Texas Gardening forum: A Gardening Checklist for August-September

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Aug 2, 2011 10:53 PM CST

Moderator

Climatologically, the highest maximum daily temperatures occur during the first couple of weeks in August. Maybe we will be lucky and have a few rain showers to soak the yard and cool things off a bit. If you have to be out in the heat, drink plenty of water, wear a broad brimmed hat, use sunscreen to protect your skin from sunburn and take frequent rest breaks. Here are a few things that you could be doing, preferably during the relative cool of the morning:

* In spite of the drought, remember that water is still key to successful gardening. Now is a good time to think about putting in a drip irrigation system if you don’t already have one.

* If you have a St. Augustine lawn, be on the lookout for chinch bugs and apply control, the sooner the better.

* If your oak trees need pruning, now should be one of the best times to do it. As stressed as the trees are from the drought, however, it might not be a good idea this year. The insects that transfer the oak wilt fungus are not very active during the heat of summer. If you do decide to prune, it is still recommended that you paint each pruning cut with sealer immediately after cutting.

* It’s time to get serious about your fall vegetable garden. You should already have your tomato and pepper plants in the ground (with some afternoon sun protection). Okra and winter squash should be planted by mid-August and green beans, summer squash and cucumbers by the end of the month. Set out broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower plants before Labor Day. Swiss Chard is a great green and can be planted anytime between now and early October. If you plant potatoes, they should be in the ground by the first of September. Unless the weather turns unusually cool and damp, it would be best to wait until at least mid-September to plant lettuce.

* Remember that caladiums are leaves, and leaves love nitrogen. If you still have caladiums give them a shot of a high nitrogen fertilizer (cheap lawn food is good) and water it in well.

* By mid-September you should start to prepare beds for planting fall annuals and spring bulbs.

Just remember to take it easy and try to avoid working outside in the sun during the heat of the day.

Do you have plans for a fall garden you’d like to share?

Thumb of 2011-08-03/Bubbles/c10002
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Tropicals Roses
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plumerias Orchids Plant and/or Seed Trader Butterflies Birds
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careyana
Aug 3, 2011 10:24 AM CST
Should I have already started seedlings for my fall gardening? I have seeds, seed pockets, and plenty of bins to put them in, plus a standing greenhouse.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Aug 3, 2011 9:32 PM CST

Moderator

Carey, for our area right now, putting tomatoes and peppers in the ground would probably mean certain death. Other parts of Texas are probably able to plant because the temps aren't as high. You can keep them in pots in the shade until it cools off, though.
Name: Patricia
Goldthwaite, TX (Zone 8a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Tip Photographer Region: Texas Cat Lover
Irises Daylilies Lilies Hummingbirder Birds Raises cows
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patrob
Aug 3, 2011 10:09 PM CST
My greenhouse hit 127 degrees today and stayed there all afternoon with door and windows open and fan blowing. There may not be a fall garden of any kind around here. As of today we can no longer water outside at all, and if we don't get substantial rain soon, the city has told us water will be shut off except for a few hours each day.
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Tropicals Roses
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plumerias Orchids Plant and/or Seed Trader Butterflies Birds
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careyana
Aug 3, 2011 10:44 PM CST
Yikes Patricia!!! I guess we should start praying for Emily to sail through the Gulf instead of riding the FL coast!

Sandi, I was thinking maybe I'll try that plastic tub idea for some tomato plants this time around. The raised beds were just too far for the hose to reach, and too much sun most of the day. :(
[Last edited by careyana - Aug 3, 2011 10:45 PM (+)]
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Aug 4, 2011 6:08 AM CST

Moderator

Carey, Did they give a hand out for the grow box? I can't remember. I have a box that I made with a group of MGs in a workshop. I could drag it out of the "hospital" where I hide my sickly plants, if you want to look at it. Even after I ignored it, tomato plants popped up in that box. It really works. I just didn't find it cost/time effective since I'm the only one who eats tomatoes here. With the Farmers' Market less than two miles, it's easier just to sup[port the farmers! I'm only keeping it because I figure eventually I'll plant somethings with DGS.

Pat, that's so scary. i can't imagine having no water except for a few hours. I must wash my hands a hundred times a day without thinking. We're being warned about power outages. We turn the AC to 85 upstairs when we come down in the morning. I try not to cook too much to keep the heat out Whistling ! Just doing my part, you know.
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Tropicals Roses
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plumerias Orchids Plant and/or Seed Trader Butterflies Birds
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careyana
Aug 4, 2011 4:22 PM CST
Sandi they sure did! I kept it along with the directions for the pot mover and the bench. Thumbs up

Our thermostat is set to 88 during the day upstairs and 87 down. We keep the fans on and the lights off. I even asked DH about setting up a portable clothesline so I can line dry. No sense running the dryer when it's 105 outside. I just don't want to put clothes out there - too dusty. Thumbs down
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Aug 4, 2011 5:24 PM CST

Moderator

Well, you're a better person than me when it comes to the thermostat. I keep it in the high 70s downstairs. I'd get cranky in the 80s!!!

