August Gardening To-Do List

August is right around the corner and by the time you're reading this it may well already be here. There are still gardening activities that we can do in August, one of which is relaxing and enjoying our gardens!

Continue to water all your plants especially when we aren't getting any rain. Drought puts stress on plants and even large mature trees benefit from supplemental irrigation. If we aren't receiving a ½ to an inch of rain each week, plan on pulling out your hose and give your shrubs and trees a drink of water. A long slow soak is better than a short quick one as you want to ensure to water deeply to reach roots that are further down then just at the very surface.

If you have bearded iris, bleeding hearts, oriental poppies, phlox or peonies that you have wanted to divide, August is the time to do so. Dividing and replanting in August gives the plants enough time to establish in the ground before winter. Dividing plants is a great way to share plants with friends and fellow gardeners.

Continue to deadhead your flowers, if allowed to go to seed they will stop producing new flowers. So, if you want to continue flower production take time to deadhead.

If you missed the spring window for seeding or overseeding lawn areas – the best time is August 15-September 15. Make sure to prepare the soil and select a turf mix or blend that is suitable for the area you are seeding and provide adequate irrigation after seeding.

Make sure to dump standing water at least once a week. Standing water is perfect for mosquito breeding grounds, so take a look around your yard to make sure you aren't providing mosquito breeding habitat.

August is also the time to begin planning and ordering what spring bulbs you want to plant this fall. The sooner you order bulbs the better selection you will have as more popular varieties may sell out much quicker. How about browsing through a spring bulb catalog while sitting out in your garden relaxing after deadheading your flowers?

If you have plants that you would like to overwinter such as coleus, begonias, or geraniums, take cuttings from them now for overwintering. It will be easier to overwinter smaller plants that are started from cuttings then the large ones that have been growing all season long.