August always is a quiet month. Skies are cloudless blue, the wind barely ripples the leaves and gardeners enjoy sitting around watching plants in their glory. Well, chug the lemonade. There are some things to do.
August always is a quiet month. Skies are cloudless blue, the wind barely ripples the leaves and gardeners enjoy sitting around watching plants in their glory.
Well, chug the lemonade. There are some things to do.
First, don’t worry about the yard. Grass is a root crop. The green blades are just an afterthought. They can turn totally brown and crispy under foot but always will come back.
The key to green grass is water. It’s expensive to keep a lawn green in August. If you hate to mow, you’ve found your month.
There’s nothing wrong with letting your yard brown and go dormant. It will recover with the fall rains and cool nights. It’s time to raise the mowing height. Taller grass helps keep moisture in the soil.
Most of your houseplants are at their peak growing cycle. Keep an eye on them waterwise. Remember that their No. 1 cause of death is overwatering.
It’s a good idea to check each plant for whiteflies and other insects and deal with them with sprays. These only will become bigger problems when the house is buttoned up for winter.
I devote a Saturday to repotting, adding fresh potting soil and pruning the overgrowth. It’s a good time to divide and replant, especially if you give plants for holiday presents.
Weeds now are in their flowering stage. This is dangerous. It means they soon will seed for next season. Be sure to pull them before those blooms turn to seed pods.
If you have a water feature including a birdbath, you might want to change the water. Birdbaths need fresh water and breed mosquitoes without cleaning.
If you want to expand your growing season, plant peas, spinach and lettuce for fall picking.
Herbs are at their peak. Be sure to use some fresh and consider drying them. A good preservative is the pesto, leaves ground with olive oil and then refrigerated or frozen.
In the flower patch, it’s important to deadhead spent blooms you do not want to spread next season. This cuts the seed fall and encourages the plant to keep blooming in fall.
By the end of the month, make plans to move deck plants inside. Check and spray for bugs. You can extend their blooming seasons by bringing them in at night.
Got all that? Back to the chaise on the patio.
Contact Jim Hillibish at email@example.com.