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Gardener's Checklist - AUGUST FILLERS
August Articles - Click Here
August 1- August 7
For splashes of holiday color in late fall include pyracantha, toyon, holly,  cotoneaster and barberry in the garden.
Always bait the garden after planting new seedlings. Snails, slugs, earwigs and sowbugs can destroy your efforts overnight. Check with a CCN Proª for non-toxic baits.
Marigolds and zinnias lend themselves to fall color in the garden. Seed another planting in your garden.
Control weeds in the garden with mulch. The weeds cannot reach the sun and can't  grow.
If you have established California natives in your landscape take it easy on the  watering. They prefer it dry.
August 8 - August 14
Harvest summer vegetables frequently to extend production.
Cut all hydrangeas stalks that bloomed this year to 12 inches from soil level. This will insure that the plant will have many colorful blooms next year.
Feed citrus and avocados.
Plant perennials during the next six weeks for bloom next spring and for years to come.
August 15 - August 21
Check brown spots in lawns for sodweb worms and grubs.
Clean up around fruit trees and pick any old fruit that could harbor soft rot fungus. Remove from garden.
Plant beets, carrots, parsnips and other root vegetables for harvesting for early spring.
If you are going on vacation, prepare your garden ahead of time by mulching and giving the garden a thorough soaking the day before you leave. This is not the time, however, to fertilize because new growth will suffer if there's a heat wave while you're gone.
Support chrysanthemums by staking. The fuller they become the greater the possibility they may break.
August 22- August 28
Prepare the garden for winter vegetables by removing all spent summer vegetables.
Don't forget to plant early flowering sweet peas for an abundance of flowers during the holidays.
Walnut husk fly can be controlled with applications of Malathion and spreader sticker.
Divide crowded clumps of Shasta daisies now for better flower size next summer.
If your azaleas have set their buds switch to 0-10-10 fertilizer to promote bigger  flowers in the spring. Using an nitrogen fertilizer will cause the azaleas to drop their flower buds and keep on growing.


August Fillers

Start planning for fall color. You can do so by planting certain plants at this time.  For example, the maidenhair tree turns a brilliant yellow for several weeks in autumn; the Chinese pistache has a canopy of scarlet, orange and crimson. Shrubs also provide fall color such as the many berried shrubs -- pyracantha, holly, ceanothus and barberry. For  shrub foliage color, try heavenly bamboo, photinia and others your local CCN Proª can  suggest for your area of the state.

Hot weather usually means trouble for lawns. Heat is not the only cause of lawn  problems for if you have dry, brown spots or just an unhealthy lawn, this can be caused by lawn moths, packed soil, fertilizer burn or even by poor watering methods. Be sure to check with your local CCN Proª. In the summer cut your lawn at least once a week and feed it lightly every month with a good fertilizer. Never fertilizer wet grass because it is  likely to cause burns even when the correct amounts are used. Good watering habits will also make your lawn look better by watering thoroughly but less frequently.

They like it hotÉand the coastal areas as well. We're talking about pineapple guava  and the strawberry tree. The pineapple guava gives the bonus of grayish green foliage, exotic white and purple flowers besides lush, edible fruit. On the coast they bear richer, tangier fruit than those in the inland areas, but this shrub will thrive just as well. This subtropical evergreen is a fairly hardy plant taking low temperatures but not hard frosts. The strawberry tree gets it name from the small, round white and red non-edible  fruit it bears in the fall and winter which resemble real strawberries. It does remarkably well in various area of the state from desert to the coast and requires little water once  it is established. It can be damaged, though, in severe winter areas.

Don't let roses pant in the heatÉroses should never go dry around their roots. They  bloom only on new wood so without proper irrigation there will be precious little growth for blooms to form on. Mulch to help conserve moisture and feed them now in August for continued bloom into and through fall. Give them a preventative spray to keep them free from pests and diseases. If you find infected branches, snip them off and keep the faded flowers picked off the plant.

