August is a tough time for gardeners. However, as many know when the going gets tough, the tough get going. This is the time of the year after a hot summer where many anticipate production and harvesting to come to an end. For the experienced gardener, it’s a time to get even more out of your garden! Think of August as your second wind. It’s time to uncover that last bit of potential and to prove that your garden is much hardier than you ever imagined. To achieve these results, it only takes a little more effort and a few more tasks.
Follow these tips to keep your flower and vegetable gardens going longer and to get a head start on next year. Start by making a plan of what needs to be done in terms of harvesting and future planting. Assess the current status of your garden and look at what needs to be trimmed, shaped, planted, and harvested. This is the time of the year to prepare your landscape for fall planting and spring awakening. This will also make winterizing your garden that much easier.
The month of August requires a lot of chores and maintenance. Practice weekly upkeep on your entire landscape from harvesting plants to removing weeds. When it comes to your flowers, deadhead your perennials and annuals for continued blooming. Deadheading may sound scary, but it’s essential to maintain healthy flowers and to encourage further blooming. If you have a rose garden, you want to spray them for black spot and other fungus type diseases. Also, stake your taller and leggy perennials before the plants get too big. Keep a close eye on your fruit and vegetable. While many vegetables continue to thrive throughout the fall fruits need attending. Cut wood to the ground on raspberries and blackberries that bore fruit over the summer, including any old canes. Take control of the end rot on your tomato plants with good watering practices. If you want to take it a step further, you add lime to reduce blossom end rot on your tomatoes. Another quick tip is to not kill tomato hornworms that have white protrusions on them. August is also the time to plant any late season vegetables and herbs for fall harvest. Start your seedlings now so your table is full come Thanksgiving. While planting those veggies, don’t forget to order and plant your spring bulbs.
Treat your gardens and lawns for all relevant insects. Pay close attention while treating your lawn as some insects can really hurt your plants. For example, if you’re a fan of evergreens like junipers and arborvitae, you need to be mindful of bagworms that look little brown hanging cones. These tiny worms have the ability to kill an evergreen if left untreated. Look carefully and remove any fallen leaves and debris where insects can hide and infect your plants. Continue to take care of your lawn, but hold off on fertilization until the late fall.
August is a great time of the year for gardening. It allows you to plan ahead and take care of what’s already been started so that you have a healthy and fruitful fall.