With August being the warmest month of the year in Southern California, keeping gardens growing in the heat can be a challenge.
Use Recycled Water: With
calls to cut back water usage, consider recycling your water to
irrigate your vegetables. According to the EPA, sinks account for 44
gallons of water use per day. Put a container in your sink so it can
collect runoff whenever you turn on the faucet. Use the water in your
garden. Go to http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/pubs/indoor.html for more water saving ideas.
Prune Less: Avoid removing large branches from trees and shrubs in summer. The shade keeps soil temperatures underneath the trees cool.
Water Early, Deep and Less Often: Always
a good rule of thumb, but particularly in dry years: water early in the
morning when temperatures are at their coolest. Water deep so moisture
pulls roots further into the soil so there is less need to water as
Plant Flowering Perennials: Now is the time to plant
flowering perennials. Since they are hardy plants that do well year
round, they can tolerate planting in August heat. Flowering perennials
to plant include Peruvian lilies, catmint (good groundcover), lavender,
Lily of the Nile, African iris, California fuchsia and Bird of Paradise.
Vegetables to Plant in August: If you want to spice up
your garden with a few extra items, plant fall vegetables now such as
beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery and green
onions. The warm soil will encourage seed and plant growth. Avoid
planting in a location with constant sun, however. Plant later in the
month for a fall harvest.
Maintain Your Garden: By August,
some vegetable and flower plants may show signs of wear. Continue to
remove dead flowers and trim runaway plant growth. Remove weeds that are
likely to find their way into your garden despite your best efforts.
Weeds can sap nutrients from your garden.
Mow Regularly: Lawns
can quickly go to seed in summer if not mowed regularly. Keep grass
blades at one-inch. This will not only give you lawn its best look, but
will help hold in moisture and stimulate deeper root growth.
Move Container Plants: If
your container plants are wilting even after consistent watering, the
August sun may be too much for them. Move container plants so they are
in shade during the hottest times of the day.
Turn Your Compost Pile:
For do-it-yourself composters, make sure you keep your compost pile
watered and turned regularly. This will encourage decomposition.
Consider covering the pile to keep its contents moist.
For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.
Labels: August gardening tips, vegetables to plant in August, water saving tips, what to plant in Southern California in August