Hello, fellow gardeners. We have entered the “the dog days of summer.”

I am not sure, about you all but I’m dreaming of shorter days and cooler weather. 

By now our gardens are showing stress from the long hot windy days.  Even with ample water the heat raises havoc with ornamental trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. It’s time to seriously look at our garden and help out these stressed friends. 

For example, rose bushes will have sunburned leaves from the heat and wind. 

I like to strip the foliage and open the center crown of the plant. This allows light and air to circulate. It’s also a great time to fertilize. Use Epsom salts, Dr. Earth Organic Rose fertilizer and don’t forget to use my banana and egg shell tea. Use the tea every two weeks. This will help roses produce more flushes of blooms. 

Other gardening tasks for August include keeping an eye out for insects such as thrips, spider mites, tomato hornworms, cinch bugs and scale. Also watch for snails. Continue to deeply water plants, regularly harvest fruits and vegetables and to broadcast organic mulch for weed suppression and water retention. 

It’s also time to divide perennials such as bearded Iris and to cut back tomatoes to help produce more autumn fruit. Continue to collect flower seeds. 

Remember, do not prune your garden and street trees now because trees need as much foliage as possible. The foliage is the food maker. 

Continue to mow your lawns at a height of 1.5 inches. This will allow retention of moisture and put less stress on the turf; if your turf has become stress, it’s time to apply a surfactant in either a prilled form or concentrate liquid. Surfactant is used to break the ions around the turf roots and allow the roots to uptake water and fertilizer.  Finally, remember, if you have any questions for me, feel free to write-mark_koehler@yahoo.com. And I’m willing to give free landscape and arborist consultation for anyone who feels lost and needs help.