August Gardening Dos and Don’ts

August Gardening Dos and Don’ts

Here’s what you can do to keep your yard and garden looking good during the dog days of summer and beyond.

  • Water deeply but not every day. Avoid hand watering except for newly placed or seeded plants…the reality is that hand watering doesn’t soak deeply or in a wide enough area to hydrate your plants.
  • Don’t spray the leaves of your plants. People often think that since they would like a cool shower in hot weather, it will help their plants too. Wetting the foliage frequently can contribute to leaf-spot fungus and doesn’t usually help the plant at all.
  • Keep your perennials and annuals deadheaded. Removing wilted flowers can stimulate greater flower production and help the garden to look tidy. Cut old daylily stems down into the foliage.
  • Don’t prune shrubs and trees in August and September. Since pruning always stimulates growth, avoid it in the late summer so that plants won’t put on new growth in the fall. The exception to this rule is for privet hedges, which can be trimmed at this time of year.
  • Keep your lawn mowed at a height of 2 ½ to 3 inches high.
  • Replace finished vegetable garden crops with a late-summer planting. Cool weather crops such as spinach, broccoli, kale, and chard will usually produce well into November in this region. You can also seed carrots, beets and radishes for fall harvest.
If your garden needs color you can plant annuals or perennials through the rest of the summer. Just remember to water newly placed plants more frequently than those that are already established.

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