July and August are hot and frequently dry months over practically all of North
America. Gardeners should watch for signs of drought and take measures against it.
Everywhere drought is apt to occur, supplying adequate amounts of water when needed,
is of paramount importance to your plants survival.
If watering is necessary, a deep soaking of the ground is best, then do not water for
several days until your plants show signs of wilting. A quick sprinkle or frequent
light waterings should be avoided, as they can encourage the roots to remain close
to the surface and your plants may become shallow rooted.
The end of July or early August is a very good time of the year to lift, divide and
transplant some of your garden perennials such as:
Bearded Iris, Bleeding Heart, Daylilies, Japanese Iris, Oriental Poppies, Phlox and
Siberian Iris. For Peonies, it is best to wait until late August-early Sept.
If you live close to wooded areas, deer browsing on your plants can quickly become a
real problem. Here is a formula for deer repellent you can spray around all areas you
want to protect.
4 tablespoons ground Cayenne Pepper
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup peeled garlic
2 cups of water
1 cup clear ammonia
1 cup Murphy's Oil soap
1 bar Ivory soap (optional)
To combine the mixture, boil the cayenne pepper in the vinegar for a minute or two,
then strain it through a coffee filter.
In a blender, puree the garlic in 2 cups of water, and then strain through another
Combine both filtered liquids with the ammonia and oil soap in a 3 gallon garden
sprayer. Then fill the sprayer to the maximum level with water.
For extra stickiness, float the bar of Ivory soap in the sprayer and let it slowly
dissolve over several fillings.
Lawns shouldn't be mowed as closely now as in the spring, during hot weather
cut grass at about 2 inches.
Do not pinch shoots of hardy Chrysanthemums after the middle of July.
Continue dead-heading annuals, perennials and summer bulbs for continuous blooms, and to
prevent seed formation.
This beneficial insect Metasyrphus Americana or American hoverfly gets its name from
the way the adults hover in the air above flowers. Although they resemble bees, they
are a member of the fly family. They have clear wings, a yellowish face with a black
stripe, and 3 yellow cross bands across the abdomen.
Hover flies live in meadows and fields throughout North America and generally lay their
eggs on plants that are infested with aphids. After hatching the larve feed on the aphids
for 2-3 weeks, before dropping to the ground. In addition to aphids, larve also feed on the
larve of thrips, scale insects & small caterpillars.
Adult hover flies are also helpful pollinators, drinking nectar from a wide variety of flowers.
They are attracted to weedy borders or mixed garden plantings, especially if those areas are
infested with aphids. Flowers that are particularly attractive to them are sweet Alyssum, small
flowered herbs and Queen Anne's Lace.