• Extend the Life of Your Garden in August
    Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at

  • While gardens are busily producing vegetables and blooming flowers in August, there is much gardeners can do to extend the life of their gardens into fall.

    Deadhead flowers: Most flowering plants are full of blooms and bulbs. Remove flowers as soon as they show signs that they are past their prime. Removing these flowers will make way for new flowers that will often last well into fall. 

    Pull Weeds: Watering gardens is not only good for plants, but unfortunately, good for weeds. Keep weeds in check by removing them while they are small and before have an opportunity to seed. Once the seeds germinate, you will be battling more weeds next year. Weeds also steal nutrients from plants and sometimes attract insects that can harm the garden.

    Rose Care: Feed, prune and water roses weekly or biweekly to encourage flowers into the fall. Faded blooms should be trimmed down to the first five-part leaf. Gentle pruning to shape the plant also strengthens lower canes and the root system.

    Plant Herbs and tomatoes: An assortment of herbs can be planted in August and still provide a hearty harvest. Plant basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme and mint from transplants. Place a second crop of tomatoes in full sun that will grow through fall and ripen by Thanksgiving.

    Mow Regularly: Lawns grow quickly during the summer months. Keep grass blades to at least an inch long to protect the soil from overheating. Longer blades also help protect against water evaporation and will stimulate deeper root growth. 

    Plant Your Fall and Winter Vegetables: In Southern California, gardens can do just as well in fall and winter as they do in spring and summer. In mid-August, plant winter vegetables from seed or starter plants. These vegetables include green onions, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard, radishes and beets. The warm August and September soil will give seeds and young plants a good start.

    Plant Summer Flowers: You can still plant summer flowers this month. These include Ageratum, Alyssum, Bedding begonia, Cosmos, Dianthus, Dusty miller, Impatiens and Marigolds.

    Plant Trees While In Bloom: August is an ideal time to plant most types of trees. The warm soil and mild temperatures give the trees a good start ahead of wind, rain and cooler weather. Most trees are in bloom so you can see the kind of flowers the trees produce. Summer blooming trees include Jacaranda, Magnolia Grandiflora and Crape Myrtle
    Evaluate What’s Working: August is a good time to take stock of your garden to find out what’s thriving and what’s not. Make note for next year for an even more successful garden.

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