By following this checklist, you can ensure that your garden is healthy, thriving, and producing an abundance of beautiful and tasty plants throughout the growing season.
Flower Beds, Trees and Shrubs
- August can be hot, so continue to water deeply, especially during dry spells. Water early in the morning or late in the evening to minimize evaporation.
- Remove faded blooms from flowers regularly to encourage new blooms and extend the flowering season.
- If your plants show signs of nutrient deficiency, consider applying a balanced fertilizer. Follow the specific instructions on the product label.
- Keep an eye out for pests like aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars. Treat affected plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil if necessary.
- Trim any dead or diseased branches from shrubs. However, avoid heavy pruning in late summer, as it can stimulate new growth that might be damaged by upcoming frosts.
- If you have flowering shrubs that produce fruits, such as blueberries or elderberries, August might be the time for harvesting. Check the specific fruiting times for your shrubs and collect ripe fruits.
- Even in late summer, you can plant bulbs for many lilies (butterfly, Aztec, spider).
- Continue to remove spent blooms, cut back overgrown bedding plants, and fertilize flowering annuals and perennials.
- Stake any tall-growing plants to help prevent any damage.
- Be sure to divide and replant any crowded plants. It is important to increase the air circulation between plants so that the plants can dry out between rain showers.
- Start plants for broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and onions to set out in September. In southern areas, cool-season crops can be planted.
- Plant herb transplants: rosemary, ginger, laurel, Mexican tarragon.
- Continue consistent watering, ensuring that the soil remains evenly moist, especially during hot spells. Deep watering in the early morning or late evening is ideal.
- Harvest ripe vegetables regularly to encourage continuous production. Check plants for ripe fruits and vegetables daily. Harvesting on time promotes further fruiting.
- Keep a close eye on your plants for signs of pests and diseases. Control aphids, caterpillars, and other pests using natural remedies like neem oil or insecticidal soap. Remove affected leaves and plants promptly to prevent the spread of diseases. If your vegetables show signs of nutrient deficiency, consider providing a light application of balanced fertilizer. Be cautious not to over-fertilize, as it may lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of fruit production. Remove any spent or diseased plants to prevent the spread of diseases. Clean up debris and dead plant material to maintain a healthy garden environment.
- If you have tall or vining plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or beans, ensure they are properly staked or trellised to prevent bending or breaking due to heavy fruits or winds.
- Plan for fall crops by starting seeds indoors for vegetables like kale, lettuce, and broccoli. Transplant these seedlings into the garden later in August for a fall harvest.
- Begin planning for the fall by adding compost or organic matter to the soil. Work it into the soil to enhance its structure and fertility for the next planting season.
- If you have heirloom or open-pollinated plants, consider saving seeds from healthy, mature fruits for future plantings. Properly dry and store the seeds in a cool, dry place.
- Harvest herbs for drying or preserving. Prune herbs like basil regularly to prevent them from flowering, ensuring better leaf production. Dry herbs in a well-ventilated area.
- If your lawn seems stressed, determine whether it’s rainfall or pests or disease. Use a sharp mower and remove only one-half of grass blades to reduce stress.
- Check the mulch layer around plants. If it has thinned out, replenish it to conserve soil moisture and regulate soil temperature.
- Keep up with weeding to prevent weeds from competing with your plants for water and nutrients.
- Regularly observe your garden for signs of stress such as wilting or discoloration. Adjust your watering schedule or address any issues promptly.
- Watch for signs of plant diseases, such as powdery mildew or leaf spots. If you notice any, remove and dispose of the affected leaves to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Remove any debris or dead plant material from the garden beds. This helps prevent diseases and pests from overwintering in your garden.
- Start planning your fall garden. Research and make a list of plants you want to add, and prepare the garden beds for fall planting.