We had DGS here late this morning for a few hours. After lunch, we baked cookies in DH's truck on the dashboard. Took over an hour and a half to "cook" them, but they didn't rise. Smelled great in the truck! We also tried to fry an egg on the sidewalk in a pizza pan. it was more baked than fried.
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Tropicals Roses
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plumerias Orchids Plant and/or Seed Trader Butterflies Birds
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careyana
Aug 4, 2011 10:16 PM CST
Oh, I'm a thermostat Type A. It's partly to get DH in line with ordering radiant barrier to do the install this fall. He found a place online that has good quality stuff (not the stuff they peddle in the house-to-house sales for $5k that's used in the space shuttle) that we can do the entire attic for around $400. I was reading on COA's website about their solar rebate program for the summer and offering an additional 50 cents per watt up to $18k total rebate. When we put our panels on a couple of years ago, we really took advantage of the highest rebate that COA has ever offered AND got the full federal refund amount (20% of total cost). I think our 3KW system cost us a grand total of $4k. Costs have come down a lot since then of course, but still...

Anyway, I was thinking about putting my first seeds for tomatoes in this weekend. I was pricing some of the plastic bins at Jo-Ann Fabric tonight but then I remembered a have a huge one in my step-son's room that will work perfectly. And daggumit, I'm going to get some of those cucumbers to take too.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Aug 5, 2011 8:31 AM CST

Moderator

Hilarious!
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
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Gymgirl
Aug 16, 2011 4:01 PM CST
So, THIS is where the true Texas gardeners are hanging out, huh?

I've been over on the ATP logo thread for weeks now, wondering when someone was going to begin a "what're you planting this fall/winter" discussion for the Zone 8-9a veggie growers!

We have a thread going over on another garden website you might be familiar with...But, since I'd like to be hanging out with Dave and the gang over here, I'm glad to know there's more growing on than the ATP banner that changes every 5 minutes!

So. If you wanna know what I'm doing, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, go read my blog to catch up...

Rolling my eyes.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Aug 16, 2011 4:42 PM CST

Moderator

Gymgirl...it's too hot to go all the way over there right now....you'll have to bring it over here for us. I think I'm having the vapors from the heat and feeling soooo light headed. I don't think I can make a move right now.....ooooh.....

Carey...WalMart has the 5 gallon plastic containers for $3.47 this week. I noticed them in the Sunday paper. Target has the 20 gallon tote for $5.99. this week. I don't think you'll find a big one for less than that!
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Dog Lover Container Gardener Tropicals Roses
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plumerias Orchids Plant and/or Seed Trader Butterflies Birds
Image
careyana
Aug 16, 2011 6:07 PM CST
Sandi, that one at Target sounds perfect! And since that's almost walking distance...well, maybe not across 183 with a 20 gallon tote, but..you get the picture. Thumbs up
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Aug 16, 2011 7:36 PM CST

Moderator

You can look at the ad online before you cross 183 in traffic! Pleezzzzz
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
Image
Gymgirl
Aug 17, 2011 9:25 AM CST
Whiny Baby...

Here's the blog link. Hope you don't faint getting to it...

http://garden.org/blogs/view/Gymgirl/
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Aug 17, 2011 9:54 AM CST

Moderator

I'm sure I would have liked your mom! 'Not as cranky as her daughter. Your plants look great. Tell us about Lemon Ajax. Never heard that one before. I have sprayed bugs with Windex with good results.
Name: Marylyn
Houston, TX (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: Texas Daylilies Lilies
Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Marylyn
Aug 17, 2011 10:00 AM CST
Gymgirl said:Whiny Baby...

Here's the blog link. Hope you don't faint getting to it...

http://garden.org/blogs/view/Gymgirl/



Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
Image
Gymgirl
Aug 17, 2011 11:23 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
Tip Photographer Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ferns
Image
Gymgirl
Aug 17, 2011 11:28 AM CST
Most insects do not like citrus. Lemon Ajax. I'm gonna get me a bucket of good old soapy water and literally wash the plant down, then hose it off with a good strong blast from the hose. It'll be all puny looking, but, as soon as it realizes there are no more mealybugs sucking the life out of it, it'll stand up and salute life!

Unless, of course, it has a bad case of the vapors, and simply can't bear to lift its head..... Glare

EVERYONE loved my mother!

Seriously, though, thanks for reading the blog. It's my very first and, although I'm writing it more as a personal garden journal, I was wondering if anyone else was peeping in...knowing there's a readership tends to influence the writing style...

Hugs and Crosses! Lovey dubby
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
Image
Bubbles
Aug 17, 2011 11:39 AM CST

Moderator

I would think you should keep writing like you're doing now. It is very "comfortable" reading. And I bet you'll get more readers as the weather cools to a balmy 90 to 95! Now I have to go rest from this insipid heat. Whistling

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