If we can make it through August
then the really good gardening weather is not that far away. Lets face it
we can count on the weather being just hot. So do, what you gotta do in
the morning or very late afternoon hours.
One thing you gotta do is plant a vegetable garden or maybe a container or
two. There are planter boxes and large pots for gardeners who don't have a
lot of room or need to move their gardens between the seasons to catch the
sun. Just be sure to improve your sandy soils within ground beds or use a
good potting mixture like one of the Miracle-Gro products.
Vegetable gardening starts mid month for me. Do I always make it on time?
Well, No, but by September all my warm season crops will be in the ground.
They have to be if I want a harvest before the first frosts. Remember to
stake taller growing crops, keep the soil moist, use a mulch and feed
every three to four weeks or use a slow release fertilizer that can feed
for several months.
Lots of weed control is needed at this time of the year. Yes, our feedings
stimulate some of this growth but the nutrients also keep our good plants
growing. Pull or spot kill the weeds with a non selective herbicide that
allows use with or near the growing trees, shrubs, flowers and ground
cover. Don't let the weeds get ahead of you.
Now it also the time to take out plants that have finished their harvest
or are not doing well. Some annuals and perennials cannot take the summer
heat. It is time to remove them and prepare for new fall plantings. It
does not hurt to let this soil set idle if you have to.
Now this is a start but there is lots more to do. Truly some are chores
but others are fun. See what is on my list that you have to Gotta Do Too.
for August, 2012
Vegetable & fruit care:
Enrich sandy soils and old garden
sites with organic soils or organic matter.
Test soil acidity and adjust the pH
if needed before planting.
Construct raised beds to ensure good
drainage and easy to reach crops.
Remove plastic from solarization
treatments after 6 to 8 weeks and plant immediately.
Open wide, 8 inch or deeper holes in
nematode infested sties and fill with fresh pest free soil.
plant nematode resistant tomato and other vegetable varieties.
Seeds of melons and pumpkins can be
planted during early August.
Set out transplants of eggplants,
peppers and tomatoes around mid month.
Restart other warm season vegetables
by the end of the month or early September.
Grow vegetables in large containers
if you have limited in ground space.
Plant flowers that attract
pollinators among the vegetables to obtain better fruit set.
Mulch new plantings to conserve water
and promote better plant growth.
Check pineapples; fruits are ready
when they are fragrant and turn yellow to orange.
Feed bananas and figs monthly but
lightly; keep moist and mulched.
Give grape, apple and peach plantings
a summer feeding.
Feed citrus with one-quarter pound of
citrus fertilizer per inch of trunk circumference.
Fill bare areas with sod, plugs or
seed to take advantage of the good growing weather.
Zoysia lawns turn brown without
water; irrigate as with other lawns for green growth.
New lawns are susceptible to fungal
leaf spots; apply a fungicide to help reduce decline.
Moth stages of sod webworms cannot be
controlled; treat for caterpillars as needed.
Treat for chinch bugs causing yellow
to brown spots in St. Augustine lawns.
Mushrooms are common in lawns after
rains; remove them as needed.
Turn off automatic irrigation systems
for the rainy season and water only as needed.
Control weeds that are filling bare
spots and over growing the good grass.
Many lawns are ready for a mid summer
iron or slow release nitrogen fertilizer application.
Check for local regulations that may
prohibit feeding lawns during the summer.
Sharpen dull mower blades.
Consider another ground cover for
hard to maintain and problem turf areas
Most landscape plants need a mid
summer feeding to maintain green foliage and growth.
Use a slow release fertilizer that
feeds the plantings for several months.
Palms are best fertilized with
products made for their needs and contain minor nutrients.
Spend time removing out of control
limbs and shoots from trees, shrubs and perennials.
Landscape vines quickly grow out of
control; keep them to arbors and trellises.
Pruning time is over for azaleas,
camellias and gardenias that are forming flowers buds.
Give palms a break; only remove the
dead fronds and old flower heads.
Complete pruning of poinsettias,
bougainvillea, and wisteria by month's end.
Remove water robbing weeds from the
landscape and add a mulch or ground covers.
Continue tree and shrub plantings.
Trim both declining flowers and
foliage from perennial beds.
Divide bromeliads, Shasta daises, day
lilies and other landscape perennials.
Feed water lilies and bog plantings
Foliage & house plant care:
Mealy bugs and mites are major pests;
control with insecticidal soaps.
Trim foliage plants to encourage
dense new growth.
Transplant root bound foliage plants.
Make cuttings of your favorite
Feed plants kept indoors monthly or
use a slow release fertilizer.
Feed foliage plants on the patio or
porch every other week or use a slow release fertilizer.
Wash off dust and pests with
Flowers: Angelonia, begonia, black-eyed Susan vine, blue daze,
butterfly weed, bush daisy, cat's whiskers, chrysanthemums,
coleus, coreopsis, crossandra, fire spike, gaura, golden globe,
heliconia, jacobinia, impatiens, lantana, marigold, melampodium,
moon flower, pentas, periwinkle, porter weed, portulaca, purslane,
salvia, Stokes aster, sunflower, torenia and zinnia.
Vegetables: Cantaloupe, collard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, lima
bean, okra, pepper, pumpkin, snap bean, southern pea, squash,
tomato and watermelon
Herbs: Anise, basil, bay laurel, chive, dill, ginger, lemon balm,
Mexican tarragon, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, sweet marjoram
Bulbs type plants: African iris, agapanthus, amaryllis, bulbine,
canna, crinum, day lily, gladiolus, gloriosa lily, kaffir lily,
Louisiana iris, society garlic, rain lily and walking iris.