Here’s a handy list of things to do in your garden in August to keep it blooming and looking good until the first frost.
• Now is a great time to plant cool season vegetables like radishes, lettuce, spinach, peas,
and onions for harvest in late fall. Be sure to keep the seeds moist until germination. You may need to water twice a day if it’s very hot weather.
• Harvest vegetables, especially zucchini and green beans, on a daily basis. Vegetables
left on the vine will turn bitter. Picking daily also helps to promote more blooms and thus,
more produce. Pick basil before it seeds for the best flavor.
• After perennials, such as bellflower, salvias, phlox, geraniums, blue flax, monarda, and
daisies finish blooming, freshen them up by trimming stems back to healthy foliage. This
will help prevent powdery mildew and may even give another late bloom. By late August
most perennials are preparing to enter their fall/winter dormant stage, so no need to
fertilize after mid-August.
• Cut leggy annuals, like petunias, back by half to encourage new growth. Yes it’s
hard to cut off pretty blooms, but it will result in bushier new growth that will last till the
first frost. Continue to deadhead and fertilize annuals weekly, especially if in a container
or hanging basket.
• Fertilize roses one last time for the year in early August. Fertilizing after August promotes
softer, more frost-sensitive stems.
• Mid-August is a great time to over seed your lawn. A denser lawn helps prevent the
invasion of weeds.
• Wait until after Labor Day in September to fertilize your lawn. To encourage a good root
system, water deeply and infrequently. Most Kentucky bluegrass lawns require about 1”
of water a week this month.