Here are the things to do for your garden in August. Taken from the Ontario Master Gardener Calendar by John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario. For more information, or your own copy of the 11” x 17” calendar of the full year’s tips, for a $1 contribution to Master Gardeners, call 519-599-5846.
- A cold wet Spring, followed now by a sweltering Summer, has made the weeds incredible.
- Keep adding mulch as it starts to work into the soil. Keep it at least 2 inches deep. It works to suppress weeds and keeps the soil cool and damp and protects any rain we get.
- If we don’t get rain - water, water, water - but water deeply.
- Sow vegetable seeds for a fall harvest e.g. spinach and some varieties of lettuce. Tidy up plants and shrubs with a little judicious pruning, but early in the month.
- Stake tall perennials against the wind.
- Cut your grass at least 2’’ high to combat drying out. Water well when needed, or every time it’s allowed.
- Check out bulb catalogues (try www.botanus.com from BC).
- Order spring flowering bulbs for planting in October.
- Fill in gaps in your flower garden with fall-flowering perennials, like mums and asters. Did we say, water and weed as necessary?
- Start drying flowers and herbs. Start to divide daylilies and peonies later in the month.
- Collect seeds that have matured but not fallen from the plant. Once they have completely dried, store them in air tight containers in a cool location.
- Take a hard look at your garden and decide where there are empty spaces, identify any plants that have not performed well and plan a fall planting program of shrubs and perennials.
- Early Fall is a great time to sow grass seed, plant perennials, trees and shrubs. You’ll get a big jump on next Spring!
John Hethrington, Past President, Master Gardeners of Ontario
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