Prepare Your Garden for the Hot Months Ahead
Summer To Do List:
• Cut back on fertilizing established roses to
encourage plants to slow down for the hot summer.
• Water roses deeply as temperatures rise.
• Hose off roses in the early morning to increase humidity and control spider mites.
• Flowers for summer color include: celosia, coreopsis, cosmos, gazanias, globe amaranth, portulaca, zinnia, salvia, vinca (periwinkle), gomphorena and verbena.
• Flowerbeds will need irrigation every other day through the summer. Replacing areas with a drip system to save on water.
• Use ammonium phosphate in flower beds
to increase and keep flowers blooming.
• Pinch chrysanthemums to make them bushy.
• Stake taller flowers to prevent damage
from summer winds.
• Plant seeds for cucumbers, squash, cantaloupe, melon
• Plant transplants: sweet potatoes
• Keep plants moist. Wilted leaves in the morning
are a sign of moisture stress. Late afternoon wilting may be heat stress. Use sunscreens that offer
no more than 50% sun reduction.
• As your melons come in, place a board beneath them.
• This will keep them off the moist soil and prevent insects from attacking them.
• Begin harvesting onions and garlic.
• Pick early-maturing deciduous fruit to prevent
bird damage, and ripen fruit at room temperature.
• Summer is the driest month, so plants may need
more water. To save on water apply mulch to the ground around heat sensitive plants keep the roots cooler and prevent evaporation.
• Apply chelated iron to bottle brush, pyracantha, silk oak, and other plants with iron deficiency symptoms.
• Heat tolerant plants can be planted right through
the summer months. They will need to be watered
on a regular basis until fall.
• Transplant palms, mesquites, palo verdes,
and other arid shrubs and trees in the heat
of the summer for best results.
• Prune bougainvillea and lantana to stimulate
growth and blooms.
Lawns / Turf
• Plant your lawns if you haven’t already.
• Keep your lawns longer. Longer lawns do a better job at retaining moisture and standing up to the heat.
• Avoid fertilizer and watering in the heat of the day.
Summer Don’t List:
• Don’t over water. Yes, it’s very hot in the summer, so it might seem like watering more is the answer. Not necessarily true. Water slowly (prevents run off), deeply (use a soil probe or a long handled screwdriver to check that the water is penetrating 2-3 ft. deep for trees and shrubs, and 1- 1 1/2 ft. deep for turf & flowers), and infrequently (let the soil dry between watering).
• Don’t prune citrus during the summer.
• Don’t shade corn, squash, melons, black-eyed peas, okra, or grapes.
• Don’t add fertilizer to dry soil. If you apply dry fertilizer on dry soil and water it in, the fertilizer is carried toward the roots as a concentrated solution and will burn them. Always water first, then apply fertilizers to moist soils, and then continue with the rest of the water.