Ocean City Beautification Committee recently added a lovely new pergola at City Hall.
by: Julie Golightly, CPH
- Unless your lawn is irrigated, grass is growing at a slow rate this month due to the lack of rainwater. Maintaining a proper mowing height of 3-4 inches is critical during very hot and dry weather.
- Keep mower blades sharpened. Dull blades tear grass and can lead to disease problems
- With hot, dry weather, it is common for cool season lawns to brown and become dormant. No water is recommended unless lawns are newly sodded or seeded
Water lawns deeply and less frequently. You want to build strong, deep roots. These practices will reduce weeds, reduce the need for extra fertilizers and will build a healthy stand of roots and turf. This will greatly reduce the amount of fertilizers and herbicides needed
- Crabgrass is growing rapidly and can be controlled with a post emergent herbicide
Grubs are best controlled in July with acelepryn and imidicloprid. Only use these chemicals where grub populations exceed 6-8 grubs per square foot of soil and if they are killing your lawn
- Keep newly planted shrubs and trees well watered this summer! Give the root ball a good soaking every few days and apply a 2-3” layer of mulch. Keep mulch away from the trunk or stem
- Corrective pruning can be done anytime to remove dead, damaged, crossing or low branches. Minimize aesthetic pruning since this will stimulate new late growth that may not be winter hardy
- Poison ivy is growing rapidly at this time. Spray with glyphosate or cut back stems and continue to do so to eradicate. Be careful with handling poison ivy!
Healthy shrubs and trees can be planted throughout summer as long as proper care is given to provide sufficient water and care. A very common planting mistake is planting too deep. Plant the root ball at the same level as it is in its container and apply 2-3” mulch.
- Many pests and diseases are very active now and can be observed including aphids, bagworms, lace bugs, mites, leafhoppers, scale, leaf miners, sawflies, and slugs. Not all pests pose threat to ornamentals and do not require treatment where other insect infestations may require treatment of a horticultural oil or systemic insecticide. Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service Office for tips to control insects and disease. They are an excellent resource!
- Diseases such as powdery mildew, blight, anthracnose and galls can also exist now. Again, contact you local Cooperative Extension Service for the best advice
Herbaceous Ornamental Plants
- Many perennials can be deadheaded or cut back to encourage a second blooming
Deadhead spent flowers on annuals to encourage more vigorous growth and pinch or cut back trailing annuals to prevent them from getting “leggy”
- Pinch the flower buds of asters, mums, and other fall blooming perennials to keep the plants bushy and prevent early flowering
- Practice proper weed control! Many weeds are flowering and setting seed. Pulling weeds will minimize future weed problems. Applications of glyphosate are also helpful
- Attract beneficial insects to your gardens by planting a wide variety of annuals and perennials that will bloom over the entire growing season.
- Pests, insects, and diseases are prevalent now. Monitor vegetation for populations and new signs or symptoms of damage. Cultural and environmental factors cause many of the plant problems in home landscapes. Be sure to proper identify the source of the problem and carefully choose the correct practice for treating or controlling the problem. Your local Cooperative Extension Service can provide the proper advice and assistance
- As air and water temperatures continue to warm up, algae growth will also continue to increase. Planting aquatic plants to cover 60% of the pond’s surface to also reduce algae growth
- If fish are present and algaecides are used, be careful to not kill the algae too quickly. Sudden decomposition of the algae can significantly lower oxygen levels and asphyxiate the fish. This also holds true of pond plant decomposition. Aerating the pond with a fountain or waterfall can help prevent this from happening
Now is a good time to divide crowded aquatic plants
Soil, Fertilizer, Mulch, and Compost
- Adding organic matter like composted leaves, grass clippings, and manure will improve soil structure and attract earthworms (which are a sign of healthy soil)
Now is a good time to have your soil tested if you have not done so for several years
- Fertilize plants according to their specific needs and based on soil test recommendations. Trees are typically fertilized after they drop their leaves in the fall. Fescue lawns are best fertilized in the fall as well.
- Do not fertilize ornamental garden plants that appear healthy and productive. Over fertilizing produces weak growth and can encourage sucking insects like scale and aphids
- Keep fertilizers off hard surfaces to prevent runoff in the Chesapeake Bay
Make sure mulch is applied to protect plant crowns and shallow root systems. Apply at 2-3” and keep away from direct contact with shrub and tree trunks. Do not build mulch volcanoes around trees
- Mix or turn compost piles to speed decomposition. If your pile is overly wet, incorporate straw, leaves, or shredded newspaper. If it is dry, add enough water to just moisten. Compost piles should be at least one cubic yard to heat up properly and decompose plant material
- Keep woody sticks, stems, and roots out of your compost since they take too long to breakdown and turn the compost pile
Vegetable and Herb Gardening
- Control weeds by laying down newspaper with straw, mulch, or mulched leaves
- Keep tomatoes and pole beans staked to provide proper support
Cut back herbs as they begin to flower to keep plants bushy and productive
- Keep vegetables and herbs well watered during dry weather
Fall vegetables can be started now. Late crops of squash, beans, and cucumbers can be direct sown through the end of July
- Many pests, insects, and diseases are present now. Spinosad is an excellent organic insecticide for control of beetles, caterpillars, and leaf miners. Insecticidal soaps and oils will kill aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. Again, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service to provide proper control methods
Beauty Spot Award nominees sought
The Ocean City Beautification Committee is seeking nominations in eight categories in which someone can win a 2014 Beauty Spot Award, including residential, condominium, retail, hotel, motel, commercial, restaurant and Boardwalk. Only nominated properties will be judged. Help is needed by the Beautification Committee in finding those special properties that are evidence of civic pride and community beauty.
Arbor Day Celebration at Northside Park
Beatification Committee offering special rate for “Reflections of Life” display
The Ocean City Beautification Committee is once again presenting a special offer to the public for the committee’s Reflections of Life project. The project provides a distinctive means of recording important events and interests in the lives of individuals, their loved ones and businesses. Your gift of a bronze, silver or gold leaf will be mounted on the impressive “Reflections of Life” tree sculpture inside the lobby entrance of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. The leaves may be commemorated with any of the following suggestions: In Memory, In Tribute, In Celebration of an Anniversary or In Honor of a Graduation.
Would you like to remember or honor a loved one or friend with a bench in Ocean City? The Ocean City Beautification Committee has a number of TreMendous benches in the smaller parks around town ready for adoption.
The following are locations where you can find these benches.
- Robin Park
- Little Salisbury Park
- Jamestown Road Park
- Fiesta Park
- Convention Center
Should you have any questions, you may call the chairman of the committee, Donna Greenwood at 410-289-7060.
Park Bench in Gorman Park was recently dedicated to Kevin Hall. He was the mail carrier in this area. There are a few benches available. If you are interested in dedicating a bench, contact us.
Ocean City Beautification Committee Gives Luncheon to Park Workers
Good time was had by all at the luncheon given by OCBC for the park employees that worked on the beautiful lights this Christmas season. The luncheon was held at Northside Park on January 24th which was a very cold day. We had hot soup made by Steve Genua, homemade cookies baked by Joyce Melocik. We also had an assortment of sandwiches and salads purchased from Montego Bay Supermarket.
Josie Argentino has won a few Beautification Awards in the past. We only give these awards once a year and we judge them in July. There are lots of properties that look beautiful year round. This is just one of them. We invite you to take a walk and appreciate the work that is done by our citizens.