Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in August

Magazine article Sunset

What to Do in Your Garden in August

Article excerpt

PLANTING

* BABY LETTUCE. Zones 7-9, 14-17: Grow a miniature version of romaine or bibb lettuce that's just the right size for an individual salad. Heads grow quickly, so you can sow seeds successively a couple of weeks apart. 'Little Gem' romaine reaches 5 to 6 inches tall. 'Tom Thumb', an English heirloom bibb lettuce with tight, solid heads, grows 4 to 6 inches tall. Both are available from Shepherd's Garden Seeds (860/482-3638 or www.shepherdseeds.com).

* SELECT PLANTS CAREFULLY. Most nurseries pay careful attention to keeping plants moist, but even one missed watering can severely stress plants in summer. When shopping, check plants carefully. Unless a particular variety is going through summer dormancy, foliage should look perky and lush, without wilted or burned leaf edges. Don't buy leggy plants or ones that are overgrown and rootbound.

* SHRUBS FOR SUMMER-TO-FALL BLOOM. Zones 7-9, 14-17: For a show of flowers that lasts well into fall, try one of the following long-blooming shrubs or shrubby perennials: blue hibiscus, Brazilian plume flower, butterfly bush, Cape fuchsia, lavatera, oleander, plumbago, princess flower, and many of the salvias (check hardiness before shopping; not all plants are hardy in every zone).

* SWEET PEAS. Zones 7-9, 14-17: To get an early crop of flowers next spring, sow an early-flowering variety--such as knee-high 'Explorer' (crimson, light pink, navy blue, purple, rose, scarlet, and white) or 'Winter Elegance' (cream, lavender, pink, salmon, and white)--now. …

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