After months of diligent care, the arrival of August hopefully brings with it a feeling of satisfaction as you sit back and enjoy your lawn and garden at their peak. Whether it’s sturdy rows of fresh vegetables, a beautifully manicured lawn or a garden full of summer blooms, you’ve worked hard to get to this point.
Now, it’s all about maintenance. Here are a few chores you can tend to in August to maximize the life of your annuals, give your lawn a jumpstart for next year and get the best yield from your homegrown produce.
- Continue with regular mowing. If you usually bag and dispose of clippings, stop. Leaving clippings on the lawn will provide extra nutrients for the long winter months.
- Check your lawn for diseases and pests and address if needed. Look for brown spots, which could be caused by yellow chinch bugs or disease.
- Late August or early September is the best time for overseeding your lawn. This helps keep your grass healthy, lush and green. After mowing, de-thatch with a thatch rake, taking care not to damage your existing grass. Then apply a good quality grass seed, rake lightly to help seeds settle into soil and water regularly over the next week or so to help seeds germinate.
- Divide and transplant perennials like peonies, daylilies and irises late in the month, if needed.
- Deadhead as needed to prolong the life of annuals and perennials.
- Prune your summer flowering shrubs, climbers and trees.
- Pick your vegetables and herbs early in the morning – this is when their sugar content is the highest.
- Cut tops off tomato plants in late August and remove new flowers in order to divert energy to fruit already growing.
- Freeze excess vegetables and herbs for use all winter long.
With a little extra care in August, you can make the most of your lawn and gardens well into the fall season.