Timely Tips for August in the Low Desert
Tip of The Month
Balance is everything in a garden. Wiping out all the pests is not a realist or even a desirable goal. If there were no aphids, lady beetles would starve. If we don't share the leaves of our plants with caterpillars, we would not experience the joy of watching butterflies. If there were no fungi or bacteria nothing would breakdown to recycle back into the system. Everything has its place and purpose. Select plants that are resistant to known pests, keep them healthy (stressed plants are more vulnerable to pest problems), tolerate a little "damage", and marvel at the many tiny and grand "battles" of nature keeping your yard in balance.
Climate Information for August in Phoenix, Arizona
Average: 1.0 inches
Record: 5.4 inches (1951)
Temperature (degrees F):
Average High: 103.7 degrees
Lowest High: 73 degrees (1951)
Record High: 116 degrees (1972, 1975)
Average Low: 79.2 degrees
Highest Low: 92 degrees (1995)
Record Low: 58 degrees (1917)
Note: Rainfall and temperatures vary widely within the valley depending upon elevation and microclimate.
To Do List . . .
Solarize garden soil: Prepare bed for fall planting, irrigate and then cover with clear plastic for six weeks. This will kill or drive out many of the soil pathogens.
Prepare bed for fall planting
Snap Beans, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Collard Greens, Corn, Cucumbers, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce (Head & Leaf) Leeks, Mustard, Green Onions, Summer Squash
Fruit and Nut Trees
Late summer application of nitrogen fertilizer probably helps fruit sizing. This is more significant for fall ripening (navels & tangerines) than spring ripening (Grapefruit and Valencia orange) varieties.
Apply nitrogen and zinc to pecan trees to produce normal size leaf growth and to enhance kernel development. Pecans also need more water than most other shade trees.
Don't List . . .
Do not expose citrus and other sun sensitive plants to sunburn by pruning during the summer
DO NOT OVER WATER which will result in root rots. Allow the soil to dry out between watering.