August 2022 Garden Blog and TipsKing Feed
Wimberley’s Hometown Garden Guy – Tim Thompson
Surviving Hot August Weather In Wimberley, Texas
Our average high temperature for August is about 96°, and that would be a welcome respite from the hellish temperatures of June and July here. Remember, though, that August weather is at least as unpredictable as every month in Wimberley, Texas. A high-pressure dome or a tropical storm can change things in a hurry. If you are a native-born or a transplanted Texas, then you know to be prepared for anything. Plan accordingly. My Ancestry DNA tests found overwhelmingly Scandinavian roots in my family, so I am acutely aware of the need for protection from solar radiation, especially in the long summers here and especially in South Texas. Sunscreen, long sleeves, and wide brim hats are more than a good idea- they are a necessity for gardening in Wimberley, Texas. Remember: What we used to call a nice, healthy tan is now known as skin damage! Be heat safe. Drink plenty of water while you’re tending to your garden. Nothing hydrates the human body or your garden plants better than clean, clear water. Do your gardening early in the day or as the sun is setting, out of the hottest parts of the day, and be sure to take frequent rests in the shade.
Conserve Water To Help Protect Swimming Holes
Both of our towns amazing swimming holes have become unsafe for people to go swimming. This sad news came at the end of July 2022. Due to low amounts of rain and the Texas heat, Jacobs Well has completely stopped flowing for the 4th time in recorded history. Also, our other beautiful natural swimming park Blue Hole is unsafe to swim at too.
Weed and Insects Control For August
This is your last chance of the year to get rid of those nasty sticker burs that have taken over so many lawns during the past year. Pre-emergent weed prevention, as well as organic corn gluten are ways to control grassy weeds like sticker burs, crabgrass, goose grass, and dallisgrass. Although they do not affect already-growing weeds or grasses, they are quite effective in preventing the germination of the seeds of these annual grasses. This month is one of the recommended times for application if it has been about three months or so since you last applied. If your problem is severe, then you may have to diligently apply it about every three months during the growing season to regain some control. The next recommended time for the application will be next February. Many folks have complained of the multitudes of fleas and chiggers this year, which often happens when the natural balances of insects are disrupted by extreme weather patterns. Plain sulfur granules, like DisperSul®, sprinkled around with a lawn spreader and lightly watered in will deter and kill these and many other pests. It’s a natural mineral, it’s good for our alkaline soil here, and you may find that it repels snakes as well. Beneficial nematodes can help as well.
Some nasty diseases are transmitted by this year’s plentiful mosquitoes, to say nothing of the discomfort of stings. Do what you can to avoid offering your blood as their meal with insect repellants, which are now available in organic and all-natural choices as well as the traditional DEET-based products. You might want to try one of the new wearable, battery-operated clip-on bug repellants such as Off! A clip-on that does not require you to apply anything to your skin.
Solarizing is the practice of sterilizing your garden soil to get rid of pathogens, nematodes, weeds, and weed seeds, and this is the best time of year to do it. If you have some space not currently being used, as is often the case between seasonal plantings, rake a thin layer of fresh, not-yet-fully-decomposed compost or manure into the top layer of soil, lightly water, and cover it with transparent plastic. The combination of heat gain from the greenhouse effect and heat from the decomposing compost will get rid of many of the problems in that area. Weighting the edges with soil or wooden planks will slow venting and increase the temperatures under the plastic, increasing its effectiveness. At this time of year, leave it for two to four weeks, then uncover and garden away!
August Insect Control
Several common insects will swarm during August, optimizing their colonies and sending our new queens to create new colonies. Ants and several other insects will appear to balloon in population for a few days, appearing in unusual places like your bathtub or well house, then settle into their new homes and get on with their lives. Some of their short lives will be spent annoying us and so, I am reminding you that there are safe, effective treatments for control of all pest problems. Come in and we’ll be happy to help.
A Wimberley Plant Store With Vegetable Plants
There is still time to plant tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, and squash now, so they will be ready for setting fruit as the temperatures moderate over the next couple of months. Toward the end of this month, you can still squeeze in another crop of cucumbers and green beans, planted directly into your garden from seed.
We hope the end of summer and the beginning of the new school year is wonderful for you, and we look forward to seeing you back in the nursery as soon as you incline to visit. We have kept things green and thriving for you!
Peace and Love and Happy Gardening!