Urban Gardening

Desert plants like this agave do well in hot, dry conditions.

Heat Island Effect

Anyone who's spent any time in urban areas knows that they create their own microclimate. Many of us learned as kids about asphalt's ability to heat up in summer. Whether chasing a ball from the cool grass to the scorching street or walking across a hot parking lot, we learned that the street is much hotter than the dirt or lawn. This extra heat absorbed and radiated by masses of concrete and asphalt is called the heat island effect.... >>more

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Summer Watering Strategies

Watering is usually the top summer chore for gardeners. From June through August, evaporation and plant transpiration (together termed evapotranspiration) reach their peak. Water is quickly lost from the soil, from the leaves, and even from pots like terra cotta and wood. Keeping moisture levels adequate can be tough.... >>more

Some Like It Hot

When selecting plants for patios and balconies, consider those from habitats that most closely match your conditions, such as areas exposed to wind and sun, with limited water and soil, as well as large temperature fluctuations. Plants from areas like scrubland, screes, mountainsides, and deserts often make great patio plants..... >>more

Moss' Kitchen Garden Plants

Summer is the season for growing edibles. Producing your own food lifts the spirits and keeps you in touch with nature. On the practical side, growing your own food boosts your nutrition and sharpens your culinary skills.... >>more

Send Your Urban Gardening Tips!

Do you have any tips to share with fellow urban gardeners? Send them to us and we'll enter you in our Urban Gardening Giveaway Sweepstakes for a chance to win a free Mini-Reel Hose — a $59.95 value! Learn more.


August 2007

Sponsored by:

Jackson & Perkins

Park Seed

Wayside Gardens

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August Q and A

Question: What easy-care city plants have truly blue flowers? Most of the things I hope will be blue come up purple. >>more

Buy mums with plenty of unopened buds to prolong the show.

August Gardening Tips

  1. Place thirsty potted plants in decorative containers or bowls without drainage holes during the worst of the summer heat. When you water, make sure it drains through into the outside container. This keeps a little extra water available for plant roots. Just make sure plants aren't constantly sitting in water or the roots could rot.

  2. Plan ahead for fall color. Mums and asters are available at some garden centers now. These young plants are not yet blooming, but if you buy them now they will be well acclimated to your space before the show begins. Now is the time to order fall-blooming bulbs like autumn crocuses, saffron crocuses, and autumn daffodils.

  3. Visit conservatories and botanic garden greenhouses. Most will have desert or cactus rooms filled with cacti and succulents that love the heat. These are great places to get ideas for balcony or patio plantings that thrive on sun and neglect. Many of these plants are hardy in the Southwest and Florida. In other areas they make dramatic winter houseplants.

Today's site banner is by Fleur569 and is called "Flowing Cactus "