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Summer landscape tips
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The local extension office will offer a free program on Native Plants. The program will begin at noon June 3, at the Dawson County Extension Office.

As you enjoy the days of summer, a few landscape tips to keep in mind are as follows:


• Watch shrubs and flowers carefully for water requirements. Supply plants with about one inch of water per week in the absence of rain. 


• Continue to dead head your annuals and perennial flowers. This will prevent them from going to seed and help them to reflower this summer.


• Fertilize your roses at monthly intervals with either granular or liquid fertilizer. 


• Inspect plants frequently for pests such as spider mites, aphids and Japanese beetles.


• Avoid deep cultivation around evergreens that have roots near the ground surface, so roots are not damaged.


• Inspect trunks and branches of dogwoods for injured bark or fine dust being pushed from burrows in trunks by borers.


• Cleanup fallen rose and peony leaves.


They can harbor disease and insect pests over the winter if allowed to remain on the ground.


• Root cuttings of woody shrubs and evergreens, such as azaleas, holly, and hydrangea, at this time of year.


• Powdery mildew diseases attack a great many ornamentals, most often in late summer when the days are warm and the nights are cool. Some mildews, particularly those on roses, apples and cherries, also are increased by high humidity. Prevention by proper cultural techniques is the first defense.


Grow resistant varieties; space and prune plants to improve aeration and lessen shading; water early in the day and at the base rather than on leaves; and reduce nitrogen applications to avoid excessive, late-season growth.


• Avoid mowing your lawn too low during times of intense heat or drought.


Try to cut every five days removing only one-third of the leaf blade.


• Be careful when applying herbicide to lawns during the hot days of summer.


Apply during cloudy days or during the early morning hours.


For additional information, call (706) 265-2442.


Clark Beusse is the Dawson County extension agent. For more information, call (706) 265-2442.