August 1 to August 30
Discover what you should be doing right now. Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.
Here's what's happening in your gardening region:
Learn About Garden Crafts
When the sun is bearing down and the mercury hovers above 90 degrees for weeks on end, a gardener’s got to come up with alternative projects to planting and weeding. It’s simply too much to be outdoors during the middle of the day. You don’t have to abandon your favorite hobby, though. You just need to bring it inside. Spend some time this month on garden-related crafts to keep your thumb green and spruce up the garden while you’re at it. All of these are fun for kids, too, if they’re starting to get a little stir-crazy while out of school.
Plant Perennials This Fall
Fall is a great time to plant perennials. They can take advantage of cooling weather to establish healthy root systems without the stress of summer heat. Plan to add these “old standbys” to the garden late this month and early next month. All thrive in full sun and medium-moist, well-drained soil. Together, they make an instant garden! If you plant this year, by the time they re-sprout in spring they’ll be almost as large as if they had been growing all summer long this year.
Order Cool Season Vegetables
If you plan to direct-sow a vegetable garden for fall and winter harvest, now is the time to order seeds and plant. Many of our favorite cool-weather vegetables are in the “cole family,” or cabbage family. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower are easy to grow and will give you a long harvest. Sow seeds outside in late August. Make sure to keep the soil evenly moist while they are germinating. You can thin to 4-6 inch spacing as seedlings grow. Toss the baby plants you remove into summer salads. They’re packed with nutrients!
Learn About Garden Design
With fall planting comes fall garden design. As tempting as it is to simply plant one of everything that’s pretty, you can get a lot more mileage out of your garden—particularly your flower gardens and landscape beds—with thoughtful attention to design. Learn how design a garden with color all season long by paying attention to bloom sequence. Read up on how to integrate garden paths and pathways to make your plantings more accessible for viewing. Finally, don’t forget about Fido! If you have pets that spend a lot of time out in the yard, make sure that your garden is a safe, stimulating, and welcoming place for him or her, as well.
What You Need For Watering The Garden
Some areas in our growing zone have been blessed with frequent rains. (Some with too much rain!) Others are dry as a bone, and watering has become a constant chore. The amount of water that plants receive this summer has an affect on how well they grow through the winter and the following spring. For example, spring-blooming plants stressed from lack of water now won’t set as many flower buds. If your area is experiencing drought, give plants a leg up by soaking them thoroughly one or two days per week. If you’re going on vacation for more than five days, set timers to make sure plants get watered while you’re away.