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THINGS TO DO                                                                      AUGUST  2018

1.     OK, it's hot and smoky. I don't blame people for not wanting to do anything outside. Who does? Just remember that checking your irrigation systems can make the difference between live and dead plants. Again, mulch helps a lot by keeping plants cooler and less stressed out. Mulch also helps with reflected heat.

 2.     Vegetable plants looking fried? Maybe you need some shade cloth. You don't need to cover the whole plant - just the west side. Make a "wall" with the cloth. You can use a couple bamboo stakes and clothes pins. It's easy and allows you to pick your veggies and shade your plants from the hot afternoon sun. 

3.     Keep dead-heading your roses, perennials and other flowering plants - Crape Myrtles too. They push new growth and will keep producing flowers.

4.     We will be getting Fall/Winter vegetables in six-packs. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Onions, Peas, Chard, Kale, Lettuce and more later in August. Yes, August/September is the time to plant them for an early fall harvest. You might need some shade cloth or cardboard however to shade them if it gets too hot. (See #2)

5.     Fall/Winter flowers are coming in later in August too! Pansies, Violas, Stock, Primrose, Snapdragons and all the rest.

6.     You can also start them all from seed right now - fall flowers and vegetables! We have lots of varieties. You can start them in flats and put them out later when they're big enough.

7.     August is the last chance to "summer prune" your fruit trees to keep them from getting too big. Trees can still produce new growth that gets a chance to harden off. You can prune long branches of blueberries now too. Remember - more side branching means more flowers for next year.

8.     Was your fruit small or did some of your branches break? Did you ever thin your fruit trees? Starting to get the idea of how much has to be thinned so the branches don't break, and the fruit gets bigger? Figure one fruit per 6 inches of branch - give or take.

9.     Blossom End Rot - especially on tomatoes, can be fixed by applying calcium - gypsum or lime. We also have Foli-Cal which is absorbed right into the leaves very quickly. Concentrate or Ready to Use.

10.   Mites can be a problem late in the summer. The leaves will look faded or "silvered". If you look closely you might see some tiny webbing on the back side. The mites are very tiny. Washing with water helps. If it's too serious, any oil will kill them, Safer Soap or use Spinosad - ready to use, attached to a hose or in a concentrate. Always best to spray in the cool part of the day. Not sure what you have? Put leaves in a plastic bag and bring them in. Or email me.

11.   Deer can be a big problem in the late summer and fall because they have nothing to eat. Liquid Fence really works. It must be reapplied every couple of weeks during the dry times when deer start getting desperate about food. Once a week if there are a lot of deer. It's that or build a 7-foot fence to keep them out.

12.    And remember to come to Music in the Parks on Wed. Aug. 15!


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