August Gardening and Grooming

Weeding ground cover is important before the weeds go to seed.

Remove dead and damaged leaves on plants to help them look fresher and healthier.

This is a stressed plant that wilts due to off and on watering.

Remove spent flowers at the point of origin on perennials that have finished blooming.

Let’s face it, August is hot and not an ideal time to garden. My gardening is water as needed, and other than a few chores, I am waiting on cooler weather to tackle big projects. At this time of the year; however, some type of maintenance is required besides watering and cutting the grass.

  • Weeding – Many of the annual weeds are starting to set their seeds, so it is especially important that these weeds be pulled or dug out by the roots especially in ground covers, and vegetable gardens. Also, it is a good time spray herbicides on heavily infested areas.
  • Grooming – Dead and yellowed foliage needs to be cut out of plants like castiron plants, rhodea and evergreens that have dead spots. This is an excellent and easy way to help the garden look fresher, and it also encourages new foliage growth.
  • Stress – The plant you see above is stressing because the irrigation system missed it, and it only depended on rain. If you have a number of plants that are the same type, but one or two don’t look as healthy or are slightly off color from the others, they are probably stressing. The first thing I look for is to see if the plant is getting adequate water. Solution – increase watering time or watering frequency. Also so often, especially if it was planted from a nursery container and the soil and plant roots we not properly packed together, air pockets can be left in the soil. Solution – add soil and tap it in around the roots to fill the air pockets. And finally look for signs of disease and insects. Solution – find out what it is and use the proper control method.
  • Spent flowers – Plants like the coneflower bloom on stalks, and once they have finished blooming they need to have the entire flowering stalk cut at the base. Other flowers like zinnias need to be cut back to just above a cluster of leaves to promote new growth and flowers. Then others just like to have their spent flower heads cut off, like marigolds, to encourage more flowering,

I call all of these lazy gardening chores because while they need to be done, these are not overwhelming. Also they can be done a little at a time. Happy lazy August gardening.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

2 thoughts on “August Gardening and Grooming

  1. Hi, Like a garden lover I think if you determine to give maximum time for gardening then any time you can do your garden project. But your thought is also the right weather is a significant fact for cultivation.

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