Your garden needs a summer vacation too

By: Jennifer Miner Special to The News Messenger
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I am planning my vacation in August and I am really looking forward to some cool days at the beach! As I am planning my escape from the heat, I was thinking about my yard. I realized I always seem to do less gardening the month of August than I do the other months of summer. I like to think if it as a “summer vacation” for my plants. Up to this month, I have been continually pruning and feeding my yard to get the most flowers and blooms that I can. However, it is a great idea to give your flowers and shrubs a small break and let them conserve their energy to help them get through our hottest month. So typically, I will discontinue any major pruning or fertilizing this month and let my yard rest. If you are a gardening-aholic and must spend time in your garden and yard, there are some important chores you can still do this month. Most importantly, make sure all sprinkler heads and drip parts are working well and that all your plants are getting the water they need. If you hand water, make sure to water deep and early in the morning. Watering deep helps get your roots growing down deep so it is easier for plants to get enough water on really hot days. You might find yourself watering more often this month, especially any plants you may have growing in containers. Sometimes, these need to be watered twice a day. Another chore for this month is weeding. Weeds will germinate and grow quickly because of the warmer weather. It is much easier to weed small young weeds than it is to remove bigger more established weeds! Also, the never-ending chore of “dead heading” or removing old blooms will continue with a vengeance this month. You should not do any serious pruning but pinching off old blooms will keep your yard looking fresh. One of my favorite activities in August is to plan my fall veggie garden. Most fall veggie plants and seeds can be started the first week of September. Lastly, get ready for the best time to plant … fall. Autumn is truly the best month to plant so take this month to plan your fall gardening projects. Hope you and your garden have a cool summer vacation. Jennifer Miner owns Flower Hut Nursery, 603 4th Street, Wheatland. The phone is (530) 633-4526.