D the G - - September, 2017
Hello Fellow Gardeners,
The summer of 2017 has been interesting. Much of August was relatively temperate if somewhat humid. The last week of August has presented a challenge in the form of triple digit temperatures. The temperatures at the beginning of September are forecast to follow suit. Preparation is a key facet for a successful garden. Many months ago, I reevaluated the water delivery systems in my garden. The information offered in our newsletter has been invaluable in making choices for managing the use of water. There are many choices available. I've had success using 3/4 inch soaker tubing buried beneath a layer of mulch. This tubing is an effective tool for water delivery. Mulch lessens evaporation of water and shades roots from the sun. Results are proof of the pudding.
All systems must be maintained. The time to check your water delivery system is now! Also, check the mulch and refresh it as necessary; look for diseases and insects. Use appropriate combatants. Roses are heavy feeders: Look at your feeding schedule and feed as necessary. Continue to feed lawns, warm season flowering plants and warm season vegetables; follow package instructions. The last feeding of the year for fruit trees is September to mid-October.
In our climate, the Fall is like our Spring time, and "Spring time" will be here very soon. Spring time begins in the San Fernando Valley when the heat of Summer breaks. The wholesale nurseries are beginning to offer starts of snapdragons. I suggest waiting a few weeks before planting starts of edibles like lettuces, edible and ornamental peas, cilantro, etc. I'll be planting seeds of sweet peas and other cool season flowers and edibles in a few weeks. As ever, I'm making plans in the rose garden. So many roses, so little space.
On 8-28-17 I participated in pruning the roses at The International Test Garden at Rose Hills in Whittier. The event was sponsored by the Beverly Hills Rose Society. The pruning was timed for a bloom cycle in mid October. Exhibitors would call a pruning at this time of year a "Summer Prune." The bloom cycle of roses is, roughly, 50 days. In the San Fernando Valley it is possible to plan for a bloom cycle at nearly any time of year. There have been cold years that do not allow this type of prune; such as 2007. The last few years, we have been able to prune at the end of October for a bloom cycle in mid-December. My business counsellor's St. Patrick roses were pruned to provide a show for holiday visitors from Toronto, Canada: see photo taken December 4th. The roses were somewhat beaten down by a rain, but looked beautiful in a bouquet. The display lasted into the New Year.
I'll admit to being a bit envious of the tiny green frog in the photo. It would be a joy to be able to rest on soft, colorful and fragrant petals high above the ground. The rose in the photo is Barbara Streisand.