Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August Gardening Tips

The heat of August can be really rough on your garden. Here I’ve offered some tips to help your plants survive this hot month and get ready for the temperature challenges of September!

- Watering is one of your main tasks this month, especially for plants in containers. It’s not unusual to have to water your container plants more than once a day; once in the morning and once at night. How much to water depends on how dry your soil gets.

- Water non-container plants deeply. This will help to get the water down to the roots and below, so that the roots will grow down and not up as they search for water. Deep roots lead to strong, healthy plants.

- If an annual appears sickly or is just not doing well, go ahead and pull it up and get rid of it. It’s too late in the season to worry about it.

- If a perennial looks like it’s not doing well, you could cut it back to a few inches. It will come back next year with healthier growth. However, please check with your local nursery or on-line resources before you cut your plant back. How much and how late in the year to cut it depends on the type of plant.

- Add mulch to your garden if needed. A thick (2 to 3”) layer of mulch will help your soil to stay moist in between watering and will help keep some of the direct sun off the roots so they stay a bit cooler.

- A moderate summer pruning of your roses might be in store. If your roses seem to be struggling, go ahead and prune them back 25 – 30%. You will be rewarded with lovely blooms again in the fall.

- Keep working on your composting! Add a little moisture to your compost pile if you haven’t done so in a while.

Most of all, continue to enjoy your garden in the cool evenings of San Diego. It won’t be long and they will be gone for this year, waiting to surprise you in the spring once again.

1 comment:

Esther Montgomery said...

We're having little hints of autumn already - and I, for one, will be welcoming it when it comes because I find heat really difficult.

I don't think I could manage San Diego at all!