Welcome to Ellis County Master Gardeners Homepage

It’s August.  What needs to be done?

Planting

  • If you haven’t already done so, this is the time to begin sowing seeds for fall transplants. By starting now, you can have pansies, calendulas, Johnny-jump-ups, flowering cabbage, lettuce and other cool season transplants ready to plant in the garden in September or early October.
  • Plant bluebonnet and other spring wildflowers now. They must germinate in late summer or early fall, develop good root systems and be ready to grow in spring when the weather warms. Plant the seed in well-prepared soil, one-half inch deep and water thoroughly.
  • It is time to divide spring-flowering perennials, such as iris, Shasta daisy, Oxeye daisy, gaillardia, cannas, day lilies, violets, liriope and ajuga.

Fertilizing and Pruning

  • Caladiums require plenty of water at this time of year if they are to remain lush and active until fall. Fertilize with 21-0-0 at the rate of l/3 to l/2 pounds per 100 square feet of bed area and water thoroughly.
  • Don’t allow plants with green fruit or berries to suffer from lack of moisture. Hollies will frequently drop their fruit under drought conditions.
  • Use pesticides with caution and only as needed. Follow all label directions and never increase the rate. Do not rinse sprayers or dispose of excess spray in the drain, storm sewer or other places where runoff can contaminate our water system.

Garden Watch

  • Chinch bugs are a major lawn pest of St. Augustine in the summer. If patches in the lawn look dry and you are certain, after testing the soil, that water is sufficient—then suspect Chinch bugs.
  • Order your spring-flowering bulbs now. Make your selections and place orders for spring-flowering bulbs now so that they will arrive in time for planting in October and November. A good guideline to use is ‘biggest is best’ in regard to bulb size. Be careful about so-called “bargain” bulbs as they may be small or of inferior quality.
  • Establish a new compost pile for the fall leaf accumulation.

Click here to read entire August Newsletter

Firewise!

Check out our new Firewise information under the Resources tab above and learn how to be prepared before wildfire strikes.