The Backyard Gardeners
Gardening for Fun!

Gardening Tips by Season
The horticulutral suggestions on this page are pertinent to the Southeastern portion of Virginia, a transition area between zones 7b and 8a. 
Current Season-Summer

June Gardening Tidbits
  • Remember the opposite of heat is not water.  Deeply water with 1 inch a week if rains are not adequate..
  • Cool season grasses (fescue) do nothing but cut the grass until the growth slows.
  • Warm season grasses (Bermuda, Centipede, Zoysia, St. Augustine) the best time to establish a lawn or overseed is May-July.
  • Mark your perennials with color, variety and species so you will know specifics when you divide them in the fall or next spring.
  • Feed daylilies and hosts with 10-10-10 fertilizer and add lime to daylilies.  Dead head spent daylily blooms.
  • Prune azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons to shape after bloom is complete.  Feed with fertilizer for acid loving plants after pruning.
  • Roses should be blooming this month.  They are heavy feeders so feed with rose fertilizer every 2-4 weeks.
  • Lightly feed perennials monthly with 10-10-10 or 5-10-10 fertilizer.
  • Mix green matter into compost pile if it isn’t heating up enough.
  • Herbs are basically care free so they do not need fertilizer or much water.
  • If vegetables have leaf spot, carefully diagnose the problem before treating.  Several problems have similar symptoms.

July Gardening Tidbits

  • Remember the opposite of heat is not water.  Deeply water with 1 inch a week if rains are not adequate.
  • Be wise when gardening in the heat.  Drink plenty of fluids when the temperatures rise.
  • Azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons should be pruned by July to avoid damaging next year’s blooms.
  • July and August are the best times to divide iris.
  • Mid July to early August is the optimum time to treat for white grubs.
  • Poison ivy is a year round problem.  Be careful and wash with soap and water after exposure.  The oils that casue the irritation can be spread by pets or on tools or clothing.
  • Pinch back and fertilize many perennials such as daylilies, phlox, delphenium, daisies, sedum, hostas and lamb’s ear to get second bloom or new growth.
  • To get a second bloom from spent annuals, cut back to about ½ the size and fertilize with ¾ cup of 5-10-10 fertilizer for every square yard of planted area.
  • Mulch herbs to keep roots cool.
  • Use fertilizer specific for tomatoes and don’t smoke while gardening.  Plants like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant are susceptible to mosaic virus common in tobacco. 

 August Gardening Tidbits

  • Remember the opposite of heat is not water.  Deeply water with 1 inch a week if rains are not adequate.
  • Many turf grasses may see fungal diseases this time of year.  If you suspect you have a turf fungal disease, contact your local extension agent and ask how to dig a sample for analysis.
  • Do not fertilize fescue and set your mower to 3-4 inch height to mow during the hot months to reduce stress on the lawn.
  • September is the ideal month to begin fertilizing and overseeding fescue lawns. 
  • Survey any damage done by storms and do the least pruning necessary to reshape damaged plants.
  • Be sure to correctly diagnose a problem before using a pesticide.
  • You may be able to get a second bloom from crepe myrtles if you dead head the spent blooms.
  • Try to avoid deep cultivation in your flower beds in August.  This may cause damage to surface roots and increase loss of soil water.
  • Clean up any fallen rose, camellia, azalea and peony leaves to reduce disease and pest infestation later.
  • Continue to separate and plant iris.
  • Make plans with a neighbor to harvest any veggies and fruits that become ripe while you are on vacation.
  • Fertilize and water your strawberries now to increase yield.



Upcoming Season Preview-Fall

Do not over fertilize lawns and gardens. Sweep up errant fertilizer particles from the streets, driveways and walkways and put it back on the lawn or garden.

Water roses frequently and fertilize every two weeks until October 1.
(This is 6 weeks before the normal
average frost date.

Store liquid pesticides where
temperatures will not fall below 40
° F.
 Low temperatures may result in a breakdown of the chemical.


Check out the website and sign up for Diggin'In the Daily Press Gardening newsletter with Kathy Van Mullekom.  You'll find hints, gardening information, garden projects, and more!!!

Website Builder