Archive for July 19th, 2010

What to Do in Your July Gardens

Monday, July 19th, 2010

In Northern United States and Canada – From now on garden wastes will become available. Stems and foliage of crops that have been harvested, annual weeds that are hoed off and raked up and later leaves fallen from trees are examples of this material. Unless it harbors pests or diseases that are carried over in the soil, these wastes can be turned into valuable fertilizing and soil conditioning compost by piling it in a suitable bin or heaping in an out-of-the-way corner and allowing it to decay. Greenwood leafy cuttings of a great many shrubs, trees and perennial herbaceous plants, including ground covers, taken in July root readily.

Now that the weather is warmer, raise the cutting height of the blades of the lawn mower so that the grass is cut not less than two inches high. Apply selective weed killers and practice hand weeding to eliminate Crab Grass and other lawn weeds. Lift and divide bearded Iris shortly after they are through blooming. Toward the end of July Siberian Iris may be treated in the same way. Iris of these types normally require this treatment every three or four years.

The Weather and Your Garden

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Even in the smallest garden a wide range of microclimatic conditions exists. These can be used to control the amount of sunlight, water and wind coming into contact with plants, which determines their health. For instance, the way plants are grouped creates a microclimate, since the proximity of one plant may reduce the water, sun and wind received by its neighbour.

While in a hot climate a patio should be sited to catch a cooling breeze, in more exposed areas it should offer shelter from the wind. Design can be as basic as this.

Before ordering new plants or making changes in the layout of your garden consider the fundamental climatic conditions of your region, any significant local differences, and finally your garden’s own microclimate: that is, the small variations within the overall climate particular to your own garden, caused by the shade or protection given by a neighbouring building or a group of trees, for example.

The incidence of frost will be less under overhanging trees and covering the ground with materials such as straw or sacking will also help to reduce night-time heat loss. A free flow of air, ensuring that cooled air gets whipped away by the wind before its temperature drops too far, prevents the formation of frost pockets.

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