August is a productive time for our Northern California gardens. Keep harvesting ripe fruits and vegetables. Failure to harvest can hinder production.
For flower gardens: put on some Grateful Dead and deadhead your garden, which should be done on an on-going basis if you have plants blooming. As plants fade out of bloom, pinch or cut off the flower stem below the spent flower and just above the first set of full, healthy leaves. Repeat with all the dead flowers on the plant.
Water regularly during our scorching summers. Water in the early morning or after the sun sets to avoid water waste. Water the soil near the plant’s roots and avoid splashing the leaves, which can spread disease or intensify sunlight to burn the plant.
The heat and humidity of summer leaves your garden more susceptible to plant diseases. Check for diseased foliage and remove it. Do not add diseased plant matter to your compost pile as the disease can spread to the rest of your garden. Disinfect tools like pruners in between each plant to avoid spreading disease as well.
Treat affected plants with Arber Bio Fungicide, OMRI-listed for organic gardening and available at the Co-op for $11.99 plus tax. Arber controls and suppresses gray and white molds, downy mildews, black spots on roses, leaf spots, root rot, botrytis, and more.
Keep a keen eye out for insect pests including thrips, tomato fruitworms, tomato hornworms, spider mites, chinch bugs, scale, snails, and slugs. Remove them from foliage if you find them.
Make your garden more attractive to beneficial insects and/or treat with Arber Bio Insecticide. Protect your garden from aphids, fungus gnats, mites, mealybugs, leafhoppers, tent caterpillars, grubs, leaf beetles, thrips, whiteflies, stink bugs, fruit flies, and more.
Pinch back poinsettias and mums before the end of the month to allow time for buds to form for a winter bloom.