August Garden Guide

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IT’S TIME TO PLANT fall ANNUALS AND VEGGIES!

It’s August, it’s hot and dry (yes, even in rainy Washington we have summer drought conditions). The first order of business then must be watering; not every day for 2 minutes, but once or twice a week for 20 minutes might be more appropriate for plants in the ground. Containers and hanging baskets, yes, every day, perhaps twice a day on the south side. The new trees and shrubs that you planted in the spring are starting to be a bit more independent. They will probably do just fine with a once or twice a week soaking, but do watch for wilting or leaf browning, signs of distress and time to up the water.

Vegetable Garden

In the vegetable garden, water, and fertilize to keep production going, particularly for late season crops like squash, cukes, pumpkins, tomatoes and corn. This should be your last application for the year. If you are having problems with blossom end rot on your tomatoes, try applying Rot-Stop, a liquid foliar spray that helps correct calcium deficiencies. Be sure to pick zucchini and cucumbers regularly; if you let them get very large, they aren’t as nice to eat, and production will slow on the plant.

Blueberries

Pick blueberries about once a week, unless you are a daily grazer who needs just a handful. It’s easy to think a berry is ripe when viewed on the shrub, but once picked a reddish tinge may be visible and the berry is sour, so look for deep blue at the stem end.  Blueberries will stay fresh and firm in the fridge for several weeks and of course, they freeze beautifully.

Fall/Winter Vegetables

Late August is the time to plant fall/winter vegetables. Carrots and other root crops are easiest to start from seed. For your convenience, we will have in stock, in mid to late August, small packs of various members of the cabbage family: broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprout, etc. If you have a slightly shaded spot, you might try another round or two of lettuce. It’s also time for fall color in annuals: mums, pansies and violas and ornamental cabbage and kale.

Summer Perennials

Summer perennials are in full swing right now: Echinacea, Black-eyed Susan, hardy Hibiscus, tall phlox, lavender, Coreopsis, bee balm and many kinds of Salvia are all putting on a colorful show. These are great plants for supporting our bee pollinator friends as well as butterflies and hummingbirds. For your shade garden we have a large assortment of Hosta and ferns and lots of colored foliage choices with Heuchera.

Shrubs and Trees

We also have a great assortment of shrubs, trees and Japanese maples in the nursery. It’s okay to plant containerized plants even in hot weather, as long as you give them frequent water (every second or third day for about 6 weeks, then less often). Because trees and shrubs generally grow more slowly than perennials, every year you wait to plant means another year with an immature, unfinished look to your yard. Even if you pick only a hydrangea or two (beautiful summer blooms) or a rhododendron or two (springtime WOW), you will be started on your way to a beautiful yard.

Try applying Rot-Stop if you are having problems with blossom end rot on your tomatoes.

Try applying Rot-Stop if you are having problems with blossom end rot on your tomatoes.

Look for small packs of a variety of broccoli, cabbage, kale, and brussel sprouts in mid to late August.

Look for small packs of a variety of broccoli, cabbage, kale, and brussel sprouts in mid to late August.

We offer a great assortment of shrubs, trees and Japanese maples in the nursery.

We offer a great assortment of shrubs, trees and Japanese maples in the nursery.

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