Responsible for your own lawn care and landscaping? There are things you should do in August for maintenance and upkeep. We break down your August tasks by plant type: lawn, citrus, annuals, bulbs, fruit plants, perennials, roses, shrubs, trees, palms, and water garden/bog garden plants.
Trees and Palms
Do not fertilize trees in August. Do, however, fertilize palm trees. August is just a few days away. Are you ready? If you care for your own lawn and landscaping, consider taking these actions in August.
No major feedings are needed in August. If your grass is yellowing, give it an iron-only feeding. You can apply a liquid iron purchased at a garden center or make your own with a mix of 2 ounces of ferrous sulfate in 3-5 gallons of water. Sprinkle over 1,000 square feet of turf.
Feed your citrus this month. Measure around the trunk 6 inches above the ground. For each inch, apply ¼ pound of standard citrus fertilizer. A citrus tree with a 4-inch-circumference trunk would receive one pound (4 x ¼ pound) of fertilizer, scattered under the tree out to just past the dripline.
Add new annuals as your older ones decline. Some annuals may be blooming but leggy. Cut them back a foot or more, and this will bring forth new shoots from the base. Don’t forget the monthly fertilizing of your annuals and watch for leaf spots and stem diseases.
Dig up, divide, and transplant bulbs that are going dormant (gladiolus and watsonia, for example). Deliver scheduled fertilizer applications; look for yellow leaves, which indicate a need for nutrients, and feed those bulbs.
Thin out blueberries and prune plants back to 4-6 feet in height. Trim blackberries down to the ground. Most fruits do not receive fertilizer in August. The exception may be grapes, peaches, and nectarines, which sometimes need a boost to maintain their leaves into fall.
Pests on perennial plants are active in August and need monitoring and control. Look regularly for pests such as aphids, garden fleahoppers, slugs, snails, and grasshoppers. Your garden center or local nursery will have a variety of products to manage these pests, from oil sprays to soap sprays to synthetic pesticides.
Summer prunings are not critical, but many gardeners like to schedule them. Prunings will reign in leggy growths and prompt new leaves and buds. August is a good time to stake tall rose plants, trim wayward shoots that are drifting off of trellises, thin out redundant plant parts, and cut off diseased or dead portions of rose bushes.
Apply granular or liquid fertilizer feedings. Prune as needed—cut new shoots back to within an inch or two of where they were previously pruned. Watch for caterpillars, grasshoppers, and lacewings. Either remove from shrubs by hand or use an oil spray (for lacewings). Look for fungus on new growth and apply a fungicide to those areas.
s with slow-release fertilizer or standard palm fertilizer lightly applied out to the spread of the fronds. Water into the soil. Watch for pests on leaves and apply insecticides.
Water Garden/Bog Garden Plants
Watch for grasshoppers and aphids. Pick off by hand or spray them off with water. Trim or divide overgrown plants; remove debris that has collected in water gardens. If you have a water pump, check/service the filter. August is a good month to add plants to your water/bog garden.