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Home Design : A Special Issue Of Orange County Life : Specific August Gardening Tips . . .

August 12, 1989|Clipboard researched by Susan Davis Greene and Rick VanderKnyff / Los Angeles Times. Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

Careful attention to watering practices is a priority in August. The best time to water plants is in the early morning to help prevent disease problems and sun scald. To help remove harmful salts from the root zones of plants, leech the soil by placing a hose with a slow trickle of water near the base of plants for a couple of hours or more.

August is the best month to plant cool-season vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots, radishes and kale are some of the choices available.

Seeds of cool-season annuals such as pansies, snapdragons, stock and Iceland poppies can also be started now. Fertilize chrysanthemums with a balanced fertilizer such as 15-30-15 for more abundant fall blooming.

Dahlias are at their peak bloom now. Check local garden centers for some of the many varieties available.


1. To conserve moisture in container plantings, be sure to mulch.

2. For some red hot color in the hot summer garden, plant salvia.

3. Have a mildew problem on your roses or crape Myrtles? You may be watering too late in the day. Try watering in the early morning or at least by late afternoon.

4. Take down your hanging baskets every now and then to give them a good soaking either by dunking them in a bucket or by running the water hose over them very slowly.

5. Fertilize lawns as well as shrubs, flowers and vegetables at six-week intervals during the summer. Avoid fertilizing just before going on vacation.

6. Keep tomato plants supported with cages so they won't sprawl on the ground and damage or dirty the tomatoes.

7. Frequent trimming of hedges promotes new green growth for a full, dense look instead of a bare, woody look.

Source: Melba Davis, California Assn. of Nurserymen and Delmar McComb, Horticulturist, Sherman Library and Gardens

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