August Garden Tips ~ to keep it green!

For doctors, it’s flu season; for accountants, it’s tax season; for horticulturalists, it’s August! That’s right, the race is on! To get your landscape from the end of July to the cooler temperatures of September is the priority; and this during the hottest time of the year when cool season grasses are struggling (while their hot-season relatives, zoysia and Bermuda grasses, are basking in the heat), and insects, mites and scales are sucking the very life fluids out of your many ornamentals. Yes, it’s tough staying green in August. But, that’s why we’re here; so you can enjoy the rest of the summer.

The challenge for your turf and ornamentals during August is that they are running low on energy. To avoid as many problems as possible during this time, good nutrition is key, and, yes, here it comes again – water. Your plants are 85-90% water, so it makes sense that the primary “nutrient” is water; reliably supplied.

Your plants stored up food energy during the spring when food production was high. Then when food production is almost nil because of high temperatures, your plants draw from their reserves. By the time we reach mid-August (or sooner, depending upon the weather), much of this stored energy is depleted. Now the plant is weaker and more subject to insect and disease invasion. Cool season turf is thinner, allowing for summer weed germination, like spotted spurge and crabgrass.

Please Note: A phenomenon, where shade trees suddenly shed leaves, probably isn’t cause for alarm. The tree just can’t support all the leaves during the hot weather, and is shedding them to curtail moisture loss. However, if the leaf loss is from just a few branches, or, you see leaves at the top of a tree turning to fall colors before all the others, this will require professional action!

Yes, it’s August, part of summertime: fun time, vacations, barbecues ~ enjoying your annual and perennial flowers, and butterflies in your garden; and maybe even relishing the relaxing sounds of water from your new fountain. Enjoy!

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