Gardening in August is truly a challenge. We all want the color of our blooms to last, but the hot sun seems to eat our plants alive. Now is not the time to plant. Continue to clean up and prune your flowers and garden beds. Bring the last of summer blooms in for the kitchen table or the porch. We are still going to have high temps, so don’t be temped to plant pansies. Some of the nurseries have them, but it is too early, especially if you want them to winter well and bloom for you again in the spring.
If you love Chrysanthemums (Mums) , they are plentiful and colorful now. If planted deep enough in the ground, they will bloom consecutive years. Do not make the mistake of over watering them.
Some of the nurseries still have perennials. Generally they are at their end of summer blooms, but if you would like to anticipate next year, go ahead and purchase perennials for beds and pots. Day Lilies and Coneflowers make wonderful additions for next years garden.
Some herbs will wither before winter, so if you wish to bring some in, create some cuttings, root them, and make a new plants for your windowsill in the kitchen. Basil is perfect for this, but remember it will need daily bright sun to continue producing lush green foliage.
If you have perennials that are overgrown in their current location, do not be afraid to dig them up, root ball and all, and divide them now. Once you decide where you want to place them, dig a good size hole and replant. We still have a good month and a half for them to take root. Two plants are always better than one gigantic one that is crowding other plants in your garden. And, the satisfaction you get from dividing and conquering a new plant is just amazing.
During October we will talk about bulbs and when to plant them, and about “forcing bulbs” around the holidays. Stay Tuned!