Our Average Daily High Temp for August is 80°F

Natures Beauty Enhanced by Our Fluttery FriendsIt’s about this time of the summer when I get tempted to rip everything out of the garden and give up for the year. Usually, we need rain and some of the plants are starting to suffer the effects of that, coupled with the heat. August is a transition from summer into fall, and it takes a bit more work to keep things looking good.

Give your roses one last feeding at the beginning of the month. If new growth is encouraged later, it may get damaged by early frosts in September. Give them their last pruning this month, too, for the same reason. Pruning encourages new growth and the tender leaves and stems could get zapped by frost. The same goes for woody ornamentals.

The hot, dry weather may create issues with powdery mildew. At the first sign of it, treat with an organic fungicide. To help prevent powdery mildew in the future, make sure plants have good air circulation around them.
v Some plants are beginning to form seed heads. Collect them for next season and store in a cool, dry place. If you don’t want to save the seeds, let them remain for the birds or for winter interest. Remember that some plants will self-seed enthusiastically, so cut their seed heads before they can scatter throughout your garden if you don’t want them there.

Now is the time for planting fall-flowering bulbs such as hardy cyclamen and autumn crocus (Colchicum). Also plant garlic cloves now. Don’t be alarmed if they send up shoots shortly after planting. This is normal and they’ll be fine.

Begin making a list of those spring-blooming bulbs that you want to plant this fall. You can plant them after the first frost, which can occur in late September. If you want to order them now, do it. Acquiring your bulbs early means you get the best selection and most companies won’t send them until the proper planting time for your zone. Even if they send them early, you can keep them in a cool, dry location until proper planting time.

Continue watering and feeding your container plants. Many will keep going until first frost with continued care.

To-Dos:

  • Feed roses and prune them for the last time this month, to avoid encouraging new growth that may be harmed by frost in September.
  • Check for powdery mildew and treat with an organic fungicide.
  • Collect seeds for next year and share with friends.
  • Plant fall-flowering bulbs
  • Choose and order spring-blooming bulbs for planting later in the fall.
  • Continue caring for container plants, making sure they get plenty of water.