Priscilla’s Garden To-Do List for August

  • Lift, divide and replant tall bearded iris
  • New bearded iris can be planted now through early October
  • Keep new plantings and containers well watered (see summer watering tips) and let PBOG know if you need our help due to town watering restrictions
  • Weeds are gigantic now, so keep up with hand weeding and top off any bare soil with sterilized straw or mulch immediately
  • Deadhead spent perennials and annuals to promote rebloom and make space for fall color to come
  • Garlic should be harvested and set to dry by early month – if you let it go longer, the heads of garlic will split and not be as tasty
  • Harvest beans, summer squash, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and basil promptly to make way for successive crops
  • Pinch suckers on tomato plants to make them leaner and more productive, less sprawling (see espoma.com/gardening/vegetable-gardening/tomato-suckers-what-do-with-them)
  • Remove spent crops such as peas and spinach that don’t thrive in August heat and replant the open area with beans or summer squash seeds, mulching heavily to retain moisture
  • Stake and tie tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, kale etc. that are getting tall and may be leaning over other plants
  • Strawberry runners can be cut or transplanted to a new bed (keep well watered and mulched)
  • Control invasive plants now through mid September, before seed matures and drops
  • Continue pruning woody shrubs and trees, especially spring bloomers and evergreens like boxwood and holly
  • Update container plants as needed throughout the month
  • Ticks and mosquitoes continue to be problems in our gardens, so notify Reese now to inaugurate our monthly spray program, reese@pumpkinbrookorganicgardening.com
  • Watch for dogwood sawfly on trees and shrubs, a defoliating white worm on the undersides of leaves which can be controlled with spot spraying of a Neem oil product
  • Scale continues to be an issue this year on Magnolias, bowoods, hollies and yews, so prune these plants hard to allow for better air circulation and spot spray the pruned plants
  • Young scale can be air blown off the stems or leaves, contact Reese for help, reese@pumpkinbrookorganicgardening.com
  • Take time to visit a public garden for inspiration and ideas (towerhillbg.org and nativeplanttrust.org by reservation)