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August Garden Tasks

August 2, 2010

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Please note:  What I write in this space are lessons learned through trial and error, research, and from other gardeners and professionals. I garden in zone 9, but share garden experiences that I believe are relevant to most zones within a reasonable time frame and planting conditions. 

August 

MaintenanceStart fall clean up. Get cold frames cleaned up and ready. For building instructions on cold frames, go to http://www.groovygreen.com/groove/?p=905. Clean out greenhouses, potting sheds, and garden houses. Replenish supplies. Dispose of chemicals according to your county regulations. If you don’t have them secured in a locked cabinet, now is a good time to do this. Repair and replace garden tools as late-summer early-fall sales begin.

Around the garden:  Continue to deep water all plants and trees. Replenish mulch where needed. Keep mulch three inches from trunks and plant bases.

In the vegetable garden:  If you haven’t begun fall planting now is the time to make your selections. Check with a local nurseryperson for a planting guide suitable to your zone. He or she should be able to tell you which vegetables you can start NOW indoors and outdoors by seed or seedlings. Below is a list of cool season crops. 

Chard, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, spinach, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, beets, fennel, leeks, kale, peas, carrots, radishes, celery, turnips, mustard, chives, parsley, cilantro, dill. 

While your seeds are germinating, prepare the garden soil with manure or compost. Let sit at least two weeks before sowing or planting. 

Continue harvesting summer vegetables and preserving the overflow. To save space, train or tie vegetable vines such as tomatoes, melons, gourds, cucumbers, and pumpkins. Dry herbs for later use. Scout for pests regularly. 

In the landscape:  Stop pinching back mums. For larger blooms, remove side shoots leaving one or two buds per stem. 

For free, self-sowing flowers next spring and summer, let some annuals go to seed. If you prefer to direct-sow, gather seeds and package them (be sure to label/date) to sow indoors next spring. 

Late August look for cool season annuals to plant. For color all winter, try annual stock. 

If ants are a problem in potted plants, look for aphids. Until you can get rid of the aphids, temporarily place a saucer of water underneath the pot to keep the ants out. 

Order spring bulbs and peonies for fall planting. 

Deadhead roses and perennials for a second color burst. Trim Victoria Blue Salvia (Salvia farinacea) to two-foot tall. Cut Shasta daisies, coreopsis, and delphiniums to six inches. 

Divide spring flowering bulbs and perennials. 

Prune hydrangeas as soon as the flowers fade. For fewer, larger flowers next year, cut stems to the base of the plant. For more flowers, cut back 12 inches on stems that have bloomed.

Remove dead branches from trees and perennials. Don’t place diseased foliage in compost pile.

Feed ground and potted annuals regularly for continuous blooms through the end of summer and into the beginning of fall. Regularly fertilize mums until they bloom using a low nitrogen fertilizer (5-20-02). Don’t feed mums that started blooming in July. Feed fruit trees. Copyright © 2010 Dianne Marie Andre

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One comment

  1. Again, thanks for all the wonderful task tips. When I return from Oregon I will put your advice to work.

    Like



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