[gardeners] To Do in August

flylo@txcyber.com (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 6 Aug 2001 06:34:01 -0500

This was copied from John Dromgoole's Gardening newsletter. He 
owns a large organic garden center in Austin Texas. If they think 
we can put seed in the ground in august in TX, surely you can too! 
I have a hard time believing lettuce and the cole crops can be set 
out this month, but it might be worth a shot! (Martha)

We are still in our least productive season for planting 
plants here in Central Texas.  It is still a good idea to let 
landscape rest, and make the best of the heat while you 
plan for the
fall gardening season.  The exception is the vegetable 
it is your last chance to plant certain veggie seeds and 

Plant Vegetable Seeds:  Beans, Corn, Cucumber, 
Garlic, *Okra,
*Black-eyed Peas, Potatoes, Shallot, *New Zealand and 
Malabar Spinach,
Summer Squash, *Winter Squash

Plant Vegetable Seeds in Pots or Flats:  (Keep these 
“cool.”  Give
them bright sun, but perhaps some shade from the 
hottest afternoon
sun, or an “awning” made of 30% shade cloth.)  Broccoli, 
Sprouts, Cauliflower, Chard, Chinese Cabbage, 
Collards*, Endive*,
Fennel, Kale, Head and Leaf Lettuce*, Mustard*, 

Plant Vegetable Plants:  Okra, New Zealand or Malabar 
Spinach, Summer
or Winter Squash

Plant Herb Plants:  Mint Marigold, Mints, Oregano, 
Rosemary, Sage,
Wormwood (Artemesia)

Plant Annual Flower/Ornamental Plants:  Blue Daze, 
Celosias (Cockscomb
or Plume), Zinnia

Plant Perennial Plants:  Ornamental Grasses, Sedum

(An asterisk (*) before the entry indicates it is best 
planted the
first half of the month; an asterisk after the entry shows it 
is best
planted the second half).

Water deeply.  Concentrate on trees, newly planted and 
ones.  Unless we get regular 3” rains until fall (!), trees 
will need
special watering care to make it through the summer 
without damage. 
As John Dromgoole says, “A one-inch rain is only 
enough to wash the
dust off the trees.”  Place a bubbler, a small sprinkler, or 
a soaker
hose around trees, and water for several hours with a 
low flow of
water.  Any time you water, use only sprinklers that spray 
the least
amount of water into the air, where it is lost to 
evaporation.  Water
early in the morning or late in the evening for the same 
reason.  In
addition, the more water on the leaves, the greater the 
chances of
fungal problems on the leaves.  Even plain water on the 
leaves while
the sun is out can also burn the leaves. Newly planted 
trees and
shrubs need more frequent watering their first two years. 
on your soil and weather conditions, you may need to 
water trees
weekly or every other week.  Rocky, Hill Country soil will 
dry out
much faster than clayey Blackland Prairie soil.  Your finger is your
best moisture meter:  dig down as deeply as you can to feel the soil
around the roots before watering.  If you find that water runs off of
the soil easily, and doesn’t percolate well, use Medina Soil
Activator, or Lady Bug Terra Tonic (which contains Soil Activator). 
These products help the soil to be more permeable, among other
benefits.  And don’t forget the shrubs - they need attention, too.  

Consider investing in soaker hoses and/or a drip system.  These
watering systems put the water right where it’s needed – in the soil –
rather than wasting the water into the air.  Of course, this saves on
the water bill, too, and again - reduces the chances of diseases on
the plants.    While soaker hoses are easier to install in the garden
or landscape, a well-designed drip system can last much longer.  Ask
your favorite nursery or irrigation company for more information.

Mulch, mulch, mulch!  If you haven’t done so already, be 
sure all bare
soil is covered with mulch, or compost, then mulch.  
Avoid piling
mulch or compost onto plant stems, and use about three 
inches wherever

Continue spraying all plants with seaweed regularly.  
Seaweed, with
all its trace elements and hormones, can do more to 
help plants
survive the heat than anything else, besides water and 
mulch.  Spray
on and under the leaves, early morning or late evening.

(Thanks to Howard Garrett’s Texas Organic Gardening 
Book and the
Travis County Master Gardener Association’s Garden 
Guide for Austin
and Vicinity for some of this month’s tips).