Fall is California's second spring. It is a time to plan and look ahead to what you  want your garden to look like come April. Annuals, bulbs and flowering shrubs can all be  planted now. Included in this list should be some flowering fruit trees such as crabapple, plums, peaches and apricots. These flowering fruit trees thrive in all regions outside of the desert areas but they flower best in areas with reasonably cold winters. Along with these check out the orchid tree for southern California gardens. This beauty blooms with  two to three inch rose colored flowers. The silk tree, hawthorns, dogwoods, acacia and eucalyptus varieties can all be added to the list for producing spring color.

With summer coming to a close and fall on the horizon, you may not be aware that this  is the time to plant those annuals which will provide a spring-like display of flowers during the winter. The secret is to plant early, letting the plants establish themselves before the cold weather arrives. Drop by the local garden center and see what's in bloom. Annuals can be planted wherever you want color - flower beds, raised planters, pots and even hanging baskets.

Lobelia is the lazy gardener's dream come true. It attracts few insect pests,  withstands bouts of little water and in return blooms its head off in beautiful shades of blue, lavender and white accentuated by its deep purple foliage. This versatile, compact plant will thrive in the full sun where summers are cool and foggy and part-shade inland where the summers are warm. You can use it generously to provide a continuous border or edging. Use it here and there in a rock garden or a mixed bed of low growing plants for accent. If you are into creating eye-catching displays of various annuals in wine barrels, hanging baskets or other large containers, plant it near the edge so it spills over the side.

Dwarf dahlias give us color in a hurry during the late summer and into fall. Many of these dahlias will already be showing color from the time you purchase them and plant them in the garden. Pinch out this initial bloom, however, for sturdy plants and more blooms later on.

August Garden Articles

The Time To Plant Your Garden Is In The Fall

September is just around the corner and this marks the fall planting season. Did you know that fall is the best time to plant? Well, it is and the reasons are simple. Summer is gone but the ground is still warm and so are the temperatures for a while longer though getting cooler all the time.

By planting shrubs and trees in the fall they will have the benefit of the cooler  weather and the coming rains that will help establish root growth before they begin to grow in the spring. The same pertains to planting a new lawn. It has a better chance of  rooting out before the warmer weather arrives. Your new lawn will have a good head start for the spring and summer season. The healthier and more plush the lawn is the fewer problems with weeds because its lush growth will block the sunlight needed by weed seeds  to sprout.

Bulbs flowers are a major source of garden color in the spring and must be planted in  the fall. Freesias, sparaxis, daffodils and others can be planted in November and December after soil has cooled down. If you live in the northern or mountainous areas plant earlier  in late September or October. Tulips can go in November after a stint in the refrigerator to simulated a cold winter's dormancy before being planted. And wherever you have planted  them, plant annuals overhead to provide color until, during and after the bulbs have  bloomed. Also replace your heat worn annuals with those that bloom from now and through  winter. Use Iceland poppies, violas, pansies and calendulas for either job.

Think about sowing the seeds of your favorite perennials for next summer's garden. Or, for those who are enchanted with the delicate pastels and white blooms of the cyclamen,  start some now in pots on the front porch or backyard patio. Plant shrubs with berries  outdoors for garden color and cut branches to decorate the indoors later this fall. Check  out holly, barberries, pyracantha and toyon.

If you look forward to a change in leaf color from trees and don't have any fall foliaged trees or shrubs now is the time to choose your favorite because you can pick the exact colors you want for your garden. Then next year, you will have this delightful signal that the season is changing right in your own landscape. This month remember to  feed roses, plant a cool season vegetable garden and colorful annuals so your garden will be at its best when winter, spring and next summer arrives.

For Garden Color the Rest of Summer and Into Fall

You may just feel the urge to add some colorful splashes of color to the landscape since the heat may have taken its toll on what you planted earlier or you may have just  returned from vacation to find that many of your plants suffered while you were gone.  There's help in the offing because there are plants which set out now will continue to bloom into the fall months.

