August Gardening Tips


Planning:

  • Order spring- flowering bulbs for fall planting
  • Assess areas in the garden which may need additional planting
  • Prepare a landscape plan for fall planting of trees and shrubs
  • Continue to take garden notes and /or photographs to plan future plantings

Chores and Maintenance:

  • If rain is still lacking continue to practice water-wise horticultural techniques
  • Determine which plants are most important and water them first
  • Allow lawns to go dormant; they will green up again when rain returns
  • Remove weeds before they set seed
  • Mow lawns regularly to keep grass at 2 ½ in. height
  • Spot seed to renovate existing lawns between August 15 and September 15
  • De -thatch and aerate existing lawns to promote root growth
  • Continue to aerate and moisten compost pile to speed decomposition
  • Continue to deadhead annuals and perennials to encourage continuous bloom
  • Continue to check for insect pests and treat accordingly
  • Continue to remove any fallen leaves and debris which can harbor insect pests and disease organisms
  • Continue to apply deer repellent
  • Cut flowers for drying: yarrow, strawflower, gomphrena, cockscomb, etc.
  • Put up hummingbird feeder

Planting:

  • Continue to propagate spring-flowering perennials
  • Continue to propagate herbs from new growth and transplant into pots for winter use
  • Divide bearded Iris and discard any borer-damaged parts
  • Plant late season annuals like ornamental kale and cabbage for fall color
  • Plant out seedlings of cool vegetable plants for fall harvest
  • Sow seed of late harvest vegetables such as carrots, beets and turnips
  • Plant out seedling biennials for next year's bloom
  • Plant broad-leaved and needle-leaved evergreens from late August through October 15

Pruning/Fertilizing:

  • Continue to deadhead roses
  • Prune summer-flowering trees and shrubs after flowering is complete
  • Lightly prune overgrown hedges and deciduous shrubs
  • Cut back leggy annuals
  • Feed needle and broad-leaved evergreens with iron chelate if leaves are yellowing
  • Fertilize roses to encourage last new growth and hardening off before first frost
  • Continue to fertilize annuals and container plants each month
  • Continue to fertilize chrysanthemums weekly until buds show color

Indoors:

  • Shape and pinch back houseplants before returning them indoors
  • Check houseplants for insect pests and treat as necessary before bringing them in

* These gardening tips are applicable for the southeastern New York region - USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6a and 6b which include New York City, northern New Jersey, Rockland county, Westchester county, southern Connecticut and parts of Long Island. Plant hardiness zones refer to geographic areas where the growing season of plants is determined by the time of killing frosts in the spring and fall. If you live in a more southerly plant hardiness zone, you can start gardening earlier in the season or in more northerly zones, you can start later. Even within zones, climatic factors such as altitude, proximity to water, wind exposure, winter sun exposure and snow cover contribute to the existence of different "microclimates" and can influence plant adaptability.

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