To Do in the Garden – August

08 2013-08-12 Helenium Kanaria 002August is a wonderful time to enjoy your yard.  Make the most of your pool or patio by introducing color with pots full of colorful annuals or tropicals.  Make sure your perennial beds have plants that will bloom through the late summer and into fall.  This is also a good time to think back and remember any spots in your garden that needed some extra color in the spring or early summer.  August is a good time to look for a bargain on past-bloom perennials that will spring into bloom again next year.  And, while you want to make sure to spend some time at the beach or out on the water, don’t delay that gardening project just because it’s the middle of the summer.  As long as you can water, it’s OK to plant.  And remember to continue watering anything you planted earlier in the season – new plantings need extra water for a full season until their root systems become fully developed.

 

Your Entire Property

  • Monitor for damage from animals, insects, and disease and treat as necessary.
  • Continue to watch for weeds, trying to stay ahead of them before they get big and/or go to seed.  Pulling them before the seeds drop will cut down on future weeding!
  • Specific problems can be diagnosed at Kennedy’s by bringing in samples or photos.  We are always happy to help you figure out how to most effectively treat any problems you encounter.

 

Lawn

  • As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, the weeds start to slow down and lawns start to perk up.  September is a great time for lawn renovation projects.  Gear yourself up now so you can overseed or tackle problems next month.

 

Trees and Shrubs

  • Reduce the number of pests on your fruit trees next year by picking up and destroying all fallen fruit and diseased foliage.

 

Perennial Beds, Bulb Plants, Roses, etc.

  • Mark the location of spring bulbs or dormant perennials by sticking colorful plastic golf tees in the ground to help you plan any changes in your garden.
  • Cut off flower stalks when they have finished blooming.
  • RosePharm, Neem Oil, and Serenade are three organic options to prevent and control powdery mildew and black spot on your roses.  Remove all affected leaves first, discard, and then spray remaining leaves.
  • Clean up fallen rose and peony leaves that can harbor disease and insect pests over the winter if allowed to remain on the ground.

 

Annuals – Containers and Beds

  • Continue to water and fertilize regularly.  Trim and deadhead to keep neat and to encourage new growth.
  • Make sure your petunias are getting what they need to keep them blooming all summer long.  Petunias love fertilizer, so don’t be afraid to fertilize them every two weeks with a water soluble fertilizer such as Neptune’s Harvest or Petunia Feed by Jack’s Classic.  Petunias are prone to infestation by aphids and thrips.  Both are small, hard to see insects that feed on the flowers.  Spray the plants with Eight insect spray and the plants will be flowering again before you know it!

 

Houseplants and Tropicals

  • Keep an eye out for spider mites and aphids on Hibiscus, Mandevilla, and other tropicals.  A treatment of All-Seasons Oil usually does the trick.  Spider mites thrive in the heat and hosing down the undersides of certain plants with cold water will discourage them from being a problem.  Avoid doing so on plants prone to fungal diseases.  Ask a Kennedy’s staff member for details.

 

Vegetables and Fruits

  • If you have late-fruiting blueberries, such as these Chandlers, now is a good time to cover with netting unless your intention is to provide a feast for the birds!
  • Mound soil over the lateral or brace roots of corn stalks for extra support against strong winds.
  • Cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins are prone to powdery mildew.  Remove leaves that are already affected and consider spraying with an organic fungicide such as Serenade.
  • Pick summer squash and zucchini every day or two to keep the plants producing.
  • Remove old plants that have stopped producing to eliminate a shelter for insects and disease organisms.  Use the space to plant a new crop for fall!
  • Many herbs self-sow if the flowers are not removed.  Harvest your herbs or at least cut back flower heads to prevent an army of volunteers next spring.
  • Eliminate weeds before they produce seeds.  Do not add weeds with mature seed heads to the compost pile.  Many weed seeds can remain viable and germinate next year when the compost is used, unless the compost pile reaches a high enough temperature (typically 150 degrees F for the duration of the composting period).