Wednesday, August 25, 2010
GUEST POST by Jennifer Iseli
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
For many of us, the thought of gardening in the month of August does not bring pleasant thoughts. Truth be told, it’s hot, sticky and there are bugs… But for those who will be faithful, you will be able to enjoy beautiful flowers and tasty veggies right up until frost.
• Start to order spring bulbs and bulbs for indoor forcing.
• Plant fall blooming bulbs
• Clip Spent Blooms off of roses so that the plant won’t waste energy producing rose hips.
• Make sure that your mulch hasn't decomposed too much. If you have any plants that are borderline cold hardy, you will want to make sure they are well mulched.
• Keep deadheading and harvesting, but make sure to leave some annual seeds to self-sow.
• If you haven’t already, start saving seeds from any vegetables or flowers you would like to plant next year. Keep in mind that if you are saving seeds from a hybridized plant you may not get that exact same plant from seeds.
• Continue to prune summer flowering shrubs as the flowers fade. (don’t prune spring flowering shrubs at this time, you may cut off next spring’s flower buds)
• If the rains don’t come, Make sure Camellias and Rhododendrons are high on the watering list – they are setting buds for next years flower show. Hollies and Pyracantha could also benefit, as extremely dry weather could cause berry drop.
• If your hanging baskets are looking a little sad, cut them back and fertilize them to keep them looking beautiful until frost.
• Take a picture of any annual plantings that you want to repeat next year. If you saved the tags, make notes about varieties and specific plant names
• Begin dividing perennials. Bearded Iris is a good place to start.
• Clean out and refill bird feeders often, especially after rains.
• Perennials, and sometimes trees and shrubs are often discounted this time of year so take advantage of the sales! Make sure to plant them right away so that they can take root before the winter, Make sure to keep them well watered!
• Collect Seeds! Throughout the season, deadhead your annual flowers (remove the spent blooms) to promote flowering. Towards the end of the season, let some of the flowers go to seed and collect the seeds. Store them in paper bags, in a cool, dry place. The freezer works great. Also, some annuals will reseed themselves (Vinca, Impatiens and sometimes Petunias) so plant them in a place where you don’t mind them coming back next year - you may be surprised.