August 2010

. . . August is usually one of the hottest months of the summer.  Planting can be this month,  just be prepared to be diligent about the watering and care of those plants.  Larger shrubs with lots of foliage and large trees will need to be watched carefully.  Use ‘Superthrive’ at the time of planting to minimize the chance of transplant shock. Fill the planting hole with water and let it drain away into the surrounding ground just before planting, thereby allowing the first watering of the plant to stay right around the root area.

. . . Planting big things in the evening is helpful because the plant can get somewhat settled during the cooler evening, night, and early morning hours.  Water it well the following morning so it has plenty of moisture to draw on for the transition and for facing the heat of the day.  The disruption of the roots also disrupts the efficiency of the roots until they re-establish themselves.

. . . August is a good month for maintenance and enjoying the fruits of your labor – whether they be harvesting fruits and vegetables, or simply enjoying the tranquil, shaded areas of your yard and the shrubs and flowers that you have been nurturing all season.

. . . Upkeep includes watering and weeding, of course.  But there are other things that can be done. too.

  1. Deadheading annuals will prolong their bloom and keep them looking nice
  2. Harvesting vegetables will regularly will maximize their production
  3. Putting a board or propping melons and pumpkins, etc. up on the foliage to keep them off the wet soil can prevent discoloration and rot
  4. Roses need to be deadheaded and fertilized regularly for a long bloom period
  5. Keep rose bushes full and shapely by pruning back some when deadheading

. . . Winter vegetables and winter bedding plants can be started at home from seed.  Start them soon and they should be ready to plant out in the fall.  Small peat pot or left over bedding plant containers that you neglected to toss out can be used.  Other small plastic containers that might otherwise be thrown out can be used if they have a drain hole punched in them.

. . . A final feeding of RAC fertilizer can be given to rhododendron, azaleas and camellias.  They should not be fertilized again until they have finished their spring bloom.

. . . Fruit trees ripen at different times all season long.  Some are finished and some are still coming along.  The fallen fruit and any other debris should be raked up and disposed of.  The litter creates an attraction for pests and can harbor diseases that can cause problems later in the season.

. . . Our two Yellow Lab pups at the nursery go to the pond here on the nursery property several times a day to escape the heat.  We just hope they don’t greet someone too boisterously shaking water all over them!  Chester and Jessie are 10 months old now and not too well settled yet, but they know how to beat the heat!  We hope everyone can find such a gratifying way to stay cool.