Now that we are in the dog days of summer and August, what is there to do in the garden? Yes it is hot, but there are still things that need done before we head to vacations.
What needs done the most in August?
- In the vegetable garden, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and more (especially zucchini) should be ripening at a quick pace. Be sure to check for ripe fruit daily and pick. When the weekend or time for canning and freezing comes, take care of the weekly batches of harvests to stay ahead of it all.
- Remember to turn your compost. Keep adding kitchen scraps, rotted fruit, and weeds to a new pile for next year.
What needs done in the orchard?
- Now is the time for peaches to ripen in most orchards. Pick peaches with good blush of color on the fruit, even if not fully ripe. They will ripen on the counter.
- Blackberries may also be ripe at this time, be sure to keep them picked before the birds do.
- Summer apples may be ripe at this time. Varieties that ripen in August include Lodi and Gravenstein
My lawn is turning brown, should I water it?
No, do not water your lawn if it turning brown, unless you have been watering it all year long. Many cool-season grasses begin to go dormant in the heat of July and August, then re-green in the cooler temperatures of September and October.
Applying extra moisture when there is no rainfall in the dormant season can stimulate growth that may be damaging to the crown of the grass plant, reducing the plant’s survivability for winter.
What flowers are blooming in August?
- Sneezeweed, aka Helenium comes in shades of red, orange, and yellow
- Many daylilies are blooming right now, especially some of the larger flowered ones
- New England aster is just starting to bloom before a big rush in September
- Button Blazingstar, Liatris aspera is blooming now, a pollinator favorite
- Purple coneflower is in full glory now
- False sunflower, Heliopsis helianthoides, is blooming and putting on a show. There are many new varieties of this wildflower
- Little brown-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia triloba, is a long-blooming biennial
- Allium ‘Millenium’ is a gardener favorite and is still blooming great
- ‘American Gold Rush’ rudbeckia is a show-stopper, blooming from May to late September
Is there anything I can plant right now?
- This is a good time to divide and transplant older clumps of peonies. Even though the top foliage is green, it is dormant and not actively growing.
- Now is also a good time to divide and transplant daylilies and alliums. Be sure to water newly planted transplants if there is no rainfall