Garden Gnome: Time for planning

OK, it’s August and time to whine about the weather.


Between the heat and the mosquitoes, our place is miserable. While vacationing at home last week, I managed to clear out enough monkey grass, English ivy and other assorted unwanted and over-grown plants to make room for several hydrangeas and possibly some other shrubs.

The hydrangeas poised to move into their new bed will have to wait several weeks. There’s no way I can baby new plantings through the end of this unbearable month.

In the North, the seed catalogs arrive and the planning takes place in the winter when the ground is frozen. I think we should take August for downtime and do the planning now.

If you have fallen behind in your garden notes or journal, as I have, it’s time to catch up. Record what has done well over the spring and summer, what has suffered heat and insect damage, and what needs to be divided or moved.

Make a list of the plants to be moved and divided and look for new locations and talk to other gardeners about what plants will be available for sharing. Write it down now and you will be set to go when it cools down, by the third week in September, I hope.

If you also have tree roots limiting the size of planting holes, starting with plants propagated by cuttings or layering will make life easier, and cheaper.

If you get started now you should be able to plant in ground by spring.