For blooms in bright shades of yellow, gold, and orange, try marigolds. Plant them in  pots or in the ground. Nestle them with other annuals to create a miniature garden effect.  Blue ageratum, white vinca, and marigolds in a large container are very complimentary  together. Other plants for sunny areas that provide a color boost include petunias in  assorted colors, scarlet salvia, dwarf dahlias, marguerites and zinnias. All are sources of plants in bloom now and for the coming months.

Tuberous begonias and their free-flowering cousins, the fibrous begonias, are available  in bloom and will enhance the beauty of partially shaded surroundings. Fuchsias are also ideal for the more shaded areas. You will find them growing in hanging baskets, as shrubs  or tree standards. Their versatility is a real boon to the gardener looking for a plant  that blooms in shady areas and will do so throughout summer.

For color this fall, don't overlook the bright colors of the chrysanthemum. Potted up  on the deck, patio or entryway, they are inviting, unique decorations. You can also bring some indoors to further display their flowers.

Asters are favorites if you like bright color in the late summer months. You can choose  from shades of white, blue, red or purple. Plant them in full sun and don't forget to cut  some to fill vases displayed indoors. Asters are perennials and you can use either the compact type for edgings or borders or the taller plants for accents in large flower beds.

Check these out and more when you visit your local nursery says the California Association of Nurserymen. Garden color is synonymous with the season.

August Care For Roses

Roses will suffer at this time of the year because of inadequate or improper watering. The August heat takes it's toll and quickly dries out the soil around the roots and this is something to be avoided as far as roses are concerned.

Caring for your rose plants at this time will help them survive the heat and put them  on the road to another blooming period this fall with scattered bloom right up to winter's doorstep. Considering that roses bloom only on new wood, you can understand why proper  watering is a must. Without it there is little production of new growth for blooms to form  on. When you do water, avoid overhead sprinkling. There are several problems that can  arise in this case. Along the cooler, coastal areas where the humidity is higher, it will  promote fungus problems. In the drier areas of the state, this could lead to sunburn if  done during the day. It's just simpler to avoid doing it at all. The proper way to water is to soak the base of the plant so the water doesn't splash on the foliage.

To help your roses retain the proper moisture around their roots, mulch. This may sound  like a foreign word to some but it is commonly done for all your plants in the garden including those in containers. A thick layer of mulch around the bottom of each rose bush, a least two to three inches in thickness is preferred. Consider redwood compost, bark or wood chips. Ask your CCN Proª for other suggestions and to even explain further the  benefits of mulch such as almost eliminating a weeding problem because the weeds can't  grow without sunlight just like any other plants.

A most important step in late summer rose care is preventative spraying to keep your roses free from pests and diseases. Again, consult with your California Certified Nursery  Professionalª if you have any questions. They can answer your questions and point you to the correct products to use. If you find infected branches, prune them off the plant and  toss into the trash can. Do not put into the compost pile because the spores from these  diseases will easily transfer from the compost pile back to your garden and your roses. It  will be a bigger mess than you thought possible. Remove spent flower heads to encourage  continual flowering. Fertilizing is equally important and if you want to have beautiful  rose blooms this fall, fertilize now.

Planning For Winter Vegetables?

In winter as with summer, you can have the same bountiful harvest of fresh vegetables  from your own backyard. The only difference is that the vegetables are different. Everyone expounds on how homegrown is tastier than those bought in the store. The reason for this  is not the time span from the grower to the store; it is the availability of the home gardener to allow the fruit to reach maturity when flavor is at its peak before  harvesting.

All you need is a sunny area to plant winter vegetables whether its in the ground or in  containers. Prepare the soil well by adding organic amendments. You can use redwood  compost, peat moss, or composted chicken manure. Ask your local California Certified Nursery Professionalª for the best type of fertilizer to add to the soil . Dig these amendments into the soil to a level of eight inches. Make sure the soil and the amendments are well spaded.

