The Second Spring Planting Season Begins in August

This is confusing to transplanted Easterners, who find it hard to realize that gardening is carried on twelve months of the year in many areas. The main tasks are to get those seeds of perennials and biennials planted right away, order the spring bulbs; kill the weeds and carry on routine fertilizing of begonias, chrysanthemums and fuchsias. Don’t give up the fight against pests and diseases either. However, it is the seed sowing and the bulb planting that make August the opening month of the second planting season.

While a long list of dependable biennials and perennials could be recommended, these are particularly useful: columbine, English and Shasta daisies, coreopsis, penstemon, sweet William, Iceland and Oriental poppies, salvia, campanula, thalictrum, delphinium and wallflower. The wallflower, by the way, does not take kindly to the heat of Southern California and Arizona.


Apply an organic liquid fish fertilizer to encourage the production of roses for the fall season. Keep a mulch on the rose beds until winter, when it can be either worked into the soil or, if this is likely to bury the roots too deep, removed. Be extremely careful about using an oil spray during very hot weather.

Get ready to plant sweet peas… Prepare the soil for sowing sweet peas. If you insist on starting them this month in order to have flowers during the winter, you must remember not to neglect them at any time. They dislike hot weather and if neglected may have to be resown next month.

Stop Ants

Control ants by spraying or dusting one of the special ant control products around the garden and house foundation. Ants not only are a nuisance but also they spread other pests such as scale and mealybugs from plant to plant. If ants are eradicated now, control of other pests like the water lily pests will be easier.

Planting anemones and ranunculuses

A too-early planting of ranunculuses and anemones is a waste of time and valuable garden space. They should be planted in the cool season of the year, after the first of October. Bulbs offered before this time are usually left-overs from the season before rather than a fresh crop from seedlings which flowered earlier this year.

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