Garden To Do List - For August

August Maintenance - Preparing for Fall

I know it's hot and here in Tennessee it's not just hot but humid as well, however, we still need to get
down and dirty with our maintenance to prepare for fall. Whether you have a vegetable garden or flower garden and if you're like me and you have both, maintenance is all inclusive in the garden regardless of the garden type and is very important!

Okay, I'll address the need to pull weeds first. I know it's the least favorite thing for us gardeners to do......well most of the time, unless you need to let off a little steam, and if that's the case, weed-pullin (pulling) is just the thing to do!(lol)

All joking aside, do you know, every weed that matures and produces seed means more trouble for next year, so whatever you do, you need to get them out right away. Don't throw weeds with seed heads in the compost pile either because many seeds can remain viable and germinate next year when you use the compost.

Also, continue to deadhead and remove any diseased foliage from plants to keep them healthy and to prolong bloom time to keep color in your garden. Take a look at your mulch, make sure it is still at about 3 inches in depth, if not then add more to help retain moisture to keep your garden healthy.

Do you want to keep annuals looking great into fall? 

Here are some things you can do:
  1. Cut back by 1/3 early planted annuals that are leggy or out of control.
  2. Give them a drink of water-soluble fertilizer. You will have one last showing of color.
    Good candidates are Impatient, Salvia, ground cover or trailing Petunias and herbs like basil.
    Be sure to give your Roses one last feeding to encourage flowers for late summer and early fall

    The Bearded Iris

    August is the time to dig and divide your Iris. Here's what you need to do:
    1. Cut the foliage back by 2/3, dig and divide rhizomes
    2. Remove any dead from rhizomes
    3. Plant in a sunny, well-drained location with about 1/3 of rhizome above soil level, water well.
    This is an excellent time to dig and divide Daylilies using a sharp shovel to split into sizes of your choice, remember to cut foliage back to 5 inches and then replant in a sunny part of the garden bed.

    Seed Collecting

    Late summer is a great time to collect seeds from the seed heads of your annuals and perennials for next years garden. Put your seed heads in a brown paper bag and label with the plant name for next spring's planting.

    Also order your spring flowering bulbs now and in September, so you can have them to plant in October and November.


    Don't prune shrubs or trees in late summer. This will encourage new growth that will not harden off before frost. If you prune flowering trees or shrubs now, you will be sacrificing next year's flowers or fruit. Always make sure the plants are dormant before pruning. Late winter is the best time to do any major pruning.

    Also, I would like to add that fertilizing shrubs and trees are not to be done from August to November.

    The Vegetable Garden

    Harvesting is abundant right about now and there are probably plans of canning and freezing. There is
    nothing more satisfying than eating from your garden in the dead of winter and as great as this is, there are a few things to be done to get ready for your fall garden.

    Weeding comes to mind and also getting that part of your garden ready for your fall planting. Now this should have been done by middle August however you still have a little time left and here are the best seasonal vegetables to plant this time of the year:
    • Beets and Carrots
    • Collards and Kale
    • Lettuce and Spinach
    • Turnips and Mustards
    • Radishes (should have been sown before middle of the month)
    Transplants of Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Onions can be planted mid to late August.

    To-Do List Conclusion

    This to-do list is not all inclusive because there are possibly more things that can be done around the garden.The zone you live in will predict what you can and cannot plant. The information I provide in this post is for zone 5b to 7b. Check your local agriculture site for specifics.

    You know I love this time of the year, for me it's like life. We, as they (plants), have made it through hardships for a time and a season, looking forward to the reward of rest, renewal, and to be blessed with a new season and new opportunities. Amazing.....Right?

    Thanks so much for stopping by!!
    I hope you enjoyed this post and if you want to chat, drop me a note and let's talk gardening.:-)

    From my "Dirty" shovel to yours, I'm wishing you all the best!