by Janine Salvatti
Master Gardener 2019
It’s August and like the song says, it’s going to be Hot-Hot-Hot! Here are a few things to keep your garden in shape.
Order unique bulbs for your Spring garden.
Gardens talk! This is prime time to listen, observe, and assess what is working, what is not, and note what changes we want to make. Plan the best time to divide, remove, or move plants as their season ends or they go dormant.
Vacancies? Some of your annuals have faded and left holes in the landscape. Fill these with late-summer heat-loving blooming annuals for end-of-season color and overall garden pick-me-up. Keep these well hydrated to cope with extreme heat.
We need to keep pinching and deadheading our flowering plants in containers and in the ground. Deep water camellias to develop flower buds for next spring. Protect ornamentals and garden plants from extreme heat with mulch 2” to 4” deep. Stay on top of irrigation needs.
Saving seed? Let annuals, perennials, and grass seed pods ripen on the plant for seed production. Seeds from hybrids could yield surprises. Propagate more of your favorite plants from seeds, cuttings, divisions.
Pests and diseases: Are we harnessing nature as our first line of defense? Nature, birds, frogs, and good insects will flock to the buffet we provide by interplanting the vegetable garden with an abundance of flowers and herbs. Create bird habitat with bird baths, bird (bat and owl) houses, various feeders, bug hotels, some open soil.
Check out this interesting YouTube video “Managing Squash Bugs & Bad Insects with Nature, Birds, & Good Insects” by Gary Pilarchik of the Rusted Garden.
Now we are harvesting the fruits of our labor – literally. Eat fresh, share, can, freeze, donate to Access. Plant your winter crops. Plant green manure if harvesting leaves open areas.
Fertilize cucumbers, summer squash, and broccoli to maintain production.
Tip: Plan for the inevitable discovery of zucchinis gone wild. You know the enormous zuchs that rival the size of a small dog? Hire a neighbor kid to winch it out of the bed and drag it to the compost pile? Make another 27 zucchini breads?
Prune cherry trees before fall rains to allow callusing in dry weather to minimize the spread of bacterial canker.
Excuse me now while I go visit with my garden and see what cautions and secrets it will share with me today. There are a few ripe strawberries calling my name. My garden remains a haven and a place of respite, an inspiration, a lesson in patience, and a sweet and often brow-furrowing mystery. I wish you the same joy.
Best references for our area:
PNW Handbook on squash bug and eggs:
Garden Guide for the Rogue Valley: Pages 119-123
OSU Extension Service: August Garden Calendar