August Garden Chores

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If you can find a few hours this evening or tomorrow, you can squeeze in your August chores/tips and feel like you accomplished gardening for the month!  I know, I know …. where did August go?

Feeling Ambitious?  

  • Plant pansy seed this month in flats for planting in the landscape in September.
  • Spider lily (lycoris), colchicum (autumn crocus) and sternbergia bulbs should be planted in August.
  • Sow seed of the following perennials: hollyhock, delphinium and stokesia to produce healthy plants for next spring.
  • Continue repotting your house plants if needed.
  • Plant the following fall vegetable plants this month: beets, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, radish, rutabaga, spinach, squash and turnip.
  • Cuttings of your favorite shrubs can still be taken in August for propagating.

Pruning.  Oh the Pruning …. 

Sometimes it can be confusing which things should be pruned.  Feel free to use this guide for pruning this month if you have not done so already.  LAST CHANCE!

“Bleeder” Trees:
maple, birch, elm, styrax & dogwood
Perform light pruning as desired. (Light pruning involves branches of 18 inches in length or less.) Dogwoods look best left in their natural form. Prune only when grown out of their natural shape.
Rose Prune leggy plants only and fertilize after pruning for fall flowering.
Hedges As needed, keep bottom branches wider than top.
blackberry & raspberry
Prune out the wood that bore fruit, cutting canes near ground level.
Any Plants DO NOT PRUNE shrubs or trees in late summer or early autumn if you simply don’t have to. Pruning stimulates new growth which may not have time to harden off before frost. You may remove any deadwood from shrubs or trees.  If you feel the need because you simply can’t wait, just be sure it is early enough in the season or long before the first frost date.

Will my Lawn Ever Be Green Again?  

In late August, tall fescue is simply, well, tired.  Or if we have had limited rain, you don’t run a sprinkler or have an irrigation system, it may very well be fried to a crisp. Sigh.  Now is the time to prepare the lawn areas for seeding if you have tall fescue and want the lawn back! Aerating and seeding is always a chore but when new growth comes and your lawn is a beautiful shade of green again come October, it is always worth it.

Specific Chores for You

  • If you are planning to do any fall landscape planting, be sure you have your plan ready.  If you need help, stop in our Garden Center for tips or schedule an appointment with our designer.  Having a plan that involves the right things in the right place are always key!
  • Continue watering favorite landscape plants and your vegetable garden if dry weather persists.
  • Begin the construction of a compost bin.