August is now in full swing and the drier climate often leaves many of us wondering how to best tend to our budding blooms and edible plants in the garden. Houzz recently published a helpful piece on how to “Keep Your Cool in the Garden” this month, complete with a Pacific Northwest guide helpful for everyone, from the garden enthusiast to the green thumb.
As Genevieve Schmidt writes, “this is the month when the ground starts to bake, and it’s easy to become concerned that our plants won’t tolerate the yearly cycle of drought as well.” Yet by following a few simple tips, you can make sure your foliage is up to par as you enjoy the warm weather our region gives us this time of year.
Keep your flowers looking gorgeous like the ones in Mercer Island Craftsman’s garden by staking dahlias and other flowers that are heavier than their stalks, and deadhead spent flowers to “encourage the plant to continue setting new buds and put energy into blooms for the summer.” Adding organic fertilizer made especially for flowering plants will also give those blooms a boost.
Your fruits will benefit from thinning the patch, and removing fruited canes from plants such as raspberries. Look forward to pears, peaches, plums and other fruits ripening as they become ready for harvest. Vegetable gardens will require less attention, as it is now time “to stop watering onions so they will go dormant and set a good crop” which will give them a delectable savory flavor.
If things are looking a bit drab, August is also a great month to head to your local nursery and pick up some flowering perennials. Schmidt recommends looking for Scotch Heathers and the Encore Azalea, which blooms late summer to early autumn.