August 2018

Al Krismer Plant Farm


August Garden Tips

from Al Krismer Plant Farm
August 2018

Dear Plant Enthusiast,

Whilst August yet wears her golden crown,
Ripening fields lush- bright with promise;
Summer waxes long, then wanes, quietly passing
Her fading green glory on to riotous Autumn.
- Michelle L. Thieme, August's Crown

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August Garden Tips
gardening Perennials, Annuals, and Bulbs:

  • Take out a few minutes to pick-off the old dead flowers on Marigolds, zinnias, snapdragons and other annuals. Spent flowers on perennials should also be removed. Just a little time spent on grooming the plants really makes a big difference in the appearance of the garden. Also, once a plant flowers and goes to seed, it will usually stop the development of additional flowers, so by removing the spent flowers the plants should continue to flower longer into the season
  • Oriental poppies can be safely planted, transplanted, or divided this month. Plant these hardy, long-lived perennials in well-drained soil in full sun.
  • Are your irises and daylilies getting too crowded? Late August is an ideal time to dig up and divide both plants. Dig up daylilies with a spading fork, wash excess dirt off the roots with a strong stream of water, and pull the roots apart. Replant as soon as possible.
    For more info click here
  • Do not allow phlox to go to seed. Seedlings do not come true to parent color and may overtake your planting, giving the impression that the parent plants have reverted.
  • The best time to buy chrysanthemums is in late summer as soon as they become available. For a longer blooming period, choose plants that are just coming into bud instead of those already in full bloom.
    For more info click here

Vegetable and Herbs:

  • Late August is a great time to plant vegetables that like cool weather, like peas, lettuce, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and oriental greens.
    For more tips on fall veggies click here
  • Many herbs self-sow if the flowers are not removed. Dill produce seeds that fall around the parent plant and come up as volunteers the following spring.
  • Savory can be used as a salt substitute in vegetable dishes.
  • Gather herbs for drying as they mature. Pinch the stems of basil regularily to prevent flowering. Harvest about once a week.

    For more info click here
  • Plant a final crop of beans in mid August. Sow the seeds in a six-inch wide row, 1-2 inches apart. Cover with one inch of soil. Keep soil moist until beans germinate
  • Watch your tomatoes for the tomato hornworm, at the first sign of damage spray with BT (Bacillus thurinigiensis). Cracking of tomato fruit is generally caused by uneven watering, whether it is from rain or irrigation.

    For more tomato tips click herei
  • Keep tomato moisture constant. With rainfall somewhat reduced and the tomato crop coming in, prevent blossom end rot by keeping the moisture fairly constant. Use a thick layer of mulch and water the plants deeply once a week.


Garden Maintenance:

  • Apply plenty of mulch.Don’t allow it to touch tree trunks or plant stems, but apply it deeply—up to six inches—in the blank spaces between plants, where the sun would otherwise hit the ground and dry it out. Around trees, angle the slope of the mulch so that water runs toward the tree.
  • Pay attention to watering! Watering in August is critical for three reasons: First, the summer heat dries the soil out quickly--a 90 degree summer day can bake about two inches of moisture from the soil surface. Second, August is the time when woody plants that bloom in the spring (azaleas, rhododendrons, dogwoods, lilacs, pieris and others) set their buds for next spring's blooms. If they don't get the moisture they need in August, they may look OK now, but not bloom very well next spring. Third, the latter part of August is when most plants begin storing water for winter, so watering now once a week is very important.
  • If the soil in containers dries out and begins to pull away from the sides, water slowly and repeatedly, pushing the soil back in place as it absorbs moisture.
  • To know how much water your sprinklers are applying, use this method. Place several tuna cans on the lawn. Time how long it takes to accumulate 1 inch of water in the cans. That's how long you should leave the sprinkler running each time you water the lawn. An inch of water applied slowly encourages deep rooting, helping to make the grass more tolerant of heat and dry weather.
  • REPLENISH MULCHES - To cool the soil and conserve water, apply a fresh layer of organic mulch around landscape plants, flowers and vegetables.
  • Continue spraying roses that are susceptible to black spot and other fungus diseases.
    For tips on controlling black spot click here


Shrubs and Trees:

  • Use drought-tolerant plants.Many annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, and shrubs do well with little watering. Check with your local garden centers or Extension service for lists of these plants.
    For list of drought tolerant plants click here
  • Withhold fertilizer from roses for the rest of the growing season so the plants can toughen up for winter.Make last application of fertilizer to roses by late August.
    For tips on rose care click here
  • Try to finish all shrub shearing prior to the end of August. This will allow newly stimulated growth to harden off before winter.
  • Shade trees showing fall color in August may have root or trunk damage. Inspect the tree for damage caused by digging near the tree, injury from soil fill placed over the root zone, chemicals in the soil, excess water (or too little water), and girdling roots growing across others or cutting into the trunk; all can be serious problems.
  • Azaleas, rhododendron, and other ericaceous (acid-loving) plants need to be fertilized one more time before the end of August using an acid-based soluble fertilizer containing iron.
    For more info click here


Lawn Care:

