Horticulture News

August 2010

It may be hard to believe, but the cooler season will be here soon! August is a good time to do an assessment of what plants need to be relocated or replaced in your garden. If plants in a certain area are not doing well, it may be time to remove the plants from that area and re-place or amend the soil. Soil in gardens gets packed after a number of years, making it difficult for water to soak in and for plant roots to expand. It's also time to schedule your aeration and seeding for mid to late September. Make sure you identify any sprinkler heads before the aerating takes place. You can mark them using plastic forks or flags the landscaping companies sometimes provide.

Right now is the time to prep your beds for any fall vegetables you may be planting. Best to plant in August are seeds of cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, carrots, broccoli, collards, kale, kohlrabi and beets. You can also put in lettuce, radishes, mustard and spinach. They all mature quickly so you can plant some now, and plant more in September to extend the harvest.

The fall flowers to plant are the colorful kale and pansies. They need to go in while it's still a little warm to get a strong root system. Plant them the end of September and they will have time to get established before the cooler weather comes. Don't forget to "dead head" the old/dying blooms. That will ensure healthier and fuller plants. You can sprinkle a little Dynamite slow release fertilizer when you plant them to make sure they are fed throughout the winter. Get the red container of Dynamite at Home Depot or Lowe's. Follow the directions on the container for the amount to sprinkle depending on your bed or pot.