August Newsletter: Flowers, Vegetables & Fruit

Flowers:

Fall arrives in September however; we all know it will still be hot! Some of the durable heat tolerant flowers include pentas, bush daisies, lantanas, salvias (perennial), angelonia and blue daze. Consider adding some plants for color in the shade such as hydrangeas, variegated ginger, stromanthe triostar, mona lavender, caladiums or ferns.

Blue Daze

Semi-Tropicals:

Add some sizzle to your landscape with some hot tropical colors of semi-tropical plants. With a full 3-4 months to root in and establish before winter, plant semi-tropicals now while we are in the steamy days of summer!

Allamanda

Flowering semi-tropicals include hibiscus, allamanda, jatropha, helichonia. Colorful semi-tropical foliage plants like crotons, Hawaiian Ti, and arbicola are not only beautiful in the landscape but make great container plants on the pool deck or patio. Some of these plants create beautiful “fall” colors as well such as crotons, copper plants and stromanthe triostar!

Vegetables:

Vegetable gardens get restarted around the end of August to early September. Get your planting site ready now. Choose an area with 6-8 hours of sun. Incorporate compost, peat moss or manure to potting soil to enrich. You only need a few plants to grow fresh vegetables. Try planting one or two tomatoes or peppers in containers or consider an Earth Box. Make sure your containers are big enough (at least 5-7 gallon) as tomato plants especially, that are in too shallow containers wilt quickly and it is thought this is one of the reasons for the plants inability to take up necessary calcium to prevent blossom end rot. (the brown rot spots where the blossoms form).

Fall and Winter crops that can be planted in late August include broccoli, cauliflower, or tomatoes. Wait until October to plant spinach, cabbage or lettuce.

Look for vegetables and herbs to reappear in the Garden Center toward the end of August or early September.

Citrus & Fruit:

This is the perfect time to add citrus to your garden while summer rains can help water. Choose a spot with 6′-10′ of space in full sun and add fresh fruit of your choice. Citrus is self-pollinating and doesn’t require two plants.

Citrus trees are ready for their summer feeding now if you haven’t already done so. Keeping citrus trees healthy and vigorous help them tolerate citrus greening. At a flush of new growth, spray your citrus trees with an insecticide such as Spinosad (a natural product) or Horticultural Oil to control leaf miners and aphids, and more importantly the Asian psyllids which cause greening. Unfortunately this is not a guarantee against greening but it’s a help as keeping the trees healthy and relatively pest free makes for stronger trees. Remember the 7-7 Rule when spraying.

Check figs for ripeness this month.