Archive | August 2014


PLANTING CONTAINER GROWN PLANTS – Unless the container is one of the plantable types, always remove the plant from the container. The planting hole should be twice as wide as the root ball and the same depth as the root ball. If the soil has poor structure add a soil conditioner like ground pine bark mulch. Set plant at same level it was growing in container or higher. If roots of plant are pot bound, make 3 or 4 slits with a knife down sides of root ball. Fill in around roots with soil, bark mixture. Water heavily to remove any air pockets around the roots. Mulch with pine straw or other mulching material to hold moisture in the soil. In poorly drained soil, rototill the bed and plant high or install French drains and berms. Bring in good topsoil and mulch well.

REMOVE FLOWER SEEDS – As you make the rounds of your garden, clip away faded flowers of plants that make seed including crepe myrtle & rhododendron to help develop more flower buds for next seasons bloom.

DIG FLOWER BULBS As soon as foliage dies down, dig tulips. Dutch iris, narcissus, and other hardy bulbs. Divide and replant bulbs immediately, or store in a cool, dry place and plant them this fall. It isn’t necessary to dig them up each year, but at least take them up and divide often enough to keep them from becoming root bound.

MAKE A CRITICAL SURVEY OF YOUR LANDSCAPE now that deciduous trees and shrubs are in leaf. Note if you seem to have too much, or too little, by way of plantings. Late this fall, or during the winter months, you can add to or subtract from plantings. Remove dead/dying wood from trees at this time.

SUMMER PRUNING – For bushy well-shaped plants that bloom profusely, prune shrubs as they grow. Prune by cutting or pinching out growing tips to make vigorous new shoots from several branches. In June, summer prune abelia, forsythia, privets, mock orange, deutzia, althea, bush honeysuckle, weigelia and euonymus.

PRUNE CLIMBING ROSES after they bloom: fertilize at that time.

WARM SEASON SOD REPLACEMENT. Now is the time to replace any warm season turf that has suffered disease or cold damage. Sod can be purchased in rolls or square pieces. Cut the damaged area out with a shovel and lay the new sod in the hole. Water the sod heavily one time. Then keep the sod moist until the root system takes hold and can support itself.

TOP DRESS WARM SEASON TURF with about 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1000 sq. feet. The extra nitrogen will help the turf grow during its optimum growing months of June, July, and August.

USE GOLF TEES TO FIND OR MARK LOCATION of spring bulbs or dormant plants.


  1. Snap off growing tips of your chrysanthemum plants when they’re about 6 inches tall. They’ll branch and bloom more profusely. Also side dress with fertilizer (bone meal and compost).
  2. Feed nandinas with a complete fertilizer (8-8-8) so their bright berries will last through winter,
  3. Encircle lilacs with a complete fertilizer, rake it in and water thoroughly.
  4. Stake and tie brittle, new clematis stalks. Prune clematis after they bloom.
  5. Stake dahlias when you plant them so they’ll have support later and will not be damaged by staking after plants have grown large.
  6. Keep all old flower blooms cut from annuals. This enables plants to produce more blooms for a longer period.
  7. Start stem cuttings of geraniums, leaf cuttings of succulents to be potted and used as house plants over-winter. Use equal parts of peatmoss and perlite as a medium.
  8. Mulch azaleas, gardenias and camellias with 2 to 3 inches of leafmold or peat moss.
  9. Transplant seedlings of annuals such as marigolds and zinnias if the stands are too thick. Give all annual plants plenty of space to develop by thinning and transplanting.