Here are some highlights of what gardeners in our region are doing in their gardens this month, starting with the number one activity:
- Watering! But not every day. Water less often, but deeply. And if it hasn’t rained in a couple of weeks, remember the trees.
- Weeding – because to garden is to weed. And remember that removing weeds before they go to seed means hundreds fewer weeds to pull next year. So weed regularly! And always keep the ground covered with an inch or more of mulch.
- Removing faded flowers from perennials – except for the ones with pretty seedheads, or seedheads that feed the birds.
- Dividing daylilies and peonies.
- Feeding flowering annuals in containers.
- Planting fall vegetables. Here’s the list of fall crops to plant now, and range of dates for planting them.
- Sowing cover crops as parts of their vegetable gardens become empty. Often called “green manure”, plants like annual rye and sweet clover, turned into the soil next spring, improve both the fertility and the structure of the soil.
- Still spraying to protect choice plants from deer, if their garden is deer-challenged.
- Preparing their delicious chili and salsa to compete at Homestead’s big, super-fun Tomato Festival! Details and entry forms here.
What they’re NOT doing in August
- Fertilizing trees and shrubs. That stimulates growth at a time when the plants are going dormant, which could lead to winter damage.
- Wasting water washing down paths, patios and sidewalks. Sweeping does the job and costs nothing!