Monthly To-Do List: August

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Typically in southern Indiana, August is home to the dog days of summer with sweltering heat and even drought-like conditions that can put a lot of stress on your garden(s) if you’re not keeping up with a regular watering schedule. At the same time, August also means that fall and winter are coming and that you should be starting and planting crops for these seasons and preparing for a little downtime!

Heres a checklist that you should be going through in the month of August to make sure that you’re on top of things and ready for the coming months!

General

  • August generally means more of the usual watering, weeding, fertilizing and keeping your eye on damaging insects.
  • When watering during drought-like conditions, be sure to water newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials first. You want to make sure to give these a good chance of survival by giving them what they need to establish a solid root system. Vegetables, while annual, are your own personal grocer, so you want to make sure these are getting ample sustenance as well. Always leave your annuals ’til last because while aesthetically important, they’ll be gone at the end of the season anyways.
  • Fall is the perfect time to do all of your deciduous plantings and August is when you should start planning what kinds of plants you want and where they’ll go so that come September, you’re ready to head out, buy and then plant in one fell swoop.
  • If you plan to outsource your landscaping instead of doing it yourself, don’t hesitate to contact Grant Line Nursery’s own landscape service and set up an appointment today! We have a team of hard working professionals that will ensure it’s done exactly the way you like it!
  • In the coming weeks you’ll also want to head down to Grant Line to pick out all of your favorite bulbs and be prepared to get those in the ground!
  • For any established gardens that you may want to alter, such as perennial plantings, now is the time to plan these changes. Moving and dividing perennials is best practiced in the fall since you’ve got a little more time on your hands to devote to it.
  • Make sure that you’re making notes about what did and didn’t work with your garden this year. Once you start planning in the cold winter months, you can be sure that you’ll forget a lot of what you learned, so keep a gardening journal of things like pests, where your crops were, diseases, what plants did well vs. which didn’t, etc.
  • We’ve got a large variety of bagged mulch and hardwood mulch by the cubic yard, perfect for a fresh fall layer on your gardens to keep weeds at bay and moisture retention active.  Other organic matter such as grass clippings and leaves go a long way as well.
  • Check hose connections and other areas for leaks. Even a small amount of water adds up at the end of the day.

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Trees + Shrubs

  • Hold off on any pruning for another month or two and stick to ensuring an ample amount of water is being provided to soak down to the roots.
  • You can, however, shear your evergreen hedges. This is actually the last time you’ll want to do so so that the edges of the foliage have enough time to heal before they risk burning from colder winter temperatures.
  • Also hold off on planting until temperatures are a little cooler and more kind to giving plants an ideal range to establish themselves.
  • Feed spring flowering shrubs for the last time for the year.  We carry a large selection of fertilizers perfect for an extra end of summer boost, no matter the type of shrub!

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Perennials + Annuals

  • Continue to deadhead your annuals and perennials to prolong bloom time.
  • Feed a complete fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 to summer annuals and container plants.
  • When dried out, some flowers continue to offer visual interest, such as coneflowers and astilbe, so leave these be for now.
  • As foliage on daylilies dies back, lightly pull them out of the ground, ensuring the green stays to continue to feed the plant.
  • Daylilies, bearded iris, oriental poppies and peonies can be divided and transplanted at the end of the month.
  • Now is the time to begin considering mums and asters for fall planting, which we’ll begin to receive near the end of the month, so plan where you want them to go! We will also carry pansies, decorative cabbage and kale, and a few fun novelty plants, so stay tuned for their arrival!
  • You’ll also want to consider planting autumn-flowering bulbs such as sternbergia and crocuses as soon as they become available .

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Roses

  • Roughly six weeks before first frost date (October 4-12 in southern Indiana) is about the time to stop fertilizing roses. Any fertilizer past this and you could promote growth that isn’t cold ready, risking damage to your less hardy rose varieties.
  • Remove old or faded flowers and make sure to clean up any that have fallen to the ground to control the harboring of insects and disease.
  • Give plenty of water.

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Fruits, Vegetables + Herbs

  • Now is the time to plan and and build winter cold frame(s) for winter vegetable growing.
  • Continue to harvest herbs for drying and/or freezing.
  • Stay on top of your harvesting efforts to ensure maximum yield, making sure not to leave fruit on plants too long.
  • We offer a line of heirloom, organic and non-GMO seeds for all of your cool weather crops such as carrots, parsley, radishes, swiss chard lettuce and beets, and nows the time to sow them. We’ve also received our cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts seedlings.
  • You can also plant lettuces at this time, but be sure to plant them in part shade if the weather is too warm.
  • Remove lower leaves on brussels sprouts plants to send more energy to the development of the sprouts.
  • Due to a possible inconsistency in water consumption, monitor tomato plants for blossom end rot. Be sure to keep mulched and on a regular watering regimen to prevent this.
  • Make sure to water fruit trees deeply. Allowing the roots to dry out will result in premature dropping of fruit.

There are, I’m sure, plenty of other things one could be doing in August, so if you’ve got anything to add, don’t be afraid to share!

What kind of items are on your August gardening to-do list? Let us know in the comments below!

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2223 Grant Line Road • New Albany, Indiana 47150
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