Gardening in August – Maintenance and new plantings!

Herb MakerYou’ve been enjoying your garden all summer, now it’s time to keep it in shape.

Maintenance:

  • Gator bags provide a great way to keep trees watered during hot and dry months. These bags, which can hold up to 20 gallons of water, are secured to the trunk of the tree, where they release the water slowly to the root ball over the course of 15-20 hours.
  • Daffodils and tulips should be fertilized in early to mid-August. Apply 2 pounds of 5-10-10 or 6-12-12 per 100 square feet.
  • Time to fertilize all Water Lilies and Lotus to keep the plant blooming continuously throughout the season.
  • Time to switch from spring fish food to summer fish food since water temperatures have risen above 70 degrees. At higher temperatures, fish metabolize at a faster rate, thus creating a need for a diet higher in protein.

Pest and Weed Control: Various pest problems can occur in August. Use Diatomaceous Earth to control crawling insects such as cockroaches, ants, slugs, silverfish, earwigs, fleas, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, and carpet beetles. Use indoors and outdoors.

Crackle Glass Bird FeederCheck with your local county agricultural extension office to guide you on environmentally friendly answers to controlling pest and diseases. If you do use chemicals, follow the directions EXACTLY. Use Round-Up or Finale to kill weeds and grasses in brick patios and walks. Spray roses with Ortho Rose Spray or Dragon Rose Spray to keep black spot and other problems under control. If you want to prevent broadleaf weeds such as Chickweed and Henbit next spring, but you would still like to seed the lawn this fall, apply weed prevention in August. By applying this product now, you will be able to seed in late September or early October (seeding can be done 45-60 days after you apply weed prevention). August is also the best time to control grubs in the lawn. Fruit trees should be on a regular spray program. Control slugs and snails on hosta and other plants with diatomaceous.

New Plantings: Fall Mums are in – plant now for a colorful autumn. You can also plant ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus, Pennisetum, and Hardy Pampas Grass for motion and contrast. Check all plants, especially newly planted ones, for water on a regular basis. Water deeply and thoroughly as needed.

Maple LeafSpruce up your summer landscape with beautiful color in containers and hanging baskets. Be sure to use potting mix when planting and a water-grabbing polymer such as Soil Moist to reduce the frequency of watering.

It’s also a great time to add a water feature to your landscape that you will enjoy not only this summer, but all year round. Or, how about a water garden? Clear pond water can be achieved with proper plant balance. If the pond is in full sun, 50-70% of its surface must be covered with foliage such as Floating Heart, Water Hyacinth, Water Poppy, Water Lily, or Lotus. Underwater grasses are essential to maintaining water clarity as they utilize the oxygen in the water, which helps prevent algae from accumulating in the pond.

Lotus are great plants for container water gardens on a deck or patio. Whiskey barrels make a perfect container for these types of water gardens. Tropical Water Lilies make a spectacular show of color for any water garden. Whereas hardy Water Lilies bloom only during the day, tropical varieties, which are considered annuals in this area, include day and night bloomers. This makes it possible to enjoy the bloom in the late afternoon and evening. Day blooming tropical Water Lilies bloom heavier than hardy lilies. The flowers stay open longer each day and they bloom much later into the season. Night blooming tropical water lilies open their flowers at approximately 5 pm and do not close until the following morning around 9 am. This is perfect timing for those evening barbecues and parties.

Make sure you take plenty of water breaks when working outside in the hot sun. Or, work in the early morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler. Just a few simple maintenance tricks will keep your garden the envy of the neighborhood!

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