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Keep Southern California Gardens Well Watered in August

August is the hottest month of the year in Southern California, so it’s important to water vegetables, flowers, and trees well, especially as they continue to bloom and produce.

Be water efficient: Use a drip irrigation system to water plants and trees. There is no point in watering the leaves. Water longer, deeper and less often instead of applying a quick daily spray.

Plant cool-season vegetables in pots: Wait until the end of the month, then plant cool-season vegetable seeds in pots. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, kale, Swiss chard, onions and shallots. You can plant them in the ground, but the soil should be kept moist and receive some shade during the day. Radish, carrot and beet seeds can go straight to the garden.

Plant cool-season flowers: Plant fall annuals including calendula, cineraria, dianthus, delphiniums, Iceland poppies, pansies, snapdragon and stock later in August. They will give color to your garden for the next few months.

Mow weekly: Lawns grow quickly in the summer. Make sure the blades of grass remain at least an inch long after mowing. Longer blades protect the floor from heat and water evaporation.

Time for houseplant care: Wash the dust off the leaves of houseplants with lukewarm water. Remove dead leaves. Repot the plants with potting soil. If the plants are too big to repot, add potting soil to the existing soil.

Get rid of aphids on roses naturally: Techniques for eliminating aphids depend on the level of infestation. First, try using a strong stream of water from a garden hose to knock the bugs off. If they come back, bathe each leaf with mild soap and water. Aphids like to hide in cool, dark places. Remove concentrated branches from the center of the bush to promote air circulation. Also remove faded flowers. They are another hiding place for aphids.

Soak your compost pile: If you maintain your own compost pile, soak it several times during the month of August. Summer heat tends to dry out compost piles. Watering will promote the decomposition of organic matter. Cover the pile after each soak to keep the pile moist longer.

Protection against slugs and snails: Strawberries are a delight for slugs, snails and woodlice (rolly pollies). These pests wait until the berries are almost ripe before digging. While they are still growing, keep strawberries off the ground. Place them on wooden planks, on slippery cans – anything that prevents pests from reaching them.

Give your garden a tropical look: Banana trees can thrive in Southern California. They can reach a height of 25 feet and will start producing fruit a year or more after planting. The soil around the trunk should be well drained but kept moist. Banana trees should be planted in the warmest area of ​​your garden, the sunniest and the most protected from the wind. Trees can survive below freezing temperatures for a short time. For added safety, wrap the trunk in a blanket if very cold temperatures are forecast.

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