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Summer gardening tips

POSTED: July 13, 2011 4:00 a.m.

Summer is a busy time in the garden.

Following are a few tips to keep in mind:

• On trees, you may remove limbs to repair a broken branch now; however, summer is not a good time for general pruning.

• Mulching to conserve moisture, when it is hot and dry, is very important for newly planted trees. But, remember not to let the mulch pack against the tree trunks.

• Guard your trees against borer attacks, as well as other damaging insects, by being extremely careful when mowing or using a power trimmer. Take care not to hit or damage the bark as this may create an entrance for insect and disease.

• Always cut flowers correctly. Cut above a joint where a five-leaflet originates to encourage strong new shoots and blossoms to form.

• Don't forget that hanging baskets will need more water during hot weather. Soak them thoroughly, then water again only when the surface is dry - take care not to overwater.

• Early morning is the best time to water. Watering at night encourages disease on plants.

• Cut summer grasses regularly to prevent browning. You will remove the green part, leaving only brown stems, if you wait until the grass is tall before cutting.

• It is important to cut grasses to the proper height. Listed is the type of grasses with the correct height:

Summer grasses height

Common Bermuda grass: 2 inches

Hybrid Bermuda grass: 1-1½ inches

Centipede: 1½-2 inches

Zoysia: 1-2 inches


Evergreen grasses height

Kentucky 31 tall fescue: 3-3½ inches

Turf-type tall fescue: 3 inches


Cut summer grasses regularly. If the grass becomes too tall and you try to cut at the proper level with one cutting, you may end up with only brown stems.

On another note, don't forget to visit the Dawson County Produce Market.

The market is held each Wednesday and Saturday. Come early, many sellers are sold out by 9:30 a.m.

The market is located in front of the Dawson County Agricultural Center on Academy Avenue.

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