August Journal

Stay out of the midday heat, now is the time to really appreciate the shade garden and cooler evening hours before sundown. Groom the beds of old blooms and yellow leaves except lilies. Like all bulbs, lilies must brown before cutting away stalk. You can trim seedheads, this is recommended since seed formation draws strength from the bulb.

Pick vegetable produce daily. Now all the hard work is paying off with garden fresh foods daily.

If you want to rejuvenate a bed, attack a small section at a time. I always work in an area that’s shaded and try to quit when the sun comes around. If you need to clean up, don’t bite off too much at one time. It’s much more satisfying to actually finish a small area. Begin by loosening the soil with a fork. This helps with the extensive amount of bermuda grass in my yard. Replace and rebuild the soil each time you plant. Work in some leaf mold, compost, or cow manure. This will give you a head start on your fall cleanup chores. Just edging a bed makes a big visual difference especially from a distance.

Replant seeds in summer for fall harvest of lettuce and other cool weather crops like kale, collards, and broccoli. Our fall weather is prefect for growing these.

If some of your plants are suffering from mildew, instead of spraying try improving their air circulation. If you can’t move them because of size try trimming away some old branches, this will perk up the plant and increase circulation. Annual removal of 1/3 of old branches is suggested on mature shrubs. Lilacs can be pruned just about anytime of the year. Change the water in your birdbath daily to prevent development of mosquito larvae. Empty pots and saucers are breeding grounds. If the weather stays dry, let the grass go dormant till rains return. If you must have green grass, water early in the morning. Mow at 2 1/2 inches to decrease weed and disease problems.