Your Desert Potted Garden in August - What to Do This Month

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August Potted Garden Tips

Summer Desert Potted Color
  • Marylee, The Potted Desert
  • Summer Desert Potted Color

We have made it to August and as the sun rises a little later each morning, we can try to coast into September.
HOWEVER, as I write this it is hot and windy out so I am not sure if you will agree with my choice of the word coasting!

Too often desert homeowners make the mistake in thinking that a monsoon storm means they can cut back on irrigation or hand watering for their pots, gardens and other plants.

Points to consider:
**It has to rain at least one (1) inch in order to saturate the root ball of your plants (get yourself a rain gauge so you know how much rain your yard has received)

**Pots under a ramada, tree or overhang do not receive enough. if any rain.

**A deep soaking rain (more than 1 inch) received over a long time period (several hours) will replace one day's watering.

**Pots in full sun with flowers and other 'soft' plants are accustomed to daily watering.

**A missed watering can cause your plants to get stressed and this invites problems including pest invasion and disease.

**If you have not received much rain, water your potted cacti/succulents now ~ Deeply!

Potted Garden To Do List:

Deadhead:
Continue to deadhead your annuals and prune to create new growth and a well-shaped plant.

Fertilize:
Your potted gardens every two weeks with a water soluble fertilizer. Monsoon rains will support wild growth!

Prune:
Your tomatoes by two-thirds to encourage new growth and fruit set for the fall. If you haven't pruned back your geraniums, do so now.

Jet Spray:
All of your potted plants including flowers, shrubs, cacti, succulents - i.e. everything - every day if you are able. This will increase air circulation and deter pests and disease such as spider mites, powdery mildew, aphids, etc. Do this in the early morning.

Capture Rainwater:
And use it to water plants under your covered areas. Micro nutrients in the rain are great for potted plants!

Plant:
A fresh selection of annuals to replace those that have petered out. Nurseries will have new Zinnias, Marigolds, Vinca, Angelonia (Summer Snaps) and many other wonderful color plants perfect for this time of year in the desert.

Roses in August (from the Rose Society of Tucson)

Water:
Deeply water to encourage roots to grow to where the soil is cooler.
Roses in pots need daily water.
Never let them dry out or the soil will become hard to re-hydrate.
Check your irrigation system often.

Feed:
Fertilize lightly (50% solution - twice weekly)

Deadhead:
Deadhead your roses but leave all old leaves and canes to help shade the plant. Just take off the flower stem and forget the rule of going back to a five leaf section. The additional leaves that remain on the plant help protect it.

If you would like to receive these Monthly Desert Potted Garden updates in your inbox, click here to subscribe. Marylee is the desert's potted garden expert. Email her with questions or comments!

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