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Gardening: Plumeria Image

Summer is truly the season for plumeria lovers. Taking the small amount of time and effort to provide your plumeria with the basic needs will reward you with many weeks of beautiful flowers.

Photo Credit: William M. Johnson

Gardener's Calendar for August

By Dr. William M. Johnson, Galveston County Extension Agent - Horticulture

Aug. 1, 2007

No need to remind you that August is the peak of the heat season in Galveston County. The good news is that we have received an abundance of rainfall over the last few weeks in most areas of the county and temperatures have been rather moderateórelatively speaking anyway.

Plants in the landscape and garden will require attention if they are to remain vigorous and provide us with many desirable benefits including color, shade, beauty, etc. Working outside this month tends to be more tolerable during early morning or late evening hours but some plants do need attention.

The gardeners' calendar of activities for August includes the following:

- If you just moved to this area from one of the many states suffering from drought, you will likely wonder about the following educational program on irrigation. An upcoming seminar entitled "A Homeowner's Guide for Low Volume Irrigation (LVI) Systems" will be conducted on Saturday, August 18, 2007, from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. at the Galveston County Extension Office in Dickinson. There is no registration fee but seating is limited and reservations are required (281-534-3413, Ext. 12 or GALV3@wt.net).

Yes, it takes audacity to promote an educational program on irrigation when there is water, water everywhere. But this is not our normal mid-summer weather and experienced gardeners know that dry weather spells are going to occur.

Low Volume Irrigation (LVI) systems comes in many different forms but can be described as the practice of applying water where itís needed and when itís needed with minimal lost to evaporation or to runoff into storm sewers, drainage ditches or waterways. LVI distributes a measured amount of water over a specific period of time using a system of delivery and distribution pipes and application emitters. LVI systems are designed to maintain an evenly moist root zone.

- No room in your yard to grow tomatoes orr cucumbers? Is your vegetable garden taking up too much space? Then try a different approach. Certified Master Gardener John Jons will provide a seminar on Square Foot Gardening on Saturday, August 25, 2007 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. at the Galveston County Extension Office located at 5115 Highway 3 in Dickinson. There is no registration fee but seating is limited and reservations are required (281-534-3413, Ext. 12 or GALV3@wt.net).

Square Foot Gardening has been around for a long time and is a tried and true method for intensive gardening in a small area. "This popular award winning program teaches you a proven method on how to successfully grow vegetables, flowers or herbs in a four foot-by-four foot area," says John Jons. "Itís an ideal way of gardening for novice and experienced gardeners who have a limited amount of space and/or time."

- The Gulf of Mexico has been relatively qquiet thus far but we should be on the alert for tropical storms and hurricanes as August and September can be rather active months in this regard. The high winds and driving rain accompanying severe tropical weather conditions can be quite destructive.

This is a good time to survey your landscape for weak limbs and overhanging branches that may cause damage in the event of violent weather. It is wise to consider calling a professional for help with big jobs who have the know-how and equipment to avoid injury.

- Have you performed a "smell test" on pluumeria flowers? Most plumeria flowers are very fragrant and some are downright intoxicating. Each flower can last for several days, whether on the plant or brought indoors and placed in water.

Plumeria are heavy feeders and will bloom and grow vigorously if provided the proper amount of soil nutrients. Plumeria enthusiasts recommend fertilizers that are low in nitrogen (the first number) and high in phosphorous (the middle number), such as "Super Bloom" or "Carl Pool's BR-61" or Peters "Super Blossom Booster 10-50-10." Other specialty plumeria fertilizers can be used as well. Plumeria growers typically provide a light application of fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.

To perform at their best, plumeria require ample soil moisture. The abundant rainfall this summer has nurtured the production of striking displays of plumeria flowers. However, plumeria plants do not tolerate "wet feet," so their root system must be provided with good soil drainage whether they are grown in containers above ground, in containers sunk in the ground, or directly in the ground.

- When extended periods of rainfall occur in the summer, a bright yellow slimy blob is commonly seen on mulched flowerbeds. The slimy blob is a type of slime moldóit is not pretty (even if you like yellow) and it soon gets uglier. The yellow blob turns gray, becomes hard, then breaks down into a brown powder. Slime molds may be ugly to some, but they are not harmful.

- If you'll remove the faded blooms of thee colorful crape myrtle, this versatile plant will reward you with a second bloom. Flower buds are waiting to come forth if the gardener will simply prune out the old blooms. This is also an ideal time to select crape myrtle varieties for the landscape while they are in bloom for planting now or later this fall.

The sultry, sweaty days of August have arrived. So, carry an extra large glass of iced tea or water and make sure to wear a hat for protection from the sun..

Dr. Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Extension Office of Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University. Visit his web site at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.htm


Gardening: Scale insects and pampas grass - July 17, 2004 article

Gardening: Bananas - August 1, 2004 article

Gardening: August Gardening Calendar - August 16, 2004 article

Gardening: Trio Of Extension Programs Includes Pear Tasting, Master Naturalist Class & Rose Seminar - August 20, 2004 article

Gardening: Prepare Now For Fall Gardens - August 26, 2004 article

Gardening: September's Garden Calendar Includes Fall Pecan Field Day - September 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Ornamental Grasses - September 8, 2004 article

Gardening: Don't Let Landscape Become A High-Maintenance Nightmare - September 22, 2004 article

Gardening: Oct. 10 Plant Sale & Seminar To Feature Butterfly Gardening - Butterflies Bring Color, Motion to Garden - October 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Plant It And They Will Come: Getting the Butterflies of Galveston County to Grace Your Yard - October 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Rose Propagation & Seasonal Decorating Workshops To Be Held - October 13, 2004 article

Gardening: Extension Office To Sponsor Open House On October 29, Seasonal Decorations and Onion and Garlic Workshops - October 20, 2004 article

Gardening: Extension Office To Sponsor Open House On October 29 and County Pecan Show - October 27, 2004 article

Gardening: November Is Pansy Time - November 6, 2004 article

Gardening: County Pecan Growers Display Their Successes - November 11, 2004 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Questions On Fall Crops - November 17, 2004 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Q&As For November - November 28, 2004 article

Gardening: Gardeners' December Checklist Includes Citrus Show On Dec. 9 - December 3, 2004 article

Gardening: Citrus Show A Huge Success With 185 Entries - December 19, 2004 article

Gardening: Trees and Shrubs - December 23, 2004 article

Gardening: Cold Weather Impact - January 4, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Checklist For January Includes Several Educational Programs - January 7, 2005 article

Gardening:Announcing the 2005 Galveston County Master Gardener Training - January 13, 2005 article

Gardening:Peach & Plum Growers' Workshop To Be Held Saturday, January 29 - January 19, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardening for Texas Wildlife - January 28, 2005 article

Gardening: Wide Variety of Citrus to Be Available at February 5 Fruit Tree Sale and Home Citrus Production - January 31, 2005 article

Gardening: Fruit Trees Of The Gods Featured In February 5 Master Gardener Plant Sale - February 2, 2005 article

Gardening: "If I Were A Tomato, I Would Want To Be Grown In Texas . . . Galveston County, That Is!" Workshop to be held February 12 - February 9, 2005 article

Gardening: February Is Rose Pruning Time...Attend Rose Care Seminar to Learn How - February 16, 2005 article

Gardening: Extension Activities At The Home & Garden Show On Feb. 26-27 - February 23, 2005 article

Gardening: March Gardening Calendar Includes Seminar On Butterfly Gardening - March 2, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Q&As From The Galveston Home & Garden Show - March 10, 2005 article

Gardening: Extension Offers Program On "Living To Be 100 . . . A Commonsense Approach." - March 16, 2005 article

Gardening: Program On Plumeria Offered On March 26- March 29, 2005 article

Gardening: Garden Checklist For April Includes Pecan Field Day - April 6, 2005 article

Gardening: Hints On Harvesting Vegetables For Peak Flavor - April 15, 2005 article

Gardening: Fresh Blueberries From Your Home Garden Seminar On Saturday, April 23 - April 22, 2005 article

Gardening: Learn About Weed Control - April 27, 2005 article

Gardening: Home Gardening Chores and May 14 Home Fruit Growers’ Tour - May 5, 2005 article


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