August Garden Guide

*  Mulch dahilias to conserve moisture and eliminate weeds.

     *  Stake plants with heavy blooms.
     *  Order spring-flowering bulbs for fall planting
     *  Keep phlox plants deadheaded.  Never let phlox go to seed if you want to keep colors true.
     *  Start seeds of daisy, coreopsis, sweet william and pansy in peat pots or nursery beds. 
        Transfer to permanent beds in late September or early October.
     *  Cut Gladiolus blooms leaving maximum amount of foliage on plants.
     *  Transplant and divide iris and day lily.
     *  Watch for red spider mites on phlox.
     *  Plant chrysanthimums for fall color.  Fall planted chrysanthimums
         need extra winter protection.
     *  In mid-month, take cuttings of coleus, geraniums and
         other plants for winter houseplants.
     *  Plant Madonna lily and Japanese and Siberian Iris.
     *  Continue watering flowerbeds at least once a week during dry periods.
     *  Plant or transplant oriental poppies. 
         Do not mulch, as they prefer hot, sun-baked ground.
     *  Bring poinsettias indoors.
     *  By the end of the month, start withholding water from amaryllis. 
         Amaryllis requires an eight-week period of drought to bloom. 
         Place in cool basement for 3-month rest.
     *  Sow cover crops in vegetable garden areas not in use.
     *  Cut and dry or freeze herbs.  Pick herbs just before
         blossoms open for best flavor.
     *  Inspect corn regularly.  Corn pests become abundant in mid-August.
     *  Keep eggplant and peppers picked so younger fruit develops.
     *  Plant late crops of radishes, lettuce, spinach and beets.
     *  Mid-August to mid-September is the best time to establish grass seed. 
        Keep soil moist at all times or seed will dry and die.
     *  Plant evergreens now through mid-September so they are
         well established before winter.
     *  Remove thatch from lawn if more than 1/2 inch thick.
     *  Tip layer black and purple raspberries for replacement.
     *  Fertilize strawberries with 10-10-10 fertilizer applied at
        2-3 pounds per 100 square feet. Thin plants if needed.
     *  Maintain lime-sulfur spray program on tree fruit to control apple
        and pear scab and certain other diseases.
     *  Collect and bury diseased, mummified plums for future brown-rot control.
        Reference: Portage County Master Gardener Newsletter.
        UW Extension Portage County, Pg.6.


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