• Keep Garden Hydrated During August Heat
    Thursday, July 26, 2018 at
  • Lavender

    On average, August is the hottest month of the year in most areas of California. It's also when vegetable and flower plants are producing at their peak. Plan your watering schedule carefully so plants can still thrive no matter how hot the weather.

    Check Soil Moisture Levels: Unless recently added to the garden or we experience unusually hot weather, most plants do not need daily watering. Water plants in the early morning several times a week. Water slowly and deeply. Moisture won't evaporate as quickly when farther down in the soil. Roots will naturally grow downward seeking water. Check the soil moisture level two to four inches below the surface. If the soil is cool to the touch and loose, you can wait to water.

    Mow Smart: When mowing your lawn during summer months, keep grass blades at least an inch long to shade the soil from the sun's rays, reduce water evaporation and stimulate deeper root growth. 

    Step Up Garden Maintenance: With plants growing and producing on their own, gardeners have time to focus on yard maintenance. Remove dead flowers from roses and other flowering plants to encourage more growth. Trim and shape trees and bushes such as varieties of hydrangea, juniper, oleander, manzanita and lupine. Pull weeds, especially in your vegetable garden. Weeds consume water and absorb nutrients.

    Summer Perennial Care: Perennials are hardy plants that withstand cold and hot weather. To keep them healthy and looking their best in summer, immediately remove fading flowers. If on stems, cut the stems all the way to the base of the plant. In cases of where flowers are on the very tip of the stem (such as with lavender and hydrangeas), remove the wilted or dead flowers and then cut back the stems while shaping the plant. If a perennial starts to look too top-heavy (leaves and flowers on top, scraggly stems on the bottom), trim back aggressively. The plant will grow back fuller.

    Plant Tomatoes: The taste of freshly picked tomatoes make gardening worth the effort. Plant a second crop of tomato plants even as your current crop is still producing. The new plants will grow through fall with tomatoes ripening by November.

    Water Herbs That Don't Like Summer Heat: Some herbs do fine in hot weather (rosemary, sage, thyme), but other do not. Keep these herbs trimmed and well watered to get the maximum production:  basil, chives, cilantro, mint and parsley. They prefer more frequent watering (three or four times a week).

    For more gardening tips, go to www.agromin.com.

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