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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Gardener's Guide to Drought Recovery 4) Freshen up your garden

A zinnia from 2011
Let's review where we are in our drought recovery program.

If you are following along with the steps published so far, you should now have some goalsan assessment of your garden, and a quick hit task list.

Now it's time to go down through the quick hit task list and actually *gasp* put on your garden gloves and do those tasks.    You must face the garden, though it is dry, brown, dusty, and haggard looking and looks like it just survived the driest, hottest, damnedest month in recorded history, because it just might have.

By completing those tasks of weeding, cutting back, and generally straightening up, you will end up with a garden that looks a bit fresher and less tired, and not as though the gardener spent the month of July hiding indoors trying to forget that they were living through the hottest, driest, damnedest month ever in Indianapolis history.  

But that's all behind us now as we enter the month of August, which has no history of being the driest, hottest, damnedest month in history. July is past. We are moving on. We get to turn the calendar to a new month. We get to have a month with a blue moon in it.  This means, of course, that anything is possible.

Anything is possible.

We could get some rain.  Yes, that is possible. And if that is all the month of August brings us, that is plenty enough.  And really, at this point, that's all we ask of August. Just a little bit of rain.

As we are out freshening up our gardens, we should still avoid planting anything new. After all, it's August. Even in the best years, August isn't the best month for planting.

And while we are out in our gardens cleaning up the droughty mess that July left, if we happen to have some ideas for new plants to grow or garden borders to dig up, we should write those ideas down to mull over later.

There will be time for planting and even creating new garden borders in future steps in the Gardener's Guide to Drought Recovery.  

For now, just work through the quick hit task list. Weed, prune, freshen up the garden, even though it is still dry out there. Your garden will always look better if well-tended, regardless of the condition of the plants and the lack of rain.

Trust me.  I'll be out there in my own garden doing the same.


Marie said...

Beat you to it this time. Yesterday, in spite of the hot sun, I began cutting things back, deadheading, weeding and edging island beds. A friend has been staying here and he decided to prune dead branches and remove a small sick tree. And then he even cleaned up the evidence! We can't really mow anything these days, but edging makes an enormous difference!

Tomorrow I plan to dig up most of the muscari bulbs that surrounded the now removed tree. Perhaps I should pot them up as gifts. You see, this is the time when their green growth is emerging.

Tidy is satisfying!

Cindy, MCOK said...

August is the Cruella deVille of months down here in Texas. I'll do well to keep things watered, let alone all the other things you listed!

Heidi/ IN Woodland Gardener said...

It was painful, but I've cut down a bunch of Rudbeckia that were lying down and only had tiny 1/2 blooms or dead stems, deadheaded, weeded, propped-up, and cut other plants to the basal so they'll concentrate on roots and surviving instead of blooming.

Hleen Malandrakis said...

I have been doing this all along!~