Now comes the fun partÉwhat to plant? The obvious answer is your favorites! From seeds  you can plant beets, carrots, endive, radishes, turnips, and other root vegetables. From seedlings try lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, chard, onions, peas, kale,  kohlrabi, parsley and rutabagas. To add flavor and taste to winter stews and casseroles plant herbs. Rosemary, chives, oregano, sage and thyme are perennials which will add excellent flavorings to many a meal.

Protect new seedlings from attack by snails and slugs by baiting the area. There are several good baits that are safe to use around vegetables, children and pets. Ask your local CCN Proª for recommendations. You can also use strips of copper (sold in garden  centers) to outline the planting beds. Snails and slugs will not cross these copper  barriers because they get a mild shock!

Those Hot August Days!

The dog days of August are definitely here and the only solutions seem to be retreating  to the swimming pool with a tall tropical drink or lying in front of the air conditioner with the house drapes closed. But, if you take care of the garden it can be a lush oasis offering sanctuary from the blistering heat.

Watering seems to be an obvious solution for most plants as with the hot soil tends to dry out faster. Maintain a regular schedule with deep, thorough soakings. In some  instances, over watering in summer may become a problem as plants that are drowning look just like those that are thirsty, a little wilted around the edges. Always check the soil or container before watering. If it is moist three inches down, hold off watering.

Besides irrigating, plants need some cooling down just like the misting vegetables receive in the produce section to reduce the overall temperature. There are special  nozzles that will allow this to be done easily. At the same time, water down any containers on the outside. Of course, if you happen to spray yourself at the same time,  you can always claim it was an accident!

We've talked about mulch in the past as something that enriches the soil, keeps weeds  to a minimum and helps retain moisture and fertilizer for the plants to use. Now we can  add its cooling powers to that list. By placing a good amount of mulch on top of the soil  around plants, even those in containers, the water will stay closer to the surface giving  a needed drink to the surface feeder roots. Mulch becomes a barrier against the heat and  its destructive power on those tiny roots.

When evening comes and temperatures are falling, it is a good time to trim off faded and dead flower heads, leaves or branches. This will give the plant a clean look and help keep it in top shape.

Insects are also something to watch for during the summer months. For the best non toxic contols check with your CCN Proª. For problems you can't identify, take a sample in a plastic bag to your local CCN Proª for proper identification and recommendations on how to control them.

Chrysanthemums Have Many Faces

The mum is a many faced thing. It will brighten your border with myriad of small single flowers; or it will put out great, long-stemmed mops of brilliant color. Between these  extremes are countless sizes and shapes, all of them attractive.

There's another nice thing about mums. They are almost always available. If you never  planted those cuttings the neighbor gave you, or if you failed to buy when rooted cuttings were in plentiful supply, you can still enjoy a big show in late summer and fall. Your local nurseries and garden centers have a good supply of plants to set out this month.

If the different chrysanthemum types leave you confused as to which to choose, you can make your selection from plants your CCN Prosª have available now. This way you not only avoid all doubt as to what your mums will really look like, but you can get two bloom  periods in one year. When the primary bloom is gone, cut the dead flower back, give it a  quick acting, balanced fertilizer and it will produce for a second bloom.

The free blooming cushion mums are favorites for garden color. They are early bloomers,  August and September in some areas, and will give your late summer garden a wonderful fill  in of color.

Don't miss trying the spoon or matchstick type, or the anemones, pompons, spider and quilled varieties. These are wonderful bearers of fall color.

Special attention should be given to feeding chrysanthemums whatever the type you  plant. Nitrogen is the big need and lack of it will inhibit lush growth. Between now and mid September, give three feedingÉliquid fish is the favorite with most growers. If a  commercial fertilizer is used, select one containing a low percentage nitrogen and don't overdose. Two or three light feeding are preferable to one heavy one. Stop feeding at the  first sign of color in the buds.

Don't overwater, but never let roots dry out. Hardened stems and a stunted growth will follow if drying occurs. Where possible, irrigate. During growth, sprinkling will cause  mildew in some gardens.

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