August Heat Makes Southern California Gardening a Challenge

Average temperatures in southern California are at their highest in August making it a challenging month to keep gardens looking their best, says Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly compost products made from organic material collected from more than 50 California cities including those in Ventura County.

Remove Nonproducing Vegetable Plants: We sometime continue to water vegetables plants that have produced little or no vegetables. By August, most vegetables planted in spring have already yielded a sizable crop. Remove those that are past their prime or have failed to produce. Focus your attention (and water) on healthy plants.

Add Plants That Love Hot Weather: If you want to spruce up your flower garden, add splashes of summer color with perennials that can take the heat. These include California fuchsia, chalk live-forevers (which produce long shoots of red flowers), yarrow, lantana and sage.

Deep Water Trees and Shrubs: Most trees and shrubs need a weekly deep watering during August. It is better to deep water (15 minutes on a slow drip) than water more often but for less time. Deep watering forces roots to grow down into the cooler and moister portion of the soil. Water in the early morning hours.

Plant Cool Weather Vegetables in Containers: Wait until the end of August and then plant cool weather vegetables in outside containers. Vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, chard, kale, leeks, onions and shallots. Place the containers in a shady location.

Clean Up Annuals:  Your annuals may start to look a little raggedy in August. Remove dead blooms and stems to encourage new growth.

Cut Back Poor Growing Perennials: If perennials are struggling in the summer heat, cut them back to only a few inches tall. They will start to regrow in fall or early spring.

Rose Care:  Feed, prune and water roses weekly or biweekly to encourage flowering into the fall and beyond. Faded flowers should be removed immediately to encourage new budding. Gently prune rose bushes to shape and strengthen lower canes.

Re-evaluate Your Landscaping: Even with water conservation efforts, water costs are still rising.

August is a good time to examine your landscaping—decide which trees and plants are doing well without much water and which are not—and then plan to make changes to a more water-efficient landscape when the weather cools.

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About Agromin:       

Agromin manufactures earth-friendly soil products for farmers, landscapers and gardeners. Agromin is also the composter for over 50 California cities. Agromin receives more than 30,000 tons of organic material each month and then uses a safe, natural and sustainable process to transform the material into soil products. The results are more vigorous and healthier plants and gardens, and on the conservation side, the opportunity to close the recycling circle, allow more room in landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


One Response to August Heat Makes Southern California Gardening a Challenge

  1. William "Bill" Hicks August 2, 2016 at 9:08 am

    INTERESTING ARTICLE. May I add that even water thrifty plants still require water. New plants, water thrifty or not, require more water than established plants.

    If you want to venture into the use of more water thrifty landscape may I suggest that you do that during the more traditionally wet time of the year. You may be able to get water thrifty plants better established during that time and you may see a higher success rate.


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