August is the month that our gardens are languishing in the heat of the last summer month. Don’t neglect your garden and landscape during August just because everything appears to be finishing up for the growing season. August is the prime time of year to root prune, divide and transplant flowers and shrubs and get them ready for next spring.
August is the month to root prune any woody shrubs or evergreens that you have. Hydrangeas, azaleas and Holly shrubs that have overgrown their environment or that you want to form new plants from should be root pruned and transplanted during the month of August.
Gather seeds or take cuttings from your favorite annual flowers during August to dry and save for planting in next year’s flower beds or for an indoor container garden this winter.
Some annual bedding plants root very easily in containers and can be enjoyed throughout the winter- coleus, wax begonias, fuchsia, impatiens and geraniums- will grow very well from a cutting. Take some healthy cutting from these annual flowers and root in a glass of water or plant the cutting directly into a container of prepared soil and grow indoors in a sunny location throughout the winter. You’ll have blooming beauty indoors this winter and healthy bedding plants ready to be planted in the garden next spring.
Seeds from your favorite annual flowers can be grown indoors in containers this winter also. August is the month to plant seeds from marigolds, snap dragons, impatiens and calendulas in containers for healthy bedding plants next spring.
Seeds from hybrid annual flowers are not good to save or plant in containers for the winter. Whatever seedling germinates and grows from hybrid flower seeds won’t be like the parent plant. Deadhead all of your hybrid annual flowers in August and discard the seeds.
Perennial flowers should be divided and transplanted during August. Dig down deep enough under the perennial flower to maintain some of the soil intact around the roots when dividing and transplanting. Water in your new transplanted perennial flowers well and mulch them for winter protection. Try not to disturb the soil around flowers and shrubs that you are not digging up for transplanting so the surface roots won’t be damaged.
August is the month to plant Chrysanthemums for fall blooming. Choose Chrysanthemum plants that are just beginning to bud, not those that are already in bloom, so they will have a longer blooming period in your garden.
If you plan to mail order any spring flower bulbs or roots, August is the time to get your order in for peony roots and spring flower bulbs so they will arrive in time to be planted prior to the first frost.
There are many August gardening chores to be done in preparation for next year’s growing season.