Trees / Shrubs – Hand pick Japanese beetles and drop them into a soapy pail of water–or pay your kids to do it! Adult beetles are difficult to control and using pheromone traps may just make the problem worse. The bottom line is–if you have the menu, they will come to the restaurant!
Flowers – Annuals and container plantings need regular fertilizer applications to continue bloom. Liquid feed provides the most immediate results but is not long lasting. Cut spent blooms from perennials to encourage mid-summer re-bloom. Harvest blooms of attractive perennials and shrubs at peak bloom for dried floral arrangements later.
Lawns – Fourth of July means fertilizer application! Reduce levels of fertilizer applied in shady areas to avoid burning. Hot summers can take their toll on cool-season turf grasses such as bluegrass. Light, daily irrigation can reduce heat stress on lawns. To avoid disease problems it’s best not to irrigate at night when the grass blade will stay wet for long periods of time. Also, after heavy rainfall, back off the automatic sprinklers for a brief period.
Vegetables and Fruit – Renovate and fertilize your strawberry patch right after harvest to increase production next year.
Planning / Garden Design – If you’re tired of hauling the hose around, plan for next year to incorporate drip irrigation or “leaky” hose in flower and shrub beds.
Pesky Bugs – If the bugs don’t bug you–the animals will. Summertime vegetable gardens mean good eating for woodchucks and other rodents. Chicken wire fences can help keep them out of garden areas, however browsing deer will not be deterred by such devises unless the device is tall. Ten foot electric fences are the only sure way to discourage deer from feeding, however a variety of repellents work for short periods of time. Remember to change your strategy continually, because they can get used to anything!
Planting – Plant balled and burlapped, balled and potted, and container-grown ornamental landscape plants.
Pruning – Head back the new growth and lightly shape broadleaf evergreen, deciduous and narrowleaf evergreen shrubs. Shear formal hedges to maintain the desired shape, size and thick appearance.
Watering – Irrigate newly planted or established ornamentals any time there is less than 1 inch of weekly rainfall and plants are actively growing. Apply water at the rate or 1 quart per square foot of planting area on poorly drained soils. On well-drained soils, use a half-gallon of water per square foot.
Plant protection – For newly planted ornamentals, spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch over the soil in the bed or around trees.
Source: Rebecca Finneran – MSU Extension & Bulletin E-1947