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Lee County Out In The Garden

Lee County Out In The Garden — July 2020

Dr. Bill Burdine - Susan McGukin

PO Box 2297, Tupelo, MS 38803 - 662-841-9000

Featured Plants


This evergreen tree is native to the southern United States and grows in full sun to partial shade, preferring moist, well-drained soil. The large white flowers are fragrant and may be used in floral arrangements. Its large leaves are dark green on top and brown on the bottom. The leaves and the seed pods, which appear in the fall, are often used in holiday decorations. These trees can grow to 100 feet tall, so be sure to select a space that can handle a large tree.


This biennial, or short-lived perennial, is a native plant in Mississippi and is a wonderful pollinator for butterflies, bees, wasps & other insects. Usually 24-36 inches tall, this Rudbeckia prefers well-drained, moist soil and full to partial sun. It is heat and drought tolerant. The showy yellow flowers brighten summer flower gardens, fields and roadsides. This is a good cut flower for arrangements; cutting the blooms encourages the plant to rebloom later in the season. Black-eyed Susans are easily grown from seed.


Grown primarily for its vibrant colors, this popular annual comes in a wide array of colors from lime green to deep burgundy. Many varieties have ruffled or scalloped leaves. Different varieties have been developed for sun and shade, so read the plant label before purchasing. Coleus prefer fertile, well-drained soil and may be planted in the ground or in a container. They do not require additional fertilizer during the summer but do enjoy lots of water. Tiny blue flower spikes are often removed because they spoil the shape of the plant. As coleus grow, they may be pinched back. Root these tips in water to create new plants.


One of the most beloved plants of the South, this old-fashioned perennial grows well in full sun, yet enjoys a bit of afternoon shade. The white petals and golden centers are showy in any garden and are a good companion to the various flowers blooming during the summer. They are also a good cut flower for arrangements. Shasta Daisies like fertile, organically rich soil that is well-drained. There are numerous varieties that have varying heights from dwarf to 36 inches tall. Some are more heat tolerant than others. This flower is easily grown from seed. Once established, divide clumps every 3 years in early spring.

Garden Calendar: July


  • Use Portulaca or Marigolds to fill in bare spots of flower bed.
  • Root cuttings of Azalea, Boxwood, Camellia, Gardenia, Holly, and Poinsettia in coarse sand. Cuttings should be 4-6 inches from new growth with lower leaves removed.
  • Plant now for color in the fall: Marigold, Zinnia, Celosia, and Joseph's Coat.
  • Daylilies may still be planted.
  • Start cuttings for house plants: Ivy, Wandering Jew, Philodendron, and Begonia.
  • Plant fall vegetables: Cabbage, Parsley, and Collards.
  • Plant Pumpkin seeds for a Halloween harvest.


  • Do not fertilize Camellias after July 1.
  • Fertilize Chrysanthemums around July 15.
  • Fertilize all of the garden as you did in March.
  • Fertilize lawns with well balanced fertilizer.


  • Remove faded flowers from Crape Myrtle to encourage a second blooming.
  • Pinch back Mums before July 15 to insure a fall bloom.
  • Cut back broken or withered fern fronds. New growth will appear for fall garden.
  • All vegetables must be picked regularly to ensure continued bearing.
  • When cutting Boxwood into a hedge, make sure the base is wider than the top to allow sunlight to reach base of plants.
  • Remove dead limbs from trees and shrubs.
  • Roses should be pruned to encourage fall blooms.
  • Remove flowers from Basil and cut Mint to encourage new shoots.


  • Check mulch on Azaleas and Camellias. Mulch should be at least 2 inches thick.
  • Keep Zinnias and Mums mulched to conserve moisture.


  • Water Azaleas well because they are setting flower buds now.
  • Cut grass at 2.5 - 3 inches during hot weather.
  • Water the whole garden deeply once a week (1 inch is needed).

Home Accent

Never leave house plants in a closed home over a vacation. Either water and place under a shady tree or have a friendly neighbor come in and water them for you.

In Bloom

Caladium, Cleome, Crape Myrtle, Four-o'clocks, Hibiscus, Impatiens, Liriope, Marigold, Mallow, Moonflower, Oleander, Periwinkle, Plumbago, Portulaca, Salvia, Ageratum, Zinnia, Balsam, Butterfly Weed, Canna, Cleome, Cosmos, Dahlia, Daylily, Gladiolus, Hosta, Lily, Loosestrife, Petunia, Phlox, Rudbeckia, Scabiosa, Shasta Daisy, Snapdragon, Snow-on-the-Mountain, Spider Lily, Tuberose, Verbena, Veronica, Althea, Buddleia, and Montbretia.

