Monthly garden reports brought to you by Coronado Floral Association
The Coronado Floral Association was disappointed to have to cancel the 2020 Coronado Flower Show in April but we’re still working in the background to move forward with the show (hopefully!) in 2021. We have created a survey to gather input and gauge interest from the community. Your input matters and will help us plan a better show.
Please take a minute and complete the survey. Go to our website – CoronadoFlowerShow.com. Thank you for your input.
August in the garden is the time to enjoy a summer break, let the garden flourish during warmer months, whether it’s a flower or veggie garden. Weather is hotter and watering will be key for the next few months. This is the time of year to enjoy your garden in the cool mornings and magical warm evenings.
Garden catalogs are starting to arrive in the mail and it’s time to order seeds for your winter garden. You won’t plant them until we get through the hottest weather but ordering now ensures you will get the varieties you want for your garden.
Have you mulched your garden yet? Mulching is important because it will keep evaporation of water down to a minimum and will keep plants’ roots cool, too.
Bulbs are going to start showing up in nurseries later this month. Good, drought-tolerant bulbs are winners in the garden. Look for easy-to-grow freesia and Sparaxis. Go ahead and buy them now, but store in a cool, dry area for a couple more months because the weather will be too hot to plant them for the next few months. Look toward the end of October to put them in the ground.
There’s time to plant another tomato crop this month. Tomatoes like the heat, so if you have a south-facing wall, that’s the best location scenario. Look for the “Early” varieties or varieties with a shorter seed to harvest time frame. “Early Girl” and “Sweet100” cherry tomatoes do well in our coastal climate.
Although it’s a bit late to start them from seed, blooming cosmos are a beautiful plant for the fall, so keep an eye out for six-pack starters at the nurseries.
This is a great month to plant Bougainvillea, too. Find a nice wall or fence in full sun for your planting area. Planting must be done with care. It’s important not to disturb the root ball when planting because the root ball is very finicky. A good trick is to cut the bottom off the pot, place the plant in the hole and slide the pot up and over the top of the plant to remove.
Plants are tougher than we give them credit for but keep them strong and healthy by deep watering, especially important as we head into our hottest months. Pots and container gardens need extra monitoring when it gets hot. If a Santa Ana condition rolls through, it will dry out a garden in a day, so know that you will have to be extra attentive if we have a hot, dry spell. Make sure to deep-water your trees, especially the newly planted and young ones, but mature trees need a deep soak at least once a month, too. Many trees have roots close to the surface and need a layer of mulch to keep moisture from evaporating too quickly and keep the ground temperature regulated. Remember to keep mulch at least 6 inches away from the base of the trunk to prevent trunk rot.
Natives and drought tolerant plants are resting this time of year so they don’t like too much water, but a quick spritz to wash off the plants and let them hydrate a little through their leaves is a good thing.
Roses love the heat, but only if they are properly watered. Soak them with 1-2 inches of water three times a week. It doesn’t hurt to overhead spray them if the weather is really hot because they can hydrate through their leaves which will help them stay perky, but do this earlier in the day so the leaves completely dry off before nightfall.
Before fertilizing plants, water thoroughly the day before, especially during hot weather, or you might cause burning to your plants.
Fertilize your citrus again this month. If you get that done right away, you can probably squeeze in another round first thing next month, too; otherwise, this will be the last time you will fertilize citrus for a while because we don’t want to promote a flush of fresh growth before the cold winter months. A good nursery can help you with finding the appropriate products.
Roses need their fertilizer, but during the hot months, the rose experts say to cut the amount in half so they get steady food without heavy nitrogen so the plants can be slightly dormant in their growth.
Pest & Disease Control
Look over your house plants to check for spider mites, scale and thrips during these warmer months. Put your plants in the shower and wash them thoroughly to clean off the leaves, and let water flush out the salts in the pot. If you do have an infestation of pests, wash your plants with Safer Insecticidal Soap.
Keep an eye out for a caterpillar invasion. Tomato hornworms can take down a tomato plant in a day or two when they are on a roll. Caterpillars on roses typically won’t kill them, but can make your bushes will look awful. Geraniums tend to get decimated, too. Keep BT (Bacillus Thuringensus) handy for spraying when caterpillars become a problem.
This is the month to de-thatch warm season lawns. The rule of thumb is to thatch if the lawn build-up is over ½ inch. If the thatch is too thick, the water can’t penetrate down to the roots.If the height is less than that, leave it alone for another year because it helps conserve the moisture of the lawn’s roots.
Cool season lawns need to be allowed to grow higher during the hot weather, so raise up the blades on your mower.
Geraniums and pelargoniums - time to pinch back your geraniums and pelargoniums to shape and clean out. Pinch above where new growth has started, closer to the base of the plants.
Hydrangeas – hydrangeas bloom on old wood, so when you prune these back, leave three buds on each stem.
If your citrus trees are sending up suckers from the base, pull them off, don’t cut them or they will grow back.
Roses could use a good trimming now. Cut them back about one-third to clean them out and shape them up. Pruning will encourage another bloom in the fall, so hit them with fertilizer if you haven’t done so already. I’ve given my roses a dose of Ada Perry’s!