August Lawn & Garden Tips
In the Garden
- Feed for Energy. Plants need extra nutrients to make it through the long, hot summer days. Stop in and let a Pike expert help you select the best fertilizer for your garden plants.
- Dead-Head for Continuous Blooms. Continue to remove faded blooms on annuals such as geraniums, marigolds, petunias, salvia, verbena, and zinnias. Doing so will keep the plants blooming throughout the season.
- Rejuvenate Seasonal Annuals. By this point in the summer, some annuals may have become spindly or leggy. It is a good time to pinch or trim them back by as much as ½ their current height. They will soon begin to leaf out, look thicker and start to bloom again.
- Clean the Crape Myrtles. Remove spent flowers as they occur and you may be rewarded with a second crop of blooms.
- Harvest Your Efforts. August is the best month for harvesting home-grown produce from tomatoes, peppers, eggplant to basil and rosemary. Have more than you can eat? Try canning the produce for later use or share with a neighbor.
- Bag those Worms. Look for hungry bagworms on trees and evergreens. To control these caterpillars and prevent them from defoliating the plants, remove them by hand or spray with an appropriate insecticide.
- Water Wisely. Plants setting berries like pyracantha or hollies and plants setting flower buds for next year's blooms, like azaleas and camellias will benefit from a little extra water. Most established plants need about one inch of water per week to perform at their best. Water just until you see runoff between 6-10am.
- Maintain the Mulch. Make sure all planting areas have a two-inch layer of mulch. Mulches help to regulate soil temperature, conserve moisture in the soil and prevent weed development.
- Protect Yourself. Don't become a victim of sunburn! Be sure to wear a large brimmed hat with UV protection while playing in the dirt or simply relaxing outside.
On the Patio
- Retreat to Shade. The sun is intense this month and a shady refuge is in order. Patio umbrellas are great for dining sets but also can be set up in a corner or anywhere to create a shield from the sun.
- Light it Up. The warm summer nights are a delight. Add a soft glow and ambiance with patio lights, lanterns and outdoor, battery-operated candles.
- Comfy Cozy. Your patio or deck can be as comfortable and stylish as your living room. Choose inviting patio furniture and enhance with toss pillows.
In the House
- Cut Flowers. Stroll through your garden and cut foliage and blooms to make fresh-cut flower arrangements. Some favorites include Hydrangeas, Echinacea, Zinnias, and Dahlias.
- Water While You're Away. Add SoilMoist to pots. The granules absorb water and release it as needed.
- Feeding Time. Continue feeding your houseplants monthly.
For the Lawn
- Leave the Clippings. Leave grass clippings on your lawn. As they deteriorate, they fertilize your turf.
- Mow In the Evening. Mowing at this time of day puts less stress on your grass (and you). The grass is dry and temperatures are cooler.
- Stop Lawn Invasion. Keep your lawn edged so grasses like Bermuda don't invade your planting sites. Watch for Fire Ant Mounds and Armyworms. Apply a fire ant killer as soon as you spot the hill to eliminate them until winter. Spray Captain Jack's Deadbug brew do rid your lawn of armyworms.
- No Fun in Fungus. The hot, humid weather is perfect for lawn fungus-like brown patches and fairy rings. If you see lawn issues take a picture, bring in a sample and the Pike experts can help you find the best solution.
For the Birds
- Keep 'Em Full. Keep birdbaths clean and full.
- Squirrel's Be Gone. Keep the squirrels away from feeders by using a Cajun or hot seed mix. The birds can't taste the heat but the squirrels won't eat it. Also, try the Droll Yankees Flipper Feeder.