August Garden Calendar – What to Do

In Northern United States and Canada

Plant Madonna Lilies, and Colchicums as soon as the bulbs can be obtained. The latter part of August is a good time to divide and transplant Peonies. Keep dead flowers cut and picked from perennials. Cut back Summer-flowering Phlox that have finished blooming. .Young perennials raised from seeds sown earlier will now be ready for transplanting to frames or to nursery beds. By the end of the month the new growth of evergreens will have hardened sufficiently to make transplanting practicable.

Keep up with spraying and dusting programs. This is especially important in the case of Roses. In particular. keep a keen eye open for first signs of damage by red spider mites to evergreens and other plants as well as for early signs of infestations of lacebugs, chinch bugs and other common pests. Begin thinking about Fall bulb orders. It may seem a long time to next Spring, but orders placed early for Fall delivery of Spring-flowering bulbs are likely to get the best attention.

This is a good time to root cuttings of Geraniums, Heliotropes, Fuchsias, Marguerites and some other plants for the production of Winter-flowering specimens in greenhouses. August is the month, too, to root cuttings of Geraniums, Heliotropes and Lantanas that are to be grown on and trained in standard or tree form. Gather herbs for drying before their flowers completely open. Dry them in shaded, dry, airy places and then store in tight cans or bottles for future use.

After the middle of the month pull soil up about Leeks so that the lower parts of their stems arc blanched and tenderized. Begin blanching Celery in successive batches by encasing the plants in specially made paper tubes. Late this month sow Spinach, Lettuce and Radishes for Fall harvesting.

Early August is not too late to propagate a great many kinds of deciduous shrubs from cuttings inserted in a coldframe or under a bell jar shaded from direct sun. The same is true of many kinds of rock garden plants and of ground covers. Toward the end of August cuttings of evergreens, such as Yews, Junipers, Ivies, Leucothoe, Euonymus and Boxwood may. be made and inserted in cold-frames or under bell jars outdoors.

Prune, repot and start into growth, after their Summer season of dormancy, Martha Washington Geraniums and white Calla Lilies. Pot-grown Chrysanthemums, as well as other greenhouse and house plants that are in active growth and have filled their containers with roots, will benefit from fertilizing regularly.

In the South

August is a good month to insert cuttings of a great many favorite evergreens of Southern gardens. Included in this group are Hollies. Osmanthus, Photinias, Pyracanthas, Privets, Barberries, Boxwoods and Euotiymus. They may be planted in coldframes or in sheltered places outdoors. Columbines, Geums, Pyrethrums, Gerberas, Shasta Daisies, Veronicas and other popular perennials can be raised from seed sown outdoors this month. For Fall harvests sown Snap Beans, Beets, Carrots, Cowpeas, Cabbage, Collards, Turnips, Spinach and Lettuce. In the lower South seeds of Okra. Tomatoes, Peppers, Squash and Corn may be sown. Plant bulbs of Sternbergias, Lycoris, Zephranthes, Ornithogalums, and Oxalis and, in the lower South, bulbs of Calla Lilies and Easter Lilies.

On the West Coast

Seeds of Primroses, Cinerarias and Pansies may be sown now to produce plants or growing bougainvillea for setting out in October for blooming in late Winter and early Spring. Sow seeds of Sweet Peas and of other annuals for Winter bloom. Spray the foliage of Fuchsias, Gardenias, and other plants that appreciate a moist atmosphere with a fine mist of water at regular intervals during dry weather.

Plant ground cover plants now, and keep them watered regularly until rainy weather arrives. This is a good time to lift, divide and replant Iris. Dig Gladioli bulbs as soon as their foliage has turned brown.

Seeking assistance on how to grow bougainvillea. Click on the link to visit

Author: Kent Higgins
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