Everything you need to make your garden grow!
Welcome July. In this newsletter are helpful hints on watering, Japanese beetle updates and one of Dan's favorite plants, Clethra.

Stay cool and keep your plants cool also.
Signs of Summer
Mid-summer sunshine, picnics and swimming pools and the dreaded Japanese Beetle, are all signs of summer.  

Japanese Beetle adults appear around the 4 th of July. They dry their wings for a short time and then head off to devour our roses, grapes and Plum trees. Controlling them after they emerge usually involves a combination of hand-picking and Neem Oil or Pyrethrins. The best time to control these insects is when they are in the larval stage which is late August to frost and frost until mid-May. In the fall a chemical control is our best option. In the spring we have beneficial nematodes available which is the best choice for organic beetle control. Keep in mind that 3 other species of beetles also do damage at this time of year and all can be controlled using the same products and timing.
Watering Guidelines
Is the heat wearing you down? It's affecting your plants too, especially those plants that you have just planted within the last month or so. Rapid root establishment is crucial in the first 3 months of planting. The goal is to establish balance between the roots and the canopy. In order to do this, the root system needs to grow quickly. Roots grow quickly when watered properly and most root failure occurs in the first 3 months due to improper watering. A water stressed plant in the first 3 months is vulnerable to decline, disease and insect attack in the future. So start some watering, especially in early morning or late evening.

When watering by hand: Build a soil ring/basin at the drip line of shrub. Fill the basin 2 to 3X’s, 20 to 30 minutes at a time and let the water soak in.
For larger trees & shrubs: Apply a slow trickle of water for 45 minutes around the drip line of the plant.

Avoid overhead watering. Most plants absorb water through the root system as opposed to the foliage. Overhead watering can also lead to diseases.

Do a moisture check: Use your finger to test at least 2 to 3 inches into the soil at the base of the plant. If it is dry, you need to water. If it feels moist, your plant is good for the day.

A general rule of thumb is to water three times a week for the first month of planting something.
Plant of the Month

Clethra alnifolia Summersweet

By Dan Ziomek

July tends to be a slower month in the garden but it’s the month that Summersweet really shines. Summersweet is a native shrub growing 3’ to 6’ high. It can spread a bit owing to its native roots. It prefers moist soils and sun to partial shade. The best feature of this plant is its fragrant, white or pink flowers. These flowers cover the plant in July and are pollinator magnets.   Some of our best cultivars are Compacta, Ruby Spice and Sixteen Candles. Compacta, as the name suggests, grows approximately 3’ to 5’ tall and wide with white flowers. Ruby Spice is a pink flowering form growing 4’ to 6’ tall and wide. Finally, Sixteen Candles is a very heavy flowering form growing 3’ to 5’ tall and wide. 

Add some summer color to your landscape this year with native Summersweet.  
July is the Month To :
  • Cover developing Blueberries with netting.
  • Harvest herbs after morning dew has dried.
  • Last chance to apply season-long grub control to your lawn.
  • Watch for Japanese Beetles dining on leaves.
  • Prune back annuals by a third to keep them from getting leggy.
  • You can still start from seed: Beets, Kale, Carrots, Mustard Greens, Radishes, Turnip.
Message from Tom and Janine
Watering correctly is so important at this time of year.  Keep watering and things will keep growing and remember it is still okay to plant. We are well stocked with fresh Annuals and beautiful flowering Perennials. Stop in and visit our nursery yard or if you have an insect or disease question. It's a little calmer this time of year and we are happy to help.

Tom & Janine Giles
& the staff of the Hadley Garden Center
Hadley Garden Center | 413-584-1423 www.hadleygardencenter.com