August is almost here! It’s time to start making the transition into an exciting new Fall planting season. Here are our top must-do’s for this coming month.
Check out our August Garden Guide for more tips and remember that trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted 12 months out of the year! The only difference is the amount of water they need depending on temperatures and wind!
1. Choose Plants that Provide for Wildlife
Important fact: birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. Plants attract and provide food for them to keep the cycle going. For example – plant Zinnia and sunflower seeds now, and they’ll be ready to feed migrating birds this Fall. Check out our list of favorite plants for pollinators here.
2. Pick Out Your Seeds
Watching your plants grow from a tiny seed is exciting and rewarding! Our Fall Vegetable Planting Guide provides the specific seed-planting dates to help plan your Fall garden. Most new seeds are already here! Look out for some of the rare seeds we’re bringing in over the next couple weeks – Blue Bumblebee tomatoes, Kalugeritsa hot peppers, Chinese Python Snake Bean, and more! Here’s Wyatt’s seed starting how-to video in case you missed it.
3. Prepare Your Garden Beