August Gardening Tips

Horticulture Tips of the Month:

Water figs deeply now as they begin to ripen. Harvest every morning, before the birds can do their damage.

The soil in outdoor clay pots dries out quickly. Poke holes in it with a pencil to make sure water saturates the soil when you tend your plants.

The best way to control snakes is to remove their habitat. Move log piles, leaf piles and rock piles to the edge of your yard, away from the house.

Prune tropical hibiscus plants you plan to bring indoors. Reduce them to a size that will fit in front of your sunniest window in December.

Remove faded crape myrtle blooms and dry seed clusters now. With a little water and fertilizer, you may get more blooms in September.

Collect seeds from hosta, iris and blackberry lily to save for planting next spring.

To prevent ants from coming indoors, spread insecticide granules in a band 24 inches wide around the foundation of your house. Use ant bait traps near entrance doors.

Bermuda or zoysia grass encroaching in your fescue lawn? Spray it with glyphosate (Roundup) now and again in September before you plant fescue this fall.

If you had tremendous numbers of Japanese beetles, you might get some control next year by poisoning the grubs. Now is the best time to do it; remember to water heavily after the insecticide application.

Fertilize roses with 1 tablespoon of 10-10-10 per foot of height now to stimulate some new growth. As the weather cools, you’ll get roses for the fall.

Look on the ground around your blackberry and raspberry plants. The canes snaking across the ground should be tied back on their wire arbor.

How long has it been since your lawnmower blade was sharpened? It should be done once each summer to avoid shredding the grass instead of cutting it cleanly.

Cut back faded annual flowers by half, then water and lightly fertilize with liquid 20-20-20. A second season of blooms will begin to appear in two weeks.

Water big trees. Apply at least 15 gallons per inch of trunk thickness each week.

Plant fall blooming bulbs like colchicum, fall crocus and sternbergia.

Watch for the red or yellow, spider-like flowers of spider lily, also called surprise lily – because the foliage is nowhere to be seen when it blooms.

Make a slug trap from a small board raised an inch off the ground by small stones. Check it at noon and scrape the slimy crawlers into a bucket of soapy water

Wrap cheesecloth around sunflower heads to keep the birds away. The head is ready to harvest when the back has turned from green to brown.

Pull English ivy out of your trees. The leaves act like a sail in a thunderstorm – you don’t want that tree to navigate onto your roof!

It’s easy to see the big webs of fall webworm in your trees. If you can reach it with a stick, wrap and destroy the webbing to expose worms to the elements.




Pluck the leaves from the stem and plunge them into boiling water just until wilted, about 5 seconds. Drain, pat dry, and chop. For every ¼ cup chopped herbs, drizzle with 2 t. olive oil and toss well. Line a plate with plastic wrap and dot with a teaspoon-size mound of the oiled herbs. Freeze until the mounds are solid. Peel from the plastic and place in a zipper-lock bag for up to 6 months. No need to defrost before using.

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