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Gardening / Pests


Your gardening tasks for August

Ornamentals x x x x Continue spraying roses that are susceptible to black spot and other fungus diseases.
  x x x x Annuals may appear leggy and worn now. These can be cut back hard and fertilized to produce a new flush of bloom.
  x x x x Deadhead annuals & perennials as needed.
  x x o o Divide oriental poppies now.
  x x o o Feed mums, asters and other fall-blooming perennials for the last time.
  x x o o Roses should receive no further nitrogen fertilizer after August 15th.
  x x o o Powdery mildew on lilacs is unsightly, but causes no harm and rarely warrants control, though common rose fungicides will prove effective.
  x x o o Madonna lilies, bleedingheart (Dicentra) and bloodroot (Sanguinaria) can be divided and replanted.
  x x o o Divide bearded Iris now. Discard old center sections, and borer damaged parts. Replant so tops of rhizomes are just above ground level.
  x x o o Prune to shape hedges for the last time this season.
  o x x x Order bulbs now for fall planting.
  o x x x Evergreens can be planted or transplanted now to ensure good rooting before winter arrives. Water both the plant and the planting site several days before moving.
  o x x x If you want to grow big dahlia flowers, keep side shoots pinched off and plants watered and fertilized regularly.
Lawns x x o o Zoysia lawns can receive their final fertilizer application now.
  x x o o Apply insecticides now for grub control on lawns being damaged by their activity.
  o o x x Lawns scheduled for renovation this fall should be killed with Roundup now. Have soil tested to determine fertility needs.
  o o o x Dormant lawns should be soaked now to encourage strong fall growth.
  o o o x Verify control of lawn white grubs from earlier insecticide applications.
Vegetables x x x x Compost or till under residues from harvested crops.
  x x x o Sow seeds of beans, beets, spinach & turnips now for the fall garden. Spinach may germinate better if seeds are refrigerated for one week before planting.
  x x x o Cure onions in a warm, dry place for 2 weeks before storing.
  x o o o Broccoli, cabbage & cauliflower transplants should be set out now for the fall garden.
  o x x x Begin planting lettuce and radishes for fall now.
  o o x x Pinch the growing tips of gourds once adequate fruit set is achieved. This directs energy into ripening fruits, rather than vine production.
Fruits x x x x Prop up branches of fruit trees that are threatening to break under the weight of a heavy crop.
  x x x o Protect ripening fruits from birds by covering plants with a netting.
  x x x o Continue to spray ripening fruits to prevent brown rot fungus.
  x o o o Thornless blackberries are ripening now.
  o x x x Watch for fall webworm activity now.
  o x x x Cultivate strawberries. Weed preventers can be applied immediately after fertilizing.
  o x x o Spray peach and other stone fruits now to protect against peach tree borers.
  o x x o Fall-bearing red raspberries are ripening now.
  o x x o Sprays will be necessary to protect late peaches from oriental fruit moth damage.
Miscellaneous x x x x Soak shrubs periodically during dry spells with enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches.
  x x x x Once bagworms reach full size, insecticides are ineffective. Pruning off and burning large bags provides better control.
  x x o o Spray black locust trees now to protect against damage by the locust borer.
  o x x x Hummingbirds are migrating through gardens now.
  o x x o Watch Scotch & Austrian pines now for Zimmerman pine moth damage. Yellowing or browning of branch tips and presence of pitch tubes near leaf whorls are indicative. Prune and destroy infected parts.
  o o x x Clean out cold frames to prepare for fall use.
  o o x x Monitor plants for spider mite activity. Hose these pests off with a forceful spray of water.
  o o x x 2nd generation pine needle scale crawlers may be present on Mugo pine now.

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