Garden Calendar: August


  • Plan beds for bulbs. Order Tulips, Hyacinths, Dutch Iris, Daffodils, Narcissus, and Amaryllis.
  • Prepare beds for October planting by adding compost or leaf mold.


  • Plant Daylilies in a sunny location, they will be well established before winter.
  • Divide and transplant Louisiana Iris, Easter Lily, Canna, Liriope, Ajuga, and Shasta Daisy.
  • Plant cool season vegetables: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Spinach, Potatoes, Lettuce, Carrots, Beets, Radishes, and English Peas.
  • Plant warm season grasses: Buffalo, Bermuda, and St. Augustine.
  • Mums should be planted for September bloom and fall color.
  • Marigolds, Asters, Zinnias, and Celosia can be planted to replace faded annuals.
  • Plant seeds of Calendula, Columbine, English Daisy, Forget-me-not, Pansy, Sweet William, and Violet.


  • If acid loving plants including Azaleas, Camelias, and Gardinia show signs of chlorosis (yellowing of leaves), a treatment of Iron Chelate should cause leaves to regain their green color.
  • Feed mums with a complete fertilizer every two weeks and water thoroughly until buds show color.


  • Cut back annuals such as Impatiens and Vinca to encourage fall blooms.
  • Remove dead and damaged wood from trees and shrubs.
  • Cut back rose canes to 24-30 inches from ground for autumn blooms.
  • Continue to remove dead heads in the garden to stimulate blooming.
  • Disbud Camellias, Dahlias, and Chrysanthemums to produce specimen blooms.


  • Water garden deeply, but infrequently throughout the month.
  • Water early in the morning or in late afternoon. Water on leaves during the hot of the day can cause the sun to burn leaves.
  • Potted plants and hanging baskets need to be watered daily.
  • Make sure Azaleas and Camelias stay well watered, because they are forming flower buds for next year.


  • Mow weekly and leave clippings on the lawn.
  • Turn compost pile.
  • Feed the birds. Do not use food color for hummingbirds.

In Bloom

Ageratum, Angel's Trumpet, Balsam, Begonia, Browallia, Caladium, Canna, Celosia, Clematis, Dahlia, Four-o'clock, Funkia, Gladiolus, Lily, Hosta, Impatiens, Marigold, Periwinkle, Phlox, Portulaca, Rattle Box, Salvia, Snow-on-the-mountain, Torenia, Vinca, Zinnia, Althea, Butterfly Bush, Crape Myrtle, Hydrangea, Oleander and Roses. Additional information and publications can be found at:



Effective June 1, 2020, I assumed the role of Interim County Director/Ag Agent for Lee County Extension in addition to my permanent position as Extension Agronomy Specialist for NE Mississippi. In 28 years with MSU, I have served other positions as: Research Assistant, County Agent, Area Agent and Regional Specialist. My specialty is row crop production but I will do all I can to support every facet of agriculture and youth in Lee County. In fact, I was part of the initial group that developed the “Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo” to help young people find a career they are passionate about. I look forward to working in the Lee County Extension Office and tackling new endeavors. Feel free to reach out with any questions and I hope to meet many of you soon.


Bill Burdine, Ph.D.

Something To Think About

If you want pumpkins for Jack-o-Lanterns, plant by July 4th. These large pumpkins need enough time to mature prior to Halloween. They require plenty of garden space. Pumpkins to eat may be planted later. Check the seed package for specific information.

Some of your vegetables will continue to produce if you control insects & diseases and keep the plants fertilized & watered. If you wish to plant a fall garden, finalize your plans now. Consult the MSU Garden Tabloid for additional information.

Have you noticed flowers blooming around town that you’d like to incorporate in your own flower beds? If so, start a list and purchase the seeds or plants early next spring!. Most gardeners love to discuss their plants, so stop by and ask for names, if needed. Just be sure to socially distance.

Many people confuse Poison Ivy with a common plant ~ Virginia Creeper. They have similarly shaped leaves, but the key difference is their number of leaves

Poison ivy: "Leaves of three, leave them be."
Virginia creeper: "Leaves of five, let them thrive."

(If you happen to come across poison ivy, immediately wash your hands with soap and cold water. It’s also a good idea to wash your clothes in case the leaves brushed against them.)


Open every Saturday from 6:00 a.m. until Noon (or until sold out)

Locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers/flower arrangements plus goat milk soap, baked goods, canned goods, etc. are often sold.

They have a Facebook page that lists what is available each week.

Go to for more garden information

Be sure to follow Lee Extension and Lee County Master Gardeners on Facebook

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Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. GARY B. JACKSON, Director

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Portrait of Dr. Bill Burdine, Jr.
Extension Specialist I
Agronomic Crops