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This Month in the Garden

AUGUST is bountiful and abundant!


  • Continue to deadhead dahlias and other perennials to encourage non-stop blooms.

  • Keep camellias and rhododendrons well watered as they begin to set their bloom buds for next year.

  • Trim back lavender once flowering is done. Maintain a compact, bushy shape, but don’t cut into old wood since growth is from newer stem growth.


  • Continue watering and deadheading pots and hanging baskets regularly to extend the blooming window.

  • Lean into your drip and automated irrigation system to minimize the amount of water wasted by overhead watering.

  • Run your timer cycles early in the morning or late in the afternoon to minimize the water lost to evaporation.

  • If watering late in the day, be sure to give enough time for the water to dry naturally off leaves so plants don’t become susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases. 

  • Remove any seed pods if you don't want them to self-seed for next year.

Earlier in the Garden

JULY your florals are blooming!



  • Feed dahlias every two or three weeks to give them enough energy to put out strong stem growth to support the flowers as they continue to bloom. Dahlias make excellent long lasting cut flowers that can be enjoyed indoors as well. 

  • Hibiscus last longer and are better enjoyed in the garden.

  • Harvest lavender stems that are just about to open. These will have the strongest fragrance. Dry in a cool place for about a week.  Can be used as is on the stem in a vase or bundles or buds stripped for homemade potpourri.


  • Regularly harvest your sweet peas, tomatoes, strawberries and other high producing edibles prolong the harvest season. 

  • Nip back basil and other herbs so they don’t go to seed. It keeps the plants full and the new growth has some of the most intense flavors. 

  • Feed, water and deadhead. Repeat. Again and again. Continue to deadhead perennials, such as geraniums, salvias and delphiniums to encourage more blooms.

  • Deadhead and feed roses regularly to keep them flowering strongly. They are heavy feeders.

  • Keep a watchful for pests such as lily beetles, snails, aphids and vine weevils. Control with an insecticidal soap or other natural product options.

JUNE is the month to give your garden the 1-2 punch it needs to get a jump start on the summer heat. Ensuring watering systems are running properly and applying a generous layer of mulch to help plants retain that water are good strategies to follow this month. BONUS: a generous layer of mulch also makes it harder for weeds to establish themselves.


  • Change the batteries on watering system timers if needed. 

  • Flush your drip irrigation system to clear it of dirt and debris that may have gotten in over the winter.

  • Run your watering system a few times before putting down mulch. This will save you the trouble of having to dig around to find the buried irrigation parts. 

  • Newly planted plants should be watered regularly to help them get established. 

  • Prune back wisteria and other spring blooming vines and shrubs to promote next spring’s blooms. Removing any old and dead stems. This keeps the plants tidy and full bodied while also allowing good air movement. 

  • Stake tall-growing perennials, including hollyhocks and delphiniums to provide extra support so stems don’t accidentally break or bend before blooming. 

  • Prune back bedding plants to encourage bushier growth and more blooms. 

  • Deadheading is almost as important as weeding. 


  • Begin feeding your heavy feeder vegetables every two weeks. This includes tomato, squash and cucumbers. The more the plant blooms and bears fruit, the more food it will need to continue producing flowers and fruit. Use a well-balanced organic fertilizer to generate strong, healthy growth. 

  • Be sure to fertilize potted containers and hanging baskets every two weeks to encourage blooms throughout the summer. 


  • Fill gaps in borders with instant color to give it an instant pop of color.

  • Plant pumpkins now so they have enough time to mature before the fall harvest.

MAY is ideal for planting. The weather and temperature are just right for plants to stretch out their roots before watering becomes a major concern.  It is always the busiest gardening month but the time you invest now will be well worth it later, ensuring you will not need to work as hard during the hot summer months. 


  • If you started seedlings earlier in the year, whether indoors or in a greenhouse, these can now be transplanted into your garden beds. Be sure to allow a brief period for the plants to acclimate to the outdoor conditions by moving them out into the environment for short periods of time before planting

  • You can also sow vegetable, herb and flower seeds directly into the ground at this point as the average soil temperatures are warm enough for encourage seed germination

Vegetable and Herb Starts

  • Tomatoes - pick your favorite, or a variety of sizes, and plant now
    TIP: Smaller tomato varieties (cherry or pear) will mature and ripen faster, giving you a quick fix until the larger varieties have a chance to ripen with the longer warmer nights they need.

