Late Summer Garden To Do List
August can be a challenging time in the garden, with hot humid days, nights cooling down and summer plants starting to get a little tired. To keep your garden looking fresh, and to keep it growing strongly into fall:
1. Deadhead and prune summer annuals to encourage longer blooming and to keep plants tidy. A top dressing of Sea Soil will add some much needed nutrient, and keep feeding, especially with slow release fertilizer 14-14-14.
2. Begin planting fall colour! Mums and pansies should be planted in late August for strong fall colour, and they’ll replace finished summer annuals in containers nicely too.
3. Add some fall blooming perennials to the mix! Japanese anemones, rudbeckias, eupatorium, sedums, helenium and fall asters look terrific, and all will help feed pollinators.
4. Watch out for Late Blight on tomatoes and potatoes from August 15th on. To prevent, apply a fine mist of Copper Spray on the foliage.
5. Keep planting veggies as spots open up in your garden. Fall and winter veggies can be seeded or planted in mid-August (up until early September, depending on the variety).
6. Fertilize lawns to give them a boost. Given the time of the season, Scotts Turf Builder Fall Lawn Food 32-0-10 would be a good choice to help strengthen your lawn before cooler days arrive. If, however, you have weeds to deal with, take care of them first. Spot treat for weeds in the morning or evening during hot (but not scorching) weather for best results. Once the weeds have died back and been removed (and ideally mown your lawn two times), then you can fertilize. Mid to late September is a terrific time to overseed lawns, so doing a little work now will create a ‘clean slate’ for that time.
7. Give rhodos and azaleas another dose of Rhodo and Azalea Food 6-12-12 (with micronutrients)
8. Prune roses and other flowering shrubs, like mophead hydrangeas, as the blooms finish to allow next year’s buds to develop.
9. Apply a controlled release, high nitrogen fertilizer, like Scotts Lawn Food 32-0-4 around evergreens and shrubs to give them a final feed for the season.
10. Seed biennials such as wallflowers, bellis English daisies, Forget-me-nots and pansies for next year.