This Month in the Garden: August
When it comes to your yard and garden, the work never ceases, but as English Poet Alfred Austin said, “To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” Here’s a definitive list of what to do this month.
Top 3 Must-Dos
- Amend your soil. Your plants have worked hard this summer, and they’ve probably used up a lot of the nutrients that your soil had to offer, but the growing season isn’t quite done for. Add compost or Bio-Tope to your garden beds to give your soil new life and provide plants with the boost that they need to make it through to the first freeze.
- Sow seeds for fall crops. Keep your garden alive and save money on produce at the grocery store by planting carrots and spinach now. (More info below.)
- Harvest, harvest, harvest — and make the most of your veggie haul. Learn more in the “Harvesting” section below.
- Start planning your spring garden. We know that it seems early, but it’s not. Order spring bulbs now so that you have them to plant later in the fall.
- August is nothing if not hot and dry. Refresh your mulch to protect soil and help retain moisture. As a bonus, mulch creates a barrier against weed seeds, which helps to keep your beds nice and tidy.
- Save seeds and take cuttings from your favorite plants to grow them again next year.
- Deadhead, trim, and prune. Shape up those roses, keep your zinnias blooming longer, and trim back any out-of-control or long-gone foliage — especially any that touches your home, as it can act as a bridge to pests and cause rot during the rainy season.
- Turn on those sprinklers! Water at least twice weekly, ideally around dusk or dawn to reduce evaporation and ensure that the water reaches your grass’s roots.
- Move your mower blade to the highest setting before mowing. Allowing your grass to grow a bit longer helps it retain moisture, keeping it from burning up in the hot, August sun.
- Do away with weeds: Weeds will also steal water from your grass. (Plus, they don’t look nice.)
- Now’s a good time to fertilize your lawn, but consider “grasscycling” instead of adding a nitrogen-based fertilizer. Leaving grass clippings where they fall can cover about one quarter of your lawn’s needs, in terms of fertilizer.
- Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials so that they can take root before the frosts arrive, and don’t forget to give them plenty of water.
Harvesting & Sowing
- Harvest fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, tomatillos, summer squash, corn, and stone fruits that ripen this time of year, and use them to make stuff like this. [LINK ZUCCHINI POST]
- Continue canning and jarring, because let’s be honest: You’re never going to use all of those tomatoes. Salsa, anyone?
- Sow fall crops like carrots, beans, broccoli, peas, kale, spinach, collards, green onions, beets, radishes, and late-season lettuce.
Visit Rexius.com If...
- You need to order more mulch or need help getting it into place.
- You need help planning for winter. Rexius professionals can give you all kinds of info on winterizing.
- You want to be proactive and start planning a one-time, mega clean-up before your fall schedule gets away from you.
- You’re planning a garden remodels and you’d like to consult one of Rexius’s experts.
What’s Coming Next Month
More mulch, more weeding, more mowing. Plus, plenty of other helpful tips. Stay tuned!