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.
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.
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!