Tending the Garden – July 11, 2015

A light layer of new pine straw freshen the landscape

A light layer of new pine straw freshens the landscape.

Early to mid-July, I like to turn my attention to grooming the landscape. As I told you several weeks ago, I fertilized the turf (see Summer Lawn Care). Now that the zoysia has a deeper green color and is growing well, I carefully sprayed Roundup along the edges of our shrub beds and around our trees to kill off the invading grass. I use the pre-measured packets of Roundup Quick Pro that makes a gallon of spray. Since this is fast acting, if the weather is sunny and the grass is actively growing, I am ready to groom the beds the next day. I do not edge with a shovel to get a clean line, but that is great, if you have the time and energy in this heat. What I do is take fresh pine straw and lightly sprinkle and tuck it around the foundation planting and the trees in the turf areas. Along the edges, I thicken the pine straw up. Then I take my blower and, on low speed, use the air to roll the pine straw along the edge, so next time I mow I will have a clean, smooth edge. And, the pine straw that was not rolled up by the blower is bagged into the mower’s grass catcher. It’s a simple trick, and makes your yard look very professional.

It is also time to shape shrubs that have long shoots that look out of place. Remember to go deep into the plant to remove the shoots, preferably back to where the shoot sprouted. Also, if you shear be careful and make sure the looks are alike if they are in a row (rarely does this look do much for a foundation planting).

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

3 thoughts on “Tending the Garden – July 11, 2015

  1. John,
    I look for all your gardening advice on the internet. I appreciate the directions/suggestions with the purpose following the directions. Although your gardening reputation gives the information credit, the purpose you add to your articles answer my “why?”
    Thank you,
    Bobbie Thompson

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