Tending the Garden – July 17, 2015

Discovered my first magic lily bloom this morning. They are planted under snowflake hydrangeas canopy

Discovered my first magic lily bloom this morning. They are planted under a snowflake hydrangea canopy.

This morning I was in the yard a couple of hours, but I kept water and Powerade handy to stay hydrated. My first magic lily, also called naked ladies, appeared today, as they do every mid-July. Here is a list of things I did this morning:

  • Fertilized all my potted vegetable plants and watered them in well. This is because, with so much watering, I worried that my plants are not getting enough nutrients.
  • Added pine straw to areas where I had killed the grass coming into the shrub border, and used the blower to groom and roll the pine straw.
  • Picked zinnia flowers for the house. Remember to cut the flowers slightly above a node (leaf cluster) to encourage more blooms.
  • Seeded my fall marigolds to make sure they can be ready to plant in late August. James Horton of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens seeds his this time of the year, so that is why I thought it was time to do mine. Dwarf marigolds are sensational in fall.
  • Sprayed herbicide on some weeds in the backyard turf. I am trying to control an infestation of nutgrass.
  • Watered the compost pile to encourage decomposition of the cut back perennials I added earlier in the week.
  • Since my tomatoes are continuing to grow (some are now 6 feet tall), I tied any stems that needed it to the stakes.
  • Added a swimming pool algicide to the fountains to control the green alge that had started to appear.
  • And finally, checked all the areas and watered as needed. I checked, even though I have a sprinkler system. In this heat some areas do not get enough coverage, as I have an area that is shallow because some of my garden is on top of rocks.

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.

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