AUGUST CAN BE A TOUGH MONTH FOR GARDENERS
Yes, August can be tough for gardening mainly because of the heat and high humidity that makes being outside and working in the gardens a little unbearable. This may be the main reason to look at August as a planning month for the upcoming fall planting season. As for the month of July—July was hot and dry. Until the last week of July, we were very dry with almost 3-inches of rainfall behind what is considered normal. Thank goodness for the rain we got in the last week of July as we begin to head into August. Hopefully, Mother Nature will be kind to us when it comes to getting more rain.
AUGUST GARDENING TIPS & TASKS
- 2022 fall vegetable and flower seeds are arriving. August is the month to be planting your cole drop vegetable seeds such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, kale, etc.
- Do you know your lawn soil pH level? The ideal pH for the lawn is between 6.2 and 6.5. Anything below this level will affect your lawn performance this fall. I recommend using pelletized lime. Pellitized lime is a highly soluble form of calcium that helps to rapidly raise your soil’s pH, improving the health of your lawn by releasing trapped nutrients in the soil that feed the grass plants.
- August is a good month to divide overcrowded perennials. Overcrowded perennials can start to “choke” from being too crowded and their performance declines. Daylilies, peonies, hostas, rudbeckia, iris, and more benefit from being divided. It’s a new lease on life.
- August can be hot and dry. Be sure to soak shrubs periodically during dry spells. Slowly soak the ground deeply in order to wet the entire root system. Soaker hoses and tree gators are good. Or, slow dripping of water out of a water hose placed at the base of the shrub/tree is good.
- Annual flowering bedding plants benefit from being given a good ‘haircut” and feeding now.
- If you have any blooming roses—August is the month to give them their final feeding of the season. Roses will put on quite a blooming show starting in September when we begin to have cooler days and nights.
- Looking over my copy of A GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL PRUNING, SHRUB PRUNING CALENDAR from Virginia Tech—it is obvious from this calendar that August is not a month to be pruning back any shrub or tree.
August is the “Gateway” to the FALL PLANTING SEASON that opens up in September. Are you ready?