Cedarbrae’s August Garden Report

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Cedarbrae cn

Hello Fellow Gardeners!

As the Calgary Stampede becomes a distant memory, and we enjoy the dryness of our Calgary summer, it is important to consider some water-wise tips during the hot dry days of August.

To help reduce the amount of water your plants will require, water in the morning. After our cool summer nights, your soil will have dropped in temperature, and watering at this time of day can reduce water loss due to evaporation. This means more water will be able to make it into your soil and to the roots of your plants, and once deep in the soil, your plants will have more time to take up the water during the day.

If you cannot water in the early morning, choose to water in the evening, after the sun has passed by, but still with enough warmth and daylight to dry your plants. Your plants want to be dry before the cool of the evening sets in, and the water to be deep in the soil by the time the sun sets.

Mulch is a great way to prevent water evaporation. A layer 2 to 3 inches thick can help your soil retain that precious water you added in the morning, allowing it to go deep into the soil. Gardens planted in rows, or flower gardens and trees, will all thank you for a nice thick layer of mulch.

If you are like me and prefer something a little more colourful, choose some fast germinating seeds to add between your plants to create a living mulch. Lettuces or radishes can add some vibrant greens to your garden, creating a layer of protective leaves. Remember to keep these under control, though, as lettuce will bolt in the hot sun, and radish will need space to grow if you wish to eat them.

Watering your garden according to the weather is important for conserving our precious water resources. While rainfall may be scarce in August, taking the simple step of measuring the rainfall in your area during the week can help prevent over-watering. A rain gauge is a simple device used for measuring the amount of rain that has fallen. While some come in very fancy designs, others are as simple as that free frisbee you got from a festival turned upside down somewhere it can collect water.

Why is it important to measure rainfall? The average lawn will require 2 inches of rain per week and a garden will vary based on how you have planted and what you have planted, but if you look at all the areas you water, and covered it with 2 inches of water, then saved that in a bucket just 3 times, how much water could you have saved?

Of course, a great way to save on water is by installing a rain barrel to collect the rainfall during our crazy, but short, rainstorms. Rain barrels have evolved a long way and have styles that will suit any yard. From ones with designs, to ones that are recycled drums, ones that can connect to your down spout to ones that can stand freely anyplace in the yard, you are sure to find one that will meet your needs.

As with many things in our world, it only takes everyone doing one little thing to make a huge impact on our planet.

We hope you will join us September 14, 2019 for a garden talk on preserving your harvest and saving your seeds. Watch our Facebook page for more information and tickets!

Darrell Ogden

Cedarbrae Community Garden

[email protected]