Dear Gardening Friends,
It’s hard to believe July is here. What happened to June?! The following are some tips for July:
- If any of you are having problems with the lily leaf beetle one of my readers sent me a suggestion – sprinkle coffee grounds on the ground around the lily plants. I have been doing this for the last month and have had very few beetles, eggs or larva. Whether it’s a coincidence or not I’m going to keep it up. Just sprinkle used grounds after making coffee. If you don’t make coffee you might be able to get used grounds from a coffee shop. http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2001/07/cornell-cooperative-extension-master-gardeners-spot-invasive-unpleasant-beetles-new
- Another insect I’ve had trouble with this season is the 4 lined plant bug. It’s a common insect that unfortunately feeds on a wide variety of perennials. It’s small, black with 4 green stripes down its back. The telltale signs are small circular brown spots of the leaves, often in lines. Their active season is just about over but they have laid their eggs in the stems of the plants infected. The important thing for prevention is at the end of the season cut back the plants, including stems and discard. For more information go to: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/Poecilocapsus_lineatus.htm
- Be on the lookout for Japanese beetles. I saw the first 2 making whoopee on a spirea last week. Haven’t seen any since but that’s a sign that they’re on their way. Check out the plants you know they go to and be vigilant dropping them into a container of soapy water. If you get the first ones you’ll have far fewer in the long run. https://blogs.cornell.edu/willow/files/2014/10/Japanese-Beetle-Popillia-japonica-fact-sheet-16vi6b4.pdf
- Powdery mildew is starting to show up on some of my plants. It looks like a white powdery covering on the leaves. Once you see the first signs remove those leaves and treat the plant with a fungicide specifically for powdery mildew. There are some available that are not harmful to the environment. Fungicides are best used before the symptoms show up so if you have plants you know are susceptible start treatment now. Powdery mildew may look awful but it won’t kill the plant. Make sure you disinfect your hands (gloves) and pruner before moving to another plant.
- As the flowers on perennials fade, snip them off at the next leaf join (known as dead heading). This will encourage those perennials that rebloom.
- Then there’s weeding… Just when you think you’re finished more pop up. Try and keep up or at least remove or deadhead weeds before they drop seed. If you haven’t mulched this will help control the weeds.
We reuse pots so please drop off left over pots and flat trays at my home, 170 Pine St (driveway on Lawrence) or 37 N. Union in Williamsville (behind the house by back door). I do not use 6 packs or pots smaller than 4 inches. THANKS!