  • Mid-August starts the fall grass reseeding season. August 15 to September 15 is the best time to seed lawns in the Cincinnati area, so take a look at your lawn now and plan ahead. For more info click here
  • In late August repair problem area in your lawn. Many brown spots are not the result of summer dormancy due to drought but rather injury caused by white grubs. Talk to the experts at your local garden center for advice on proper treatment. This is also the time to reseed severely injured areas, keeping newly seeded lawns moist and mulched.
    For more info click here
  • Watch out for yellow patches, leaf curl or poor growth. Increase watering if you notice any of these signs.
  • MOW GRASS ONLY WHEN IT'S DRY. Mowing grass when it's wet usually produces a very uneven cut. The wet grass clippings can also clump leaving a mess on the lawn and underneath your mower.
  • Check for sod webworm damage. The most severe damage usually shows up in July and August when the temperature is hot and the grass is not growing vigorously. In fact, most sod webworm damage is mistaken for heat and drought stress. Sod webworm-damaged lawns may recover slowly, without irrigation and light fertilizations. These thin turf areas allow weeds to establish in the lawn making it unsightly.
    For more info click here


House Plants:

  • Houseplants can still use fertilizer during August, but like the plants outdoors, they will slow growth in fall and winter, and shouldn't receive much fertilizer once days get dark and short.
  • Feed houseplants with a good quality indoor plant food such Osmocote (slow-release granular).
  • Continue to pinch and shape foliage plants and other indoor plants such as poinsettias to shape them. Poinsettias should be given their last pinch by late August. There will be tips next month to show how to prepare the plants to flower for Christmas.


Water Gardens

  • Before adding new fish to a pond, it is a good idea to keep them in a quarantine tank for at least 2 weeks, to make sure that they are healthy, before placing them in the pond with your existing fish.
  • If you have a pond or water garden, remember to fertilize lilies and lotus twice monthly during the growing season.
  • To prevent a large sludge build-up in your pond, remove dying foliage from plants before it has a chance to fall into the water and decay.
  • Feed fish once a day what they can eat in three to five minutes. Use a high protein formula.If you have an over population of fish you are directly contributing to higher levels of ammonia and nitrate in your pond. It is better to feed your fish smaller meals more often than it is to overfeed them with a large daily meal.
    br> For more info click here
  • Sunblock for Your Koi Koi are not immune from sunburn, especially in shallow ponds that get direct sunlight. Provide shade such as water lilies or a rock overhang. Even a beach umbrella will do in a pinch.

    For more info on koi and other other pond fish click here


Insect and Disease Control

  • Be prepared for yellowjacket season. In late summer their numbers build and they are attracted to picnic foods - soda, hot dogs, hamburgers and juices. Yellow jackets are about 1/2 to 3/4 inches long with alternating black and yellow bands on their abdomens. Yellowjackets can sting repeatedly. Their nests can hold over 10,000 insects. For control, apply Sevin dust at or near the nest opening at dusk. Insects will bring Sevin into the nest as they exit and enter. Outdoors in picnic areas, keep food covered and garbage cans tightly sealed. Control is only necessary when the yellow jackets are in people frequented areas.

    For more info click here
  • Check for carpenter ants.Carpenter ants are found in old trees or trees with hollows or old wounds. Carpenter ants build nests in the moist, decaying wood inside the tree. Carpenter ants do not attack the living tissues in the tree. Just because a tree has ants, removal is not required. Carpenter ants will not move from a tree into a house unless there is moist , decaying wood in the house.
  • Check for red spider mite damage which occurs more often during hot and dry weather. Plant leaves become speckled, as though covered with hundreds or thousands of pale yellow dots giving a rather ill-looking and "dusty" appearance. Heavily infested plants may become covered with fine webs. The red spider mites themselves are eight legged animals less than 1mm long and can be difficult to see. For more info click here
  • If you have problems with bagworms, the only effective way of getting rid of them by now and by hand picking the cocoons and destroying them.


Garden Critters

  • Chipmunks can be pests, it's true. You could try one of the commercially formulated rodent repellent sprays, or a home made one based on garlic. Spray the mixture on the plants and soil and reapply periodically. You could also try placing wire mesh such as chicken wire, hardware cloth, or screening on the soil surface in between the plants to make it more difficult for the critters to dig.
  • Skunks, raccoons and other animals are attracted to grubs and may tear up lawns in search of them. Cayenne pepper and rags soaked in ammonia can be placed in the affected area. Another option is to mix eight ounces of dish soap, a handful of chewing tobacco and water in a lawn sprayer and spray on the affected grass area.

    For more info click here
  • Change the water in your bird bath regularly, and keep it filled. Standing water is less healthy for the birds, and may become a breeding ground for mosquito larvae.The best way to keep mosquito numbers down and reduce the risk of West Nile disease is to clean up any areas where mosquitoes can breed. Mosquitoes need water, especially stagnant or still water that's rich in organic matter for mosquito larvae to feed on.
  • Butterflies are easy to please. They like to sunbathe, so a large flat rock exposed to the sun is a must. They also need mud baths, so set up "butterfly puddles" where they can get required salts and minerals. A dish of cut-up, overripe fruit always hits the spot, and paste
  • Hummingbirds are migrating through gardens now. Hummingbirds, for example, are attracted to red flowers, such as bee balm, although you also may wish to fill a hummingbird feeder with a sugar-water mixture. The food is available commercially, or you can make your own. Use only pure, white sugar and not honey, however, as the latter is lethal to these tiny birds

Monthly Garden Tips are sent out by Al Krismer Plant Farm during the year. Look for the Tips and the expanded e-news before the 10th of the month. Quick Links below

The purpose of the website links and other news articles is to provide information to the reader and in no way implies a particular endorsement or recommendation of that particular website or any content or material within the website

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    Monthly Garden Tips are sent out by Al Krismer Plant Farm during the year. Look for the Tips and the expanded e-news before the 10th of the month. Quick Links below

    The purpose of the website links and other news articles is to provide information to the reader and in no way implies a particular endorsement or recommendation of that particular website or any content or material within the website


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