August 2 2008 Timely Tips




August 2, 2008

August is the hottest month for the garden. Get most of the gardening chores accomplished in the early morning hours or much later in the cooler evenings. Consider relocating container plants from the full sun into shadier locations. This will cut back on watering and sun scalding.

Trees, shrubs, flowerbeds and container plants that are replenished with a two-to-four inch layer of organic mulch will avoid a tremendous amount of moisture loss. This is a crucial step in water conservation during dry times.

Encourage a late summer or early fall rejuvenation of blooms from crape myrtles and vitex trees by deadheading plants when their flowers are about 80% spent. This is accomplished by trimming off the flowers and seeds as well as removing three clusters of leaves.

This is the second-best time to prune live oak trees. The oak wilt fungus spores and nitilid beetles are not active in hot or cold weather. Immediately paint any cuts you make with a latex paint. And make sure that any tree service company used is certified, licensed, bonded, and insured.

If you see footprints soon after walking through your turfgrass, it’s time to water. Do it early in the morning and water deeply. Shallow watering causes shallow roots which are easily damaged.

David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener “Hotline” (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at

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