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ever. Fertilize and water the plants regularly so they will set the flower buds for next spring’s crop. With the July heat, sometimes soil-borne disease starts to show up in the landscape. Phytophthora is present in the soil and as the soil warms up, this disease becomes apparent in many azalea and rhododendron plantings. Sections of the plant, and in many cases the plant itself, just up and dies in a matter of weeks. Many gardeners move here from the western shore and find that they just can’t grow these plants like they did in their former location because of the heavy clay soil. The Phytophthora disease organism thrives and spreads in soils

Rhododendron adversely affected by Phytophthora. in germinating because of the high temperatures. Try lowering the soil temperatures by covering the seed bed with a f loating row cover like “re-may” or some other shading material. Succession plantings of green beans can go in until the first of August, and you can get in another seeding of summer squash for fall production. Wait until August for the fall planting of peas. July is the time to renovate your strawberry planting. Select the most vigorous strawberry plants for next year’s crop. Remove other plants, including runners, that developed over the last year, to ensure that all the plant’s energy goes into the development of the primary plants. Cut the foliage one inch above the ground to eliminate insect and disease problems. Be careful not to cut the crown of the plant, how-

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July 2015 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times july 2015