15 Garden Tasks to Accomplish in August
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~ James Dent
Gardeners often find themselves slowing down gardening activities significantly in August. Perhaps all the excitement of new perennials has worn off, or the lazy days of summer have finally convinced us to give up the frenzied pace of planting seeds. But there’s still plenty to do this month, just perhaps at a bit slower pace.
Here are 15 Garden Tasks to Accomplish in August:
- Watering. This will be the foremost task to stay on top of this month. Make sure your containers and perennial beds are well watered. Remember trees need a good dosing at least every other day, especially if they were planted this past spring.
- If your lawn isn’t completely dormant, you can water once a week for about an inch of water to help keep it looking a bit better. Save fertilizing for this fall when the rains begin and temps cool down.
- Dead head your annuals to encourage continuing blooms. Cut back perennials just a bit, and if you’re lucky you might get a second show of growth and/or flowers early fall. If they go to seed, let them self sow if you’d like to take advantage of additional plants next spring.
- This is a good time to divide irises (with the exception of Siberian Irises) and poppies.
- Any fall blooming bulbs can be planted this month. Fall blooming crocus are becoming more popular, and are nice to see poking out of the fall leaves in a few months.
- Order your fall planting/spring flowering bulbs now. Or start browsing through the selection of bulbs at your local garden shop when they begin stocking them. Be sure to grab the ones you really want before they’re out of stock!
- Roses can be trimmed back slightly if they’re starting to look spent after a busy summer of producing blossoms. August is also the time to provide a late summer fertilization for your roses. Don’t fertilize too late as it could encourage late season growth that can be frost damaged in October or November.
- Keep enjoying your summer vegetables harvest. In many regions, this is prime time for tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and squash. (Let us know what you’re picking in the comments section below!)
- Harvest your abundance of herbs now and dry to store for use in the winter months.
- Start your fall harvest seeds now. Cool weather lettuce, onions, peas, beets, spinach, radishes, kale can all be sown in August.
- If you’ve been considering using a cold frame for fall and winter vegetables, start researching where to purchase one, or find a good DIY guide and get busy!
- Trim back trees for suckers, crossed branches or broken ones. You’ll want to do this now to keep new growth occurring right before the fall frosts hit.
- Freshen up planting beds with some new mulch. It’ll help things look neater and tidier as we head towards fall, and it’s good for the soil as well.
- Add some fall grasses to your planting beds or bigger containers to freshen them up and start a color transition. There’s some wonderful bronze colored grasses that would look marvelous as an accent to the deep reds and yellows of late summer annuals and perennials.
- Remember to keep your bird baths clean and filled with water, as it’s harder to find this time of year for your feathered friend!
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