August is perhaps the most trying month for plants and people in East Texas, yet there are chores that must not be neglected. Late summer is the time to plan for fall planting.
- Plant bluebonnet seeds this month into early September. Most wildflowers should be planted in late summer and early fail. Plant seed in open sunny areas. The soil should be lightly cultivated and watered if possible.
- Water lawn and garden thoroughly when needed, then wait until dry before watering again. Deep, thorough watering encourages deep root penetration and conserves water in the long run.
- If watering becomes a chore, consider using a good mulch in flower, vegetable and shrub beds.
- Water shallow rooted plants such as dogwood, camellia and azalea as they begin to set flower buds for spring blooms.
- Order you supply of spring flowering bulbs for planting in late October and November. Plan to chill tulip bulbs for 45-60 days before planting in December and
- Don’t forget to water fruiting ornamentals during dry weather. Holly and pyracantha berries are frequently shed if soil gets too dry.
- Shape rose bushes in mid-August, cutting out weak growth, and cut back extra tall canes to encourage new lateral growth and better fail flower production.
- Hot, dry weather and spider mites go together. Apply controls before population builds up. Keep careful check for mites on: tomato, marigold, portulaca, verbena,
junipers, azaleas and roses. Control with Kelthane.
- Continue to remove faded flowers from annuals and roses to encourage new growth and more blooms.
- Clean up vegetable garden areas and place organic material in the compost pile. Plan to plant fail vegetables.
- Turn compost pile and keep it moist for good decomposition. Add a bit of commercial fertilizer from time to time.
- Powdery mildew on crepe myrtle and roses can be controlled with Benomyl and funginex.
- White fly can be controlled with Diazinon and Orthene.
- Still time to plant zinnia, marigold, celosia and portulaca for good color this fall.
- Prune spent blooms on crepe myrtle and water adequately to produce a second bloom.
- Last chance to start new Bermuda lawn from seed and still have it established before cold weather. Complete St. Augustine and centipede lawns to prevent possible freeze damage in early winter.
- Feed mum plantings and water often to encourage good fall blooms. Do not pinch or prune back now.
- Begin to plan and prepare beds for fall plantings of pansies.
- Repot overgrown houseplants to have them well established prior to overwintering indoors.
- Houseplants may take advantage of warm summer days out-of-doors provided they
remain in shade and never direct sun. they will demand watering often. Due to high
water demands, feeding is important.
- Complete all pruning of hydrangea. They set flower buds for next year’s blooms in
late summer and early fall.
- Evaluate where summer shade trees are needed now to determine best location when
planting this fall and winter.
- Begin to make plans for winter planting of fruit trees, pecans and roses.