by Gary Crispell, EMGV
Alrighty then! We survived July, just barely. Thank you, Mother Nature, for the break at the end of the month. So, how does your garden look? And the water bill? (Ouch!) Well, July is behind us now and August is upon us with her bounty of veggies and plethora of blooming plants. Let us hope the rain gods will be less capricious and the heat stays somewhere else. Whether or not those things come about there are things to do in the garden and don’t forget to be hurricane prepared. (You know, the ones that come in off the ocean – not the ones that reside at PNC Arena.)
Check the lawn for grubs. If you find some, treat with an appropriate insecticide. If you do find any, be grateful and put the sprayer away.
Late in the month prepare any areas that need to be seeded with cool season grass (tall fescue, bluegrass).
Give your strawberries a shot of nitrogen fertilizer.
DO NOT fertilize trees or shrubbery until December.
Sow pansy seeds this month in flats to transplant to the landscape in September.
Perennials, hollyhock, delphinium and Stokes’ aster can be sown now for healthy plants in the spring.
Repot more house plants.
Plant a fall garden with beets, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, radish, rutabaga, squash and turnips.
Nada. Nope. Don’t! No pruning of trees or shrubs until November.
In case of hurricane damage, disregard the above admonition.
Same stuff as last month. Look for spider mites on coniferous evergreens (juniper, arborvitae, etc.) and lace bugs on azaleas and pyracantha.
Continue rose spray program and weekly spraying of fruit trees and bunch grapes.
Watch for worms on cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) and borers on squash. Spray only if necessary. Follow the label instructions.
You may still take cuttings of shrubs.
More fun things to do if you just can’t get enough of the August heat
Make sure your LANDSCAPE PLAN is up to date especially if you plan to modify the landscape this fall.
Keep running up the water bill when the August thunderstorms skip your house.
Build a compost bin.
Dig Irish potatoes.
Stay cool and hydrated. September and October will soon be at hand.