  • Cucumbers, corn and beans are all a go as well

  • Peppers, squash, carrots and broccoli should also be planted now as they take a little longer to mature and harvest

  • Herbs including your favorite basil, cilantro and dill, should be planted now as well.

  • Plant strawberries now to enjoy a long season of sweet strawberry goodness. Your family will thank you.

  • As the temperature continues to increase, be sure to swap out cooler weather varieties of lettuce, spinach and kale with ones that will tolerate more heat

Ornamental and sun loving plants

  • Begin planting your ornamentals for the season ahead

  • Sunflowers, cosmos and zinnias are planted now for late spring color that will last long into late summer

  • Plant summer flowering bulbs like dahlia tubers, cannas and lilies now
    TIP: mix a slow-release fertilizer into the soil at the bottom of the hole before placing the bulb or tuber. This will give a nice boost of energy as they awaken


  • Feed your already planted spring bulb plants like tulips, freesias and daffodils now to allow them to store energy for next year’s blooms.  Let the foliage die back naturally


  • Keep an eye on your climbing varieties (including clematis, wisteria and honeysuckle) and use garden twine to tidy up new shoots and keep them climbing

APRIL is all about spring!  Everything wakes up everywhere all at once!


  • Fending off the attack of slugs and snails attracted to all the new growth in the garden.

  • Use fungicide to control rust, powdery mildew and blackspot on roses.  

  • Monitor, control and remove aphids to avoid infestation. Release ladybugs to boost your garden defenses.

  • Be alert for aphids. before your garden area becomes infested.

  • Prune hydrangeas if they bloom on NEW growth. Remove weak shoots to open the plant up for stronger stems. Typically, mophead hydrangeas bloom on OLD growth which should be pruned in the summer and early fall.  

  • Dig up and divide hardy perennials, such as hostas, irises and daylilies.  This will reinvigorate the plant and give you more plants for your garden.  


  • Plant hardy annuals, such as marigolds and zinnias.

  • Sow native wildflowers in your garden beds.  

  • Gain instant color with primroses, pansies and violas.

  • Plant sweet peas and watch them rapidly climb up and spread anywhere they can grasp onto.  

  • Plant sunflowers in a sunny spot for summer flowering.

  • Plant tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and other summer crops.

  • Plant basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, thyme and other summer herbs.  

  • As the temperature rises, be ready to replace cooler varieties of lettuce and spinach with warmer varieties along with adding Swiss Chard, rhubarb and collards that are more heat tolerant in late spring and summer.  

MARCH is the perfect time to prep your lawn or garden for Spring blooms in California. The work you do now will pay off in many ways and will give you more time to enjoy your garden.   


  • Remove developing seedpods on daffodils and other spring bulbs. Leave the foliage to die back naturally so the plants can store energy for next year.

  • Finish pruning roses before plants become fully awake from winter.

  • Remove dead and decaying leaves. This will also help to reduce food for slugs and snails

  • Pull weeds now before they get a foothold in your garden. Pulling a weed is easier when it's just starting to grow, whereas an established weed can be a rigorous workout for your back.  

  • Mulch, mulch, mulch! Mulching helps control weeds and reduces watering needs as temperature warm up.

  • Tidy up planter beds. 

  • Be alert for aphids. Control and remove aphids before your garden area becomes infested.




  • Start hoeing vegetable beds as soon as the weather starts to warm up, as weeds will germinate quickly and populate.  



  • Plant lilies, dahlias and other summer-flowering bulbs in pots and borders.

  • Plant new roses, shrubs and climbers. The moderate temperatures allows plants to establish a root system to rely on and to spring upward as growing conditions improve.

  • Plant strawberry starts.  

  • Plant cool weather early spring vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach and kale. 

  • Plant asparagus starts in a sunny spot with well-draining soil.

  • Plant spring herbs, such as chives, cilantro and dill.

  • Plant onion and shallot sets.


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