August Gardening Tips

August in the Pacific Northwest is primarily a maintenance month of watering, deadheading and feeding.  However, your primary concern is to make sure your plants do not stress out and die due to a lack of water.
The OSU Extension is also an excellent resource for Oregon gardeners .  Click here for great August gardening tips from OSU Extension.

Looking for what blooms this month?  Download our monthly plant bloom calendar to help you decide!

Watering

Deep watering of your plants and vegetables is still essential. By driving water into the soil slowly, it can merge with the deeper soil moisture and naturally encourage roots to follow downward.  We touched on this briefly in July, but it is still extremely important to ensure your plants survival.

In addition to our July Gardening Tips, try some of these deep watering ideas:

  • Use a soaker hose around trees and large shrubs. Turn it on at a very slow rate and allow it to run as long as overnight. Using a timer is a great idea to make sure you don’t forget. Also, cover hose with mulch to stop evaporation and to help conserve moisture when the sun is out.
  • Wrap a cotton sock on the end of a hose, connected with a rubber band. Only turn the water on a slow trickle and place it near the drip line of the tree. Allow it to run several hours, them move it a quarter of the way around the drip line.
  • Flowering annuals like marigolds and petunias need deep watering also. Dig out an earthen bowl around the plant . Fill it with water once a week (or as needed) and let the water soak into the ground. This encourages deep root growth and much stronger plants.

Fertilizing

Be careful when fertilizing in the heat. Dry plants/soil should never be fertilized! Always make sure your plants are properly hydrated BEFORE fertilizing so that you do not burn your plants. What happens is that the plant is so thirsty, that it takes up too much and that causes problems.

Prop It, Pull It or Clip It?

When mature plants start to fall over, tie them up or find some sort of plant support to keep them upright. Their plant neighbors with thank them!  Any annual plants that seem to be looking under the weather – pull it and replace it. There are healthly ones available at your local nursery.  Sickly looking perennials should be cut back a few inches. It will likely come back later this year or next spring as long as you take care of the problem now.

Pest Control

Aphids and thrips are at their peak right now. Keep a very close eye on your plants and if you start seeing distorted foliage or flowers not opening, thrips might be the problem. Aphids are pretty obvious.

Spray affected plants acccording to package directions to reduce the problem. Using an insecticide like Triple Action Plus is our top choice for aphid and thrip control.  Triple Action Plus is an all-natural spray that can control several things in one shot in case the diagnosis is off.

Harvesting Vegetables

Keep with the harvest from your vegetable garden. Be sure to pick small and often. Don’t let veggies get too large, like cucumbers, zucchini, squash, etc. Large veggies drain the plant of energy and ultimately shorten the harvest season.  However, you can plant more lettuce, chard and spinach if it goes to seed or starts to become bitter.

To have veggies ready for a fall harvest, start planting transplants.  For winter harvest crops, now is the time to start sowing seeds. We have a good selection of Territorial Seeds Fall/Winter Vegetable seed in stock now.

Deadheading

Keeping up with deadheading keeps your garden tidy and attractive. And do it daily to get the most flowers out of the plants.  Most all flowering plants benefit from cleaning. A little deadheading goes a long way for productivity of blooms. As the bloom starts to fade, brown or just not look as beautiful as it should, trim it off. This simple effort lets the other flowers shine. Snip, pinch or simply break off the dead ends. You won’t kill it. Trust us!