

· Renovate overgrown strawberry beds after the last harvest. Start by setting your lawnmower on its highest setting and mow off the foliage. Next thin crowns 12-24 inches apart. Apply recommended fertilizer, preemergence herbicide if needed and keep watered. (HLA-6214)


Trees and Shrubs

· Vigorous, unwanted limbs should be removed or shortened on new trees. Watch for forks in the main trunk and remove the least desirable trunk as soon as it is noticed. (HLA-6415)

· Pine needle disease treatments are needed again in mid-June.

· Remove tree wraps during the summer to avoid potential disease and insect buildup.

· Softwood cuttings from new growth of many shrubs will root if propagated in a moist shady spot.

· Protect trees from lawnmowers and weed eaters by mulching or using protective aerated covers.


Flowers

· Pinch back leggy annuals to encourage new growth. Fertilize and water appropriately.

· Feed established mums and other perennials.

· When picking fresh roses or removing faded ones, cut back to a leaflet facing the outside of the bush to encourage open growth and air circulation.

Stake tall perennials before toppling winds arise.



JULY

General Landscape

· Water plants deeply and early in the morning. Most plants need approximately 1 to 2½ inches of water per week.

· Providing birdbaths, shelter and food will help turn your landscape into a backyard wildlife habitat.

· Insect identification is important so you don’t get rid of the “Good Guys.” (HLA-7307)

· The hotter and drier it gets, the larger the spider mite populations!


Lawn

· Brown patch disease of cool-season grasses can be a problem. (HLA-6420)

· Meet water requirements of turfgrasses. (HLA-6420)

· Fertilization of warm-season grasses can continue if water is present for growth. (HLA‑6420)

· Vegetative establishment of warm-season grasses should be completed by the end of July to ensure the least risk of winter kill. (HLA-6419)

· Mowing heights for cool-season turfgrasses should be at 3 inches during hot, dry summer months. Gradually raise mowing height of bermudagrass lawns from 1½ to 2 inches.

· Sharpen or replace mower blades as needed. Shredded leaf blades are an invitation to disease and allow more stress on the grass.


Fruits and Nuts

· Continue insect combat and control in the orchard, garden, and landscape. (EPP-7306, EPP‑7313, HLA-7319)

· Check pesticide labels for “stop” spraying recommendations prior to harvest.

· Harvest fruit from the orchard early in the morning and refrigerate as soon as possible.


Trees and Shrubs

· Control bermudagrass around trees and shrubs with products containing sethoxydim, fusillade or glyphosate herbicides. Follow directions closely to avoid harming desirable plants.


Flowers

· Divide and replant crowded Hybrid iris (Bearded Iris) after flowering until August.


Vegetables

· Make fall vegetable garden plantings in late July. Fact Sheet HLA-6009 gives planting recommendations.



AUGUST

General Landscape

· Water compost during extremely dry periods so that it remains active. Turn the pile to generate heat throughout for proper sterilization.

· Always follow directions on both synthetic and natural pesticide products.

· Watch for high populations of caterpillars, aphids, spider mites, thrips, scales and other insects on plant material in the garden and landscape and treat as needed. (EPP-7306)

· Water all plants thoroughly unless rainfall has been adequate. It is better to water more in depth, less often and early in the morning.

Lawn

· Grassy winter weeds like Poa annua, better known as annual bluegrass, can be prevented with a preemergence herbicide application in late August. Water in the product after application. (HLA-6420)

· Areas of turf with large brown spots should be checked for high numbers of grubs. Mid-to-late August is the best time to control heavy white grub infestations in the lawn. Apply appropriate insecticide if white grubs are a problem. Water product into soil. (EPP-7306)

· Tall fescue should be mowed at 3 inches during the hot summer and up to 3½ inches if it grows under heavier shade. (HLA-6420)

· For areas being converted to tall fescue this fall, begin spraying out bermudagrass with a product containing glyphosate in early August. (HLA-6419)

· Irrigated warm-season lawns can be fertilized once again; apply 0.5 lb N/1,000 sq ft in early to mid-August.

· Brown patch of cool-season grasses can be a problem. (HLA-6420)


Fruits and Nuts

· Continue protective insect applications on the fruit orchard. A good spray schedule is often abandoned too early. Follow directions on last application prior to harvest. (EPP-7319)


Trees and Shrubs

· Discontinue deadheading roses by mid-August to help initiate winter hardiness.

· Watch for second generation of fall webworm in late August/early September. Remove webs that enclose branches and destroy; or spray with good penetration with an appropriate insecticide.


Flowers

· Towards the end of the month, divide and replant spring-blooming perennials like iris, peonies, and daylilies if needed.


Vegetables

· August is a good month to start your fall vegetable garden. Bush beans, cucumbers, and summer squash can be replanted for another crop. Beets, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, and other cool-season crops can also be planted at this time. (HLA-6009).

· Soak vegetable seed overnight prior to planting. Once planted, cover them with compost to avoid soil crusting. Mulch to keep planting bed moist and provide shade during initial establishment. Monitor and control insect pests that prevent a good start of plants in your fall garden.



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