Even though summer is winding down, your garden still needs attention. Here are some important tips for August gardening to keep it looking its best into fall and winter.
Water, water, water! Make sure everything is getting enough water, about an inch per week for most plants. The best time to water is always in the morning to minimize evaporation.
Continue to fertilize only annuals and vegetables. They still need regular fertilizing every four weeks for good production. It is important to discontinue fertilizing perennials and shrubs. Fertilizing now will encourage new growth that will not be ready for fall freezing temperatures.
Use caution if you need to apply pesticides or insecticidal soaps. They generally are not as effective in the summer heat. If you need to use, the early morning is best when it is cooler.
Enjoy a fresh harvest of vegetables from your garden or at your local farmer’s market. Many vegetables will be ready for harvest by August. Minnesota favorites like beans, tomatoes, and peppers will be available near the end of the month.
Keep weeding. Weeds compete with your garden plants for water and nutrients.
Divide daylilies, bearded iris, and peonies. They can be divided from the end of August into September. Water well a few days ahead of division and again after they are transplanted. Mulch well.
Plant Fall bloomers. By the end of August, plant fall-blooming annuals or perennials such as asters and mums. Your local Garden Center like The Mustard Seed will have a fresh selection of annuals to freshen up your planters.