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Golden currant ( Ribes aureum ): one of our tastier native berries   A number of native berry fruits come ripe in summer.   Many ha...

Your Gardening Calendar - August

August in the Southern California Garden

Each month has its special joys and tasks in the garden.  Below is a suggested calendar for August.  Remember that gardening depends on the weather, so tasks, bloom season and activities may vary from year to year.

Best of Show:
§  Flowers:  * Chilopsis linearis, Clematis spp., Heteromeles arbutifolia, Ericameria ericoides, Eriogonum species * Eriophyllum staechadifolium, Lobelia species, Monardella species, Pluchea odorata, Oenothera elata, Penstemon spp., Centromadia spp., Cirsium occidentale, Helianthus annuus, Solidago spp.,  Symphyotrichum/Aster spp.,   summer vegetables
§  Fruits/berries/seeds: Comarostaphylis diversifolia, Eriogonum spp.,  * Rhamnus spp.,  Sambucus nigra cerulea
§  Foliage: evergreen trees & shrubs; silver-white foliage plants
Planning: major planning month
§  Choose cool season veggies –  browse the seed catalogs; order seeds
§  Last chance to order native bulbs;  native seeds will usually still be available
§  Clean/sort/store seeds collected from the garden
§  Tidy up your potting bench
§  Sit in the shade and think about Water  Zones/conservation;
§  Plan to increase shady areas for outdoor activities
§  Apply/re-apply gravel mulch to wildflower & bulb areas – will help them to look less bare – you may also want to re-apply organic (wood/bark) mulch early to retain moisture and let the mulch settle before winter rains
§  Repair/install hardscape; work in cool times of day
§  Install a rain garden, dry/infiltration swale or dry well in preparation for winter rains
§  Build raised beds or planters before Sept. heats up
§  Create a potting area if you need one; Clean out potting area/check potting supplies & purchase  if needed
§  Sow seeds of cool-season vegetables in containers – semi-shade.
§  Start warm-season grasses from seed in containers – semi-shade
§  Plant radishes, carrots, beets directly into the garden.  Be sure to keep well-watered.
Watering: major watering month for Zone3, Chaparral and Sonoran Desert plants
§  Taper off water at the end of the month to native plants except Zone 2-3, Zone 3 & Chaparral and Sonoran Desert plants – give them a good ‘monsoon’;
§  Give plants from N. coast a ‘fog’ spray
Pruning: summer pruning month
§  Prune for safety & plant health
§  Hedge-shear if needed
§  Pruning to thin: prune after late spring/summer flowering  (only if plants are healthy and weather is not too hot and windy)
§  Carpenteria californica
§  Heteromeles arbutifolia
§  Keckiella cordifolia
§  Philadelphus lewisii
§  Prunus ilicifolia
§  Salvia spp. (prune now or in Oct/Nov)
§  Desert Legumes: Chilopsis;
§  Mow (if desired) sod-forming grasses, sedges
§  Coppice (severe prune) to rejuvenate old plants (after bloom) - (only if plants are healthy and weather is not too hot and windy)
§  Comarostaphylis diversifolia
§  * Cornus spp.
§  Heteromeles arbutifolia
§  * Philadelphus lewisii
§  Ribes viburnifolium
§  Rosa spp.
§  Look for signs of fungal disease; prune out diseased branches
·         Keep water sources for birds and insects filled – drinking water is scarce this time of year
·         Watch for dragonflies and butterflies – this is a good time for viewing them
§  Pick elderberries, other ripe fruits; use or dry/freeze
§  Pick, use or dry/freeze summer veggies
Enjoying the garden:
§  Enjoy the shade; cool dry garden shade is delightful
§  Search for a new container or garden sculpture
§  Eat corn on the cob, melons and maybe grapes from your garden
§  Make elderberry jelly/syrup or dry berries for tea





1 comment:

  1. I really like your calender of what to do. It is very helpful and fitting for our climate. Beautiful pictures and a great resource!