Garden Monthly Update: August 2016

Garden News

August is another low production month, but finally the night time temperatures have started to drop. The ornamental sunflowers continued to bloom and make the bees happy. The black krim tomato plants are doing well and even have a few tomatoes growing, which was a big surprise as typically they would not set fruit until the day temperature is below 90 degrees. The okra was the highest production for August with 4 plants now in full swing and 8 - 10 okra harvested per day. I harvested 7 cantaloupes in August and currently have another dozen fruits that are maturing. The basil started taking off again with the slightly lower temperatures and required 2 harvests for drying in August. The  marigolds are ready but have not yet bloomed, but expect the lower temps in September will help. The gallardia  and cosmos continue to do well and more flowers produced in August. The chili peppers are blooming and have baby peppers in abundance. The bell pepper plants are doing well and some are starting to bloom.  The volunteer cucumber (not Armenian) vines are still doing well and a few baby cucumbers have been spotted, so hope they will survive with the lower temperature. The grape vine got infested with leaf hoppers, but are declining after neem oil spraying. The last of the grapes were harvested in August. The purple cabbage plants from the spring, survived the summer and are now starting to look healthier with some new growth showing. I planted zucchini and tomatillo seeds in August and all have healthy seedling's with some afternoon shade provided.


We are entering into the most productive garden season for Arizona, so get planting!


Planting guide updates include - No new updates this month.


- Regular daily okra production of 8 - 10 per day from 4 plants.

- Lots of juvenile lizards and gecko's spotted around the garden.

- The black krim tomato plants have set some fruit.

- Seven yummy cantaloupes harvested.


- The grape vine got infested with leaf hoppers and had to be sprayed with neem oil.

- Two months now with very little rain!

"Hot" Topic

Shade - For new seedling's you will want to give them some sun protection until the daytime temperatures fall below 100 degrees consistently.

Tip of the Month

Soil Rejuvenation - Now is the time to get your soil rejuvenated for the late summer/fall planting. I just put a top coat of 1 - 3" homemade compost and if you already have a good base soil then a new top coat may be all you need. If you want to rev it up a bit, mix in some lava sand or green sand, or chicken manure for a boost of extra nutrients.

September Do List

  1. If you have not yet fertilized your citrus, do it in September.

  2. Clean out citrus tree water sprouts and dead wood.

  3. Water trees deeply every 2 weeks and native trees once per month.

  4. Trim back tomatoes and peppers that survived the summer.


  • Trim spent flower stalks and blossoms from perennials.

  • Remove dead and damaged wood from trees and shrubs.


  • Tomatoes and peppers.

Pest Control

  •  Release: ladybugs.

  • Treat grub worms with beneficial nematodes.

  • Spray garlic tea for aphids.

September Don't List

1. Don't fertilize your citrus trees near the trunk, feed the outer 2/3 of the root system.

2. Don't plant transplants of broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower if daytime temperatures are not consistently below 100 degrees.

3. Don't over-water transplanted trees and shrubs, it can drown and rot the roots.

September Planting

Vegetables: (Blue highlight identifies "ideal" planting time items)

Seeds - Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Collards, Corn, Cucumbers, Endive, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mustard greens, Green onions, Peas, Radish, Spinach, Turnips

Transplants - tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, onions, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, lettuce (head & leaf).


Note: Cool season vegies can be planted when daytime temperatures fall below 100 degrees.


Herbs: Basil, Borage, Calendula, Chamomile, Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Lavender, Lemon grass, Rue, Sage, Thyme

Flowers: African Daisies, Alyssum, Aster, Bachelor Button, Bells of Ireland, Calendula, California Poppy, Candytuft, Carnation, Clarkia, Columbine, Delphinium, Forget-Me-Not, Gallardia, Godetia, Gypsophila, Hollyhocks, Larkspur, Lupines, Nasturtium, Nicotiana, Pansy, Petunia, Phlox, Pinks, Poppy, Salpiglossis, Scabiosa, Shasta Daisy, Snapdragon, Stocks, Sweet Peas, Sweet Sultan, Sweet William, Verbena, Viola

Fruit: Pineapple Guava, Strawberry, any sub-tropical

Recipe of the Month

- Fried Okra Salad - Tis the okra season and even if you do not like okra, try this recipe as I think you will like it. I am not an okra fan, but I like this salad.


Garden Books: Extreme Gardening by Dave Owens and Desert Gardening for Beginners by Cathy Cromell, Linda Guy and Lucy Bradley.

Web Sites:



Q: When is the best time to transplant trees and should I remove new lower branches?

A: You should always try to transplant trees during their dormant season. Typically this is in the winter months when the trees will not be leaving, flowering or setting fruit. New growth (sucker branches) from the bottom of the truck should be removed if you do not want your tree to become a bush.


September Preview

Hydro gardening

August Pictures

Link to Photos Here


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