August in Your Garden:
Work in the Garden
Continue to water and fertilize hanging plants regularly since they dry out quickly now with the increasing day length and decreasing humidity. You may occasionally need to submerge them and other container plants into a pail of water to rewet the entire root ball. Leech periodically to remove excess salts. Cut spent blooms to encourage increased flowering. Feed everything once more with an all-purpose fertilizer. Yellowing azaleas, citrus, camellias, and may indicate an iron deficiency. Supplement with Iron Chelate or Ironite.
Pinch back cosmos, marigolds, petunias, vinca, and zinnias to prevent them from going to seed. Long lasting verbena will bloom from now until November, then again in spring. For areas of full sun and poor soil, try using coreopsis, African daisy, gazania, or sea lavender. Plant winter-spring color later in the month as they come available including calendulas, pansies, Iceland poppies, primroses, snapdragons, stock, sweet alyssum, dianthus, and viola.
Vegetables and Herbs
Feed tomatoes for a later harvest. Harvest ripe vegetables such as cucumbers, melons, onions, potatoes and squash. Pick blackberries and raspberries as they ripen. Cut and dry herbs including chives, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme before they have a chance to flower. Cut flowers and herbs early when dew has dried and before the sun gets hot. Store dried plants in a cool, dark place and in airtight containers.
Repair any worn or bald spots. Fertilize warm season lawns such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia. Brown spots on your lawn may be lawn moth which can be controlled with Spectracide Once and Done, or brown patch which can be controlled with Bayer Fungus Control. The most common reason though is your dog (control is difficult).
Continue planting container grown roses. Prune them moderately. Water one to three times per week depending on soil and climate conditions. Still a great time to buy while they are in bloom.
Inspect citrus regularly for mites. Use an insecticidal soap or a horticultural oil as necessary in the morning so plants are dry before the heat of the day. Browning of leaf tips at this time can usually be attributed to salt burn. This is the month to apply gypsum and iron to citrus and the entire yard. Gypusm to leach excessive salts and allow for better drainage and iron to correct iron deficiency, which is common in our soil.
To save water, don’t water on windy days or in the middle of the day when evaporation is high. Make sure your sprinkler system is working properly and all areas are watered evenly and drain well. Water as needed depending on soil characteristics, plant requirements, and weather conditions.