August is turning out rather nice. It’s patio time folks so stock up on the ice cubes and little umbrellas…erm, maybe pass on the umbrellas, I’ve had enough of them this year and stock up on the fancy ice cubes…in heart shapes, star shapes and ice cubes with bits of fruit stuck in them.
With all of this lovely sunshine, everyone is getting outside and taking advantage of it…we all know how fleeting it is!!
Here is your to-do list:
- The right tool will save you tons of time. My fave for this season is my scuffle hoe or Dutch Hoe. It looks like a stirrup from a saddle with a long handle. Its great for scuffling along and breaking up the weeds while they are little.
- Water as needed but check your municipal time-table
- Dead-head perennials and annuals.
- Assess your garden design and start to plan any garden renovations now.
- Watch for aphids…spray off with the hose.
- Bring in bouquets…have fun with your friends and send messages with flowers. Look up flower meanings.
- Avoid fertilizing trees and shrubs with slow release fertilizer at this time. You don’t want them to send up too much soft growth at the end of the season.
- It's ok to keep planting at this time of year, as long as you stay on top of your watering...
You can do a light pruning of fruit trees up to mid-month. Try not to remove anything bigger then the width of a pencil and an overall prune of no more than 1/4. You can lightly prune your Japanese Maples as well following the same principals as above.
Don’t forget to water the trees as well…especially your street trees. For my trees I leave the hose on a trickle for about 20 min to allow the water to soak in. For newly planted trees, water them even heavier on a regular basis.
Water if needed. Remember the tuna can trick from last month’s to-do list. Don’t despair if you’ve come back from vacation to a tan coloured lawn. Lawns will go dormant if they are water stressed and will come back to life just peachy in the fall.
Fruits & Veggies
- Time to harvest!!!!
- Pick blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, tayberries, currants and early apples. Some of the plums are ready too! Freeze on cookie sheets or chop and freeze in bags for later use if you are blessed with a large harvest. If you have far more than you can use you can share with your neighbours or drop of the fresh produce at your local foodbank.
- Keep an eye out for cutworms, grubs, etc. If your garden is overrun, consider using nematodes, which occur naturally in healthy soil, to fight the pests rather than using a pesticide.
- If you don’t have a garden of your own, don’t worry, you can check out the Fraser Valley Farm Fresh Guide on line to locate a farm nearby. You can also check out local farmers markets too for some fantastic produce, baked goods and other amazing stuff. We highly recommend our good friends at Rondriso Farms in Surrey.
Keep an eye on water levels. Remember, water loss doesn’t necessarily mean a leak. We lose a lot from evaporation on a hot day.
If algae is a problem add some more floaters such as frog bit or Floating Hyacinths or you can google barley straw and make a barley straw ‘teabag’ using an orange or onion sack.
Try out a new hike or be a tourist in your own town. Check out:
A few great summer reads…
Remember to take the time to put your feet up and soak in a bit of our all too short summer!