Garden Tips for August

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.

American Gold Rush rudbeckia blooming

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?

Silvery checkerspot butterfly on Rudbeckia triloba
Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly on Little Brown-Eyed Susan

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

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