Sultry August in Your Desert Potted Garden
The ‘OMG’ Month in Your Desert Potted Garden
It’s hot. It’s humid. Ugh. You don’t need me to tell you that. August is the month to take a break from many desert potted garden chores. The largest challenges are managing the weather and the needs of your garden.
You have the list here. Right click on it and print it out. Here are a few extra tips.
Hmmm… that’s funny – Tips!
i.e., Tipping pots
Heavy rains with blustery winds can endanger tall pots with narrow bases. When a storm is coming, be sure to
- lasso them in
- tuck them into corners or
- put other, more solid structures around them.
Irrigation and Watering Your Pots During the Rains
Do not assume because it rains that you can stop watering your pots. Here’s some information from various weather sources:
- Don’t forget to water your plants, even when it rains. … Even in wet seasons, watering helps, because roots need air to function, and a “cats and dogs” rain temporarily drives all the air out of the ground.
A ‘cats and dogs’ rain certainly applies to monsoon rains.
- An inch of water should penetrate the ground at least 6 to 15 inches, depending on the soil type. Clay soils are denser, and water doesn’t penetrate as deeply as in sandy soils. Ideal garden soil will be moist 12 inches after an inch of rain.
I can hear you now – oh good! The local weather said we had an inch of rain! Did you have an inch where you live? Do you have a rain gauge near your pots? Or better yet, in one of your pots? Often we get a 1/4′ which is absolutely not enough for your summer flowers.
- Soil on the dry side will take longer to absorb enough water to rehydrate itself. So that inch of rain is not going to do enough good to allow you to skip a day.
- And speaking of skipping a day, if it rains that inch or more today, don’t assume it is good for tomorrow. Thirsty summer flowers usually need water daily so don’t skip. Check the soil. If it remains cloudy, you may not need to water on Day Two.
Don’t assume. Check your plants daily or you may be in for a very sad surprise.
Plant new plants in your desert potted garden only if you find good ones
Sometimes in August, the supply of new flowers is disappointing. If you have some plants in your pots that are looking really sad, pull them out and groom the bare soil spots.
Visit your favorite nursery and look for thriving Pentas, Summer Snaps (Angelonia), or healthy young petunias. If you don’t see something you really like, Wait! Talk to the staff and see when they think some fresh plants will be in. You want things that will be gorgeous throughout the fall.
If you have a copy of my book, check out the section on shoulder season plants. If not, click on the image to order one today!
Happy Monsooning! …. Marylee