July & August Gardening Tips. Hint: Water!

July and August is a crucial time in the Bay Area for gardeners and landscapers. Depending on where you are in the Bay, and your level of fog, you will have different choices about what to plant and when. We’ve compiled a few tips to consider as we head into late summer.

According to the San Francisco Bay Chronicle, your chief task in July is to make sure your plants receive sufficient water. Make sure to pay attention to the water needs of young trees, and potted plants in July and August. Make sure to cultivate (gently rough) the surface soil of your potted plants to ensure that the water you provide them reaches the roots, rather than spilling off the top of dried soil. You can also submerge the pot in a larger container of water until bubbles stop and the soil is pliable.

Rhododendron, azaleas and camellias will need water to encourage budding. Citrus and other fruit trees will drop their fruit without sufficient water. (Are you noticing a trend here? Water!)

It’s also a good time to ensure all of your blooming plants are fertilized appropriately, and to cut old and dying parts of the plant back to make sure that your garden and landscape beauties only focus energy on new growth. The same applies for fallen fruit and vegetables… clear them out and compost them if possible to lower the risk of slugs, spores and white fly infestation.

Remember to be water wise and fire safe, always! Clear away brush from within a 30-foot radius of your house every summer.

Everything is Fed, Watered and Clean… Now, What to Plant?

For your landscape, consider planting autumn-blooming versions of bulbs such as spider lily, colchicum, ivy-leaved cyclamen, and allium in July and August.

It’s also time for a second sowing of seeds in the vegetable garden. Bush beans, carrots and radishes can be sowed directly into the soil now, as well as lettuces, beets, spinach and more! Check local listings like SF Bay Gardener for additional guidance.

All of us at Bayscape Landscape wish you health, safety and a fruitful garden and landscape this summer.