We are due for a warm-up very soon, then more fog on the coast, then probably a usual hot September!
We are getting a lot of questions about watering and gardening in the hotter months, and here are some thoughts:
Pre-soaking the planting hole is key to summer planting! The surrounding soil will pull water away from the new root ball of your new plant, so it’s important to create a water column for the new roots to follow. Stage your plants, then scoot them aside, dig a hole and fill it with water. Let it drain. Repeat. Repeat again! If you have a big area, maybe do it all with a sprinkler overnight. Plant on a cool morning (not on a hot, windy day!) and plant your new babies, water them in, mulch well and then let them reach for that water column for a few days. In cooler parts of the Bay, 2x week watering, then once a week, then once a month is what you want to aim for. That being said, don’t let the new root ball dry out!
When you see new growth, slow up watering.
For our chaparral friends Manzanitas and Ceanothus, these can be tricky to start in the hottest summer months, as they are dormant. One must allow the plants to slowly acclimate to their new surroundings: Manzanita will drop some leaves (every summer) and Ceanothus sp. too. Don’t soak them on a hot day, but spray off any dust, cool off the plants, and lightly water in the morning or evening. The durned things will not really grow much until the Fall rains. Some customers like to keep the chaparral items in their personal plant stash until the Fall, as some plants can be harder to find in the Fall/Winter.
Plants that WILL use summer water include our easy Dogwood Cornus sericea, Spicebush, Milkweeds and some of the flowering perennials.
Hot weather stalwarts Salvias and Buckwheats like to be planted after the rains, with careful watering, they can pump out nectar-rich blooms for our pollinators into the hotter months.
We currently have five or so varieties in stock, with more to come!
I sure have enjoyed this discussion! Please feel free to discuss amongst yourselves, or in the shop! See you soon!