This gardening tip update is courtesy of Gro-Well, a Phoenix-area company who creates great garden products.
Don't forget to feed your fruit trees thius weekend!!
August is tough month to garden, but it does offer hope for the end of summer. Heat and humidity, battles with insects, and a constant need to water can wear out even the most enthusiastic gardener. Take it easy and save your gardening fervor for the months ahead.
However, here are a few suggestions for August gardening:
Make sure your trees and shrubs are getting enough water to get them through the rest of the summer. The monsoons cannot be relied on to water your garden - wind and no rain. Be sure you double check your staked trees after a storm to make sure they haven't blown over, and re-stake if necessary. Also look for wind damaged branches in your mature trees and have them removed. And be sure to seal all the cuts with pruning paint.
If you have the energy and can take the heat and humidity you can start getting your vegetable garden ready for another planting whether you're going for a late round of summer crops (squash, tomatoes, beans) or an early start for a fall/winter garden (lettuce, chard, carrots, beets, radishes). Take advantage of the warm soil with some winter seeds ready to plant. Most of your nursery’s and garden center’s seed racks have been restocked for fall planting. Look or ask for free seed planting guides, indicating what to plant depending on the time of year. Be sure to work plenty of organic matter into the soil whether Nature’s Way or Forest Magic Organic Compost or Organic Mulch – anything intended for in-ground planting.
Continue fertilizing flowers or plants that may be nutrient depleted from the monsoon rains. Arizona’s Best All Purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer is ideal for use during the summer months. Apply to plants that have turned pale green or have reduced growth. It’s a well balanced fertilizer, not too much nitrogen, to keep your plants healthy throughout the summer months.
If you have citrus trees and follow the three times a year fertilization schedule, then you have to make the final application by the end of August or early September, using Arizona’s Best 13-10-4 Citrus Food (and water in thoroughly, keeping any fertilizer off of the trunk of the tree). Late summer application of fertilizer helps fruit sizing. This is more significant for fall ripening (navels & tangerines) than spring ripening (Grapefruit and Valencia orange) varieties. This fertilizer is also suitable for stone fruit trees, grapes, berries, just about anything edible that grows on a tree, shrub or vine.
This is the last month to plant Bermuda lawns during the active growing season. Fertilize established Bermuda grass lawns every four to six weeks using Arizona’s Best Four Season’s Lawn Food according to the directions on the bag. Apply Iron once per month according to the label directions on the package.
Cut back on fertilizing established roses to encourage plants to slow down for the hot summer. Water your roses deeply as temperatures climb. Hose off plants in the early morning to increase humidity and control spider mites. Toward the end of August or into September add an iron supplement if roses show yellowing from iron deficiency.
Apply nitrogen and zinc to pecan trees to produce normal size leaf growth and to enhance kernel development. Pecans also need more water than most other shade trees.
Pay close attention to the irrigation needs of your landscape plants. Increase water application as the weather warms. Apply mulch to the ground around the base of heat sensitive plants to keep the roots cooler and prevent evaporation. Keep the mulch several inches away from the trunk. Apply chelated iron to bottle brush, pyracantha, gardenias and other plants with iron deficiency symptoms. Cut off spent blooms to stimulate re-blooming.
Native and imported heat tolerant plants, including palms, can be planted right through the summer months. They will need to be watered and fertilized on a regular basis until fall. Protect newly transplanted trees from heavy winds by staking properly
Late August or early September fertilization will benefit most plants struggling to have a flush of growth before slowing down for the winter. The growth put on before dormancy will store more energy during the winter that will be available to the plant when it pushes growth in the spring.
Wait to replace any dead plants. October is the ideal month to do any replanting, when the weather is cooler but the soil is still warm – ideal conditions for growing new roots. Remove dead plants now and be ready to plant when the weather breaks this fall.
Avoid any heavy pruning of trees and shrubs this time of year. Removing any leafy growth opens the center of the plant to direct sunlight, which can cause scorching of lower leaves, branches and trunk, not used to direct sunlight.
August is another of the survival months. Your goal is to get your plants through the remaining high heat of summer and into fall. You'll want to get there too, so don't stress yourself out when your plants don't look as good as they could, because they won’t.
just keep hydrated out their while gardeing in these fianl hot days of summer!
Happy Digging, Doreen
The Garden Goddess
Friday, September 2, 2011
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