WATERING – Remember to give a thorough soaking when you water shrubs, flowers, or lawns. Frequent sprinklings can do more harm than good. You want to encourage the growth of a deep root system. When watering shrubs during dry periods of summer and fall, be sure to apply enough water so moisture will move downward to root system. It is helpful to make a 3 – 4 inch mound of soil about 18 – 24 inches outward from shrubs. Let water flood inside mound and soak downward to roots. If you use overhead irrigation on shrubs apply water at some time other than late afternoon because moisture on leaves overnight may encourage disease growth.
MULCHING – Mulching of shrubs and young trees can be very important in hot, dry weather. Shallow roots are protected from the sun, moisture is conserved, weeds and grasses are controlled with a good mulch. A 3 – 4 inch layer of pine straw, oak leaves, peat moss, or leaf mold will help to grow strong, healthy plants.
TRANSPLANT IRIS AND DAYLILY – August is a good month in which to transplant iris and daylily. By doing so now, new transplants will have time to become well established before cold weather.
FALL CONDITIONING is a term gardeners are beginning to hear. It involves the use of high potash and phosphate fertilizer (no nitrogen) to slow down growth and harden plants for winter. Camellias, gardenias, azaleas, and sometimes boxwoods are fed in August with such as a 0-14-14 fertilizer to toughen them up so they are less likely to he injured by extreme winter weather.
STIMULATE WISTERIA – If you have a wisteria vine that has declined in flowering the last few years, the trouble could be excessive vegetative growth. Wisteria may be induced to bloom more freely if rampant growth is stopped now. Cut back runners and root-prune with a sharp spade. Insert the blade to its full depth in a semi-circle about 6 feet from the main stem of established plants.
SPRAY AZALEAS IN LATE AUGUST for control of lacebugs Orthenel. Two sprays at 10-day intervals are needed now and again in April.
PRUNE MAPLES, DOGWOODS, AND BIRCH at this time. Also, remove suckers and water spouts from trees.
PLANT FAIL VEGETABLES, cabbage greens, lettuce, broccoli, squash.
FERTILIZE warm season grasses – Do not fertilize shrubs.
SUBMIT soil samples so lime can be applied in fall.
FERTILIZE strawberry patch with nitrogen.
PLANT PANSY seeds in flats for landscaping in September.
TRIM YOUR RED TIP for fall color.
CHECK FOR CATERPILLARS on azaleas, cherry and pecan trees.
APPLY PRE-EMERGENT lawn killer for chickweed — balan or dacthol.
IF NEW LAWN get soil ready for new seeding in September.
KEEP AN EYE out for oakworms and sawfly larvae. Although foliage stripped from shade trees is not injurious in late summer, the worms may be a nuisance.
USE A 5-GALLON BUCKET with two 1/4″ holes in bottom to drip water young trees. Two buckets per week.