Welcome to Ellis County Master Gardeners Homepage

  • It’s July… What Needs To Be Done?
    Planting
  • Plant tomatoes and peppers from 4” pots. For a chart of recommended varieties for Ellis County, visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vegetable.
  • Crape Myrtles are in bloom at local nurseries so you can be sure that you plant the color you desire. Newly planted trees and shrubs should be kept watered until established.
  • Early July is the time to plant small and medium pumpkins for a Hal-loween harvest.
  • Lawn grasses can be planted this month, although they will need to be watered frequently until established.

Fertilizing and Pruning

  • Fertilize plants that bloom on new growth, such as crape myrtles, trop-ical hibiscus and roses, with a high nitrogen fertilizer to promote late-summer growth and fall blooms. Apply the same fertilizer to give a boost to summer annuals and fall-flowering perennials, as well.
  • Light pruning of erratic spring growth may be pruned to maintain the natural form; however, major pruning should be postponed until mid-winter. Dead and diseased wood from trees and shrubs should be re-moved any time the need arises.
  • Deadhead all blooming plants and clean up containers of dead leaves and spent blooms.

Garden Watch

  • Cicadas are noisy, but do no damage to landscape plants. They are; however, the main food source of very large, wasp-like insects, known as cicada-killers. Although cicada-killers look threatening, they are actually beneficial and generally harmless.
  • Galls on the leaves of live oaks, hackberries and other trees are caused by many species of gall-forming insects and are the result of the fe-male stinging the leaf tissues as she lays her eggs. Although they look unusual, they are harmless and no control is called for, since the insect doesn’t feed on the plant tissues.
  • Whether or not the preceding months have been kind with abundant rainfall, the gardener should be alert for summer drought conditions which could occur at any time now. A typical pattern of the last sever-al years has been for rainfall to be shut off in early July, leaving nor-mally well-hydrated plants lacking sufficient water.
  • Watch out for lawn pests. Chinch bugs multiply rapidly in warm weather and their feeding causes St. Augustine grass to look like drought stress.

Click here to read the complete July E-newsletter

Firewise!

Check out our new Firewise information under the Resources tab above and learn how to be prepared before wildfire strikes.