Skip to main content

August Gardeners

 It is so darn hot in August (especially in Las Vegas) a gardener just does not want to get out and do anything, that’s fine for a while. I like to sit on the back porch, drink lemonade and peruse all the gardening magazines and plan my order for Irises, lilies, tulips and other spring bulbs. Now is the time to get those orders in.  In Las Vegas October is the time to plant new roses,  I also go online shopping for the best variety and price on roses. August is the month many online nurseries have their rose sales.

              Try to work out in your garden in the early morning when it is cool, below is a to do list   for the August gardener.

Watch your plants closely during these hot, summer days. A little dark sun scorch spot could develop on some leaves, the edges could become a bit yellow or brown and the foliage can begin to wilt. The trick here is to water before the signs actually show on the plants. Once a plant is wilted from dryness it can recover quickly from a good “drink” but it has been stressed and that is not a good thing. Insects and disease generally could attack a stressed plant as opposed to one that is healthy.

               Water when it is required and when you are able. Morning watering is said to be best as the plants have a chance to dry before lower evening temperatures can attract fungus. Evening watering is also acceptable, as the sun is not evaporating the surface moisture as it does when watering occurs in mid-day. In any case, don’t worry about it! Again, when watering is required, do it, regardless of the time of day.

                 While working in your garden, it is a good idea to gain some knowledge about insects in general and the variety of pollinators. Insects belong in our gardens. We would all be better off to learn to attract them than to spend the time and money that many gardeners do to repel them. A garden really wouldn’t be much of a garden without them. In themselves, insects are not “good” or “bad”, “pests” or “beneficial”. They are simply living their lives in an effort to survive and reproduce. They are, for the most part, simply “doing their thing” in our gardens. We love birds in our gardens (well, maybe, when they are not eating our berries or grapes) and most of our favorites eat insects. Thousands of insects (many that cannot be seen with the naked eye) are constantly recycling organic matter directly in the garden soil. Insects also carry out the bulk of the pollination of our flowers. True, certain plants reproduce without pollination but most flowers are the result of the insect’s work. The more diversified our gardens are planted, the more we can look forward to attracting and sheltering the myriad of insects that will keep our gardens somewhat in balance.

           August is a good time to plant for a fall harvest, especially in containers if you don’t have much room. Lettuce, salad greens, radishes, carrots, kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and kohlrabi are all good candidates. Don’t forget fish fertilizer on seedlings twice a week. “Cut and come again” greens such as leaf lettuces, arugula, mustard, etc. will give you delicious mesclun all fall and into the winter. Since this is still the heat of the summer, seeds should be sown in a partly shaded spot so the soil doesn’t get too warm.

          Don’t forget Swiss chard. The “Bright Lights’ varieties will be delicious as the weather gets cooler and the many colors will look beautiful whether in containers or in garden borders. Harvesting this month should include raspberries, melons, tomatoes, squash, peppers, artichokes, onions, sweet corn, eggplant, beans, kohlrabi, strawberries and beets……WOW!

          Prune your herbs now if they are getting out of hand. Catnip, rosemary and basil especially so they don’t flower. Deadhead your perennials. Check your asparagus bed for weeds and mulch. Start planning for drip irrigation next year if you don’t have it installed. Remember, you can do a section at a time if the entire garden area seems overwhelming.

           Start thinking about fall lawn treatment. August 15th to September 15th is the best time to seed (or over-seed) your lawn. It wouldn’t hurt to fertilize roses now for fall blooming. Check your compost. It could use turning this month and make sure it is kept damp-not dried out.

          If you have space in the garden that is not going to be planted for a fall harvest, plant a cover crop such as buckwheat. Also, nemagone marigold seeds can be planted as a cover crop for next year’s tomatoes. They will bloom beautifully throughout the fall season until frost. You can let them stay in their bed all winter to decompose.

Popular posts from this blog

The Best Perennial Plants for Cottage Gardens

Choosing the best plants for your style of gtardening takes some time and thought process. If you have an informal garden then perhaps the cottage mix would work well for you,  I like perennials not only because you only have to plant once, but because they put on a magnificient showy display year after year with very little pruning or maintenance.  You get more bang for the buck.The best perennials plants for your particular garden should include a mix of short, medium and tall plants that bloom early, mid season and late season.  I encourage gardeners to plant lots of white perennials to contrast the bold riotous colors from the rest of the perennials.
I have listed a few of my favorites, which does not include the entire range and selection of perennials.   drop me a cmment and let me know your favorites.

 Hollyhocks are by far my favorite cottage garden plant.  The height brings your eyes up to view the blossoms and gently guides you to view the trees, the sky, the birds flying in m…

7 Steps to Creating a Quaint English Garden

Plan a Cottage garden today and enjoy a spring floral show. Planning a Cottage Garden does not take a lot of work, but will take any inspiration and creativity. A Garden Cottage is whimsical and naturalistic, and it speaks to you, “Come, stroll, stay awhile.”

A good cottage garden plan will incorporate many elements, including a butterfly garden, a small water feature, curved paths, quiet sitting areas, seasonal plants and a herb garden. Cottage Garden’s tend to clutter plants, and they have a burst of color from traditional cottage garden plants, hollyhocks, foxglove, four o’clock, delphiniums, daisies, coneflowers, Echinaceas and last but certainly not least is the lovely roses.

The first steps in planning your cottage gardens are listed below:

1. Make a list of the elements and ideas you want in your cottage garden and draw your cottage garden on paper (it is easier to erase than transplant)  2. Make a list of trees, plants and seasonal plants to buy  3. Garden by thirds, evergreens, de…

Garden Design Basics