blanket flower


Gaillardia (blanket flower, top) and celosia provide drought tolerant color.



What to do in August

Time to divide spring flowering plants such as iris, Shasta daisy, gaillardia (photo at left), cannas, daylilies, liriope, and ajuga.

Plant fall perennials from transplants like salvia, mums, fall aster, and sedum. Also plant fall annual flowers from transplants like celosia (photo at left) and marigolds. Marigolds, known as marimums when planted in the fall, are more resistant to spider mites.

Plant wildflower seeds toward the end of the month. Plant seeds in well-prepared soil, one-half inch deep, and warm thoroughly. Keep grass out of the area where the seeds are planted. If you are planting bluebonnet seeds, they must germinate in the late summer or early fall, develop a good root system, and be ready to grow in spring when the weather warms.

Warm season grass seed can still be planted during the month of August. Be sure to keep the seed moist in order for germination to occur.

With the exception of Live Oaks, prune out dead or diseased wood from trees and shrubs. If you prefer, mark the limbs to be removed with flagging tape now while leaves are still on the plants. This will make it easier to know what to prune out during the dormant season.

Picking flowers frequently encourages most annuals to flower even more abundantly.

Iron and sulfur products will correct yellowed, chlorotic foliage.

Be on the lookout
Don’t allow plants with green fruit or berries to suffer from lack of moisture. Hollies will frequently drop their fruit under drought conditions.

Check pecan trees for shuck worm, stink bug, and black aphids. Spray ONLY if needed. Continue to irrigate trees for kernel filling and stress reduction.

Miscellaneous chores
Establish a new compost pile to accommodate the fall leaf accumulation.

    (c) 2007 - 2008 Howard County Master Gardeners