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August Gardening Tips

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Landscaping Tips

  • Kick back and relax a little and enjoy your garden. The most critical thing you can do in your garden this month is water and then water some more. Deep watering is very important and shrubs should be deep watered at least every few weeks.
  • Take particular care of your fruit trees. Conifers, particularly Hemlocks, are shallow rooted enough that drought stress can result in a weakened tree. Root and fungal diseases can then easily destroy the tree.
  • Container plantings should be fertilized every two weeks or so with a liquid fertilizer and watered often. They dry out more rapidly than ground plantings.
  • If your grass is brown you may want to just let it go dormant until the fall rains come. It will come back after a few weeks of rainy weather. Pinch off dead flowers to help plants continue blooming and to keep the plants looking tidy.
  • You can still plant summer annuals for beautiful flowers in August, September and into October.
  • It is an excellent time to add fresh compost or mulch to your yard. Be sure and weed and water well first.
  • Visit nurseries for ideas on late summer and fall-blooming shrubs.
  • Keep roses and dahlias irrigated and harvested for bouquets. Dahlias continue to bloom as you pick the flower blossoms. Remember also keep them well staked. Feed roses for the last time early this month. Also fertilize summer container annuals, but don't fertilize landscape plants after mid-August.
  • Provide water for birds and beneficial insects. Let some of your annuals go to seed for the birds.
  • Lilies need to keep as much green leaf as possible. When your day lilies, iris and lily bulbs that have finished flowering and the leaves dry out divide and reset them.
  • Share extras with neighbors.
  • Order your spring-blooming bulbs.
  • Be sure and turn and dampen your compost pile.

Vegetable Garden

Water, water, water, harvest fruit and vegetables at their peak of flavor and nutrition. Your zucchini, carrots and beans should be harvested while young and tender. Dig potatoes when all green growth dies down, and gather early ripening apples as they mature and store under refrigeration. Plant winter crops such as spinach, chard, leaf lettuce, purple sprouting broccoli, winter cabbage, kale and onions. Shop at the local farmers markets, prices is low and quality is at a peak. Consider sharing your excess with neighbors or local food banks.

Child's Garden

Take flower bouquets to nursing homes, carve initials into a developing pumpkin or winter squash, and observe an orb-weaving spider's beautiful work. The wild blackberries are fun to pick as a family and great in pie, cobbler or just with milk and sugar. Be careful of the thorns. They are every where along sides of roads and in vacant lots and most likely totally organic since the seem to be immune to pests. Eat some of your harvested vegetables together, nibble blueberries, measure yourself against a growing sunflower, sit in the shade of a pole bean teepee and tell stories. Relax and enjoy the warm days together.