July is notoriously one of the hottest months of the year here in Minnesota. It is essential to take a few steps to stay ahead of the heat, which will ultimately benefit your lawn, your trees, and your flowerbeds. We’re here to help you beat the heat and keep your plants vibrant!
Inspecting your irrigation system to ensure it’s in prime functioning condition will save you unnecessary anxiety as the high temperatures set in. Try to water before 9 a.m. as this is the best time of day to limit evaporation and to make sure that your grass takes full advantage of the watering. Heat and irrigation do not work in tandem. What tends to happen is that during high temps the water either runs off the lawn and into storm drains, or evaporates before reaching the roots.
Do your best to get out and deadhead bulbs after they have bloomed and withered because they are a waste of much-needed energy for the plant once they go to seed. Wait until blossoms are yellow, snip them, and then lightly fertilize to prepare for next season’s blooms. Staying ahead of this task will get you the most bang for your buck with your flowering plants.
If you have gotten a late start on planting your vegetable garden don’t be dismayed! July is actually a great time for planting several varieties of veggies. Fall crops such as snow peas, lettuce, kale, beets, turnips, and onions can withstand the July heat as well as the impending fall weather, which will bring cooler temps. It will also give you a little something to look forward to once things turn from green to gold.
Heat isn’t the only detriment our poor plants have to contend with this time of year. Bugs, worms, and other critters are just as eager to help themselves to our hard-earned harvests as we are! Removing disease-infected tomato leaves, covering lower stems of plants where bugs lay their eggs, and using a floating row cover or biological dust will help keep cabbage worms at bay. The odds are stacked against some of our crops, but with diligence, we can see them through to the fall. Just do a little each day and you will see your work pay off with lush plants, and a bountiful harvest.