What to do for July

Inside: Wash hardwood floors with a solution of one part vinegar and four parts water. Swab off immediately with a towel. The vinegar will remove wax buildup but if you leave it on for too long, it will turn your floors green. Use one of the new floor products to add a seal and shine.

Too hot outside? Spend the morning cleaning the basement.

Remove grass stains from sports uniforms and gardening clothes by pretreating them with a mixture of equal parts liquid detergent and white vinegar. Use a spray bottle and an old toothbrush to work the solution into the fabric and to loosen the stain, then wash.

Wash windows. Dust blinds.

Outside: Shear or pinch back aster and chrysanthemums. Dead-head flowers regularly.

Follow a regular routine for fertilizing roses, check for aphids and other squatters while you are at it.

Cut back perennials as they finish blooming.

Divide iris, pass the extra on to friends and neighbors.

Divide oriental poppies. After tops die down, dig up and divide clumps, separate the intertwined roots and replant divisions.

Monitor water needed for potted containers daily.

Watch for tomato worms and other garden pests. Spray when necessary but read labels and allow for enough time to pass before eating vegetables.

Do your second fertilizing of the yard.

Clean your garbage can. Rinse the inside with a garden hose and use an old broom to scrub it with a solution of water and biodegradable soap, rinse again. Let dry in the sun.

Raise lawn mower blade height one-half inch in hot, dry weather. This encourages turfgrass to root deeper and shades the soil, protecting the crown from heat stress.

 

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is an advanced Master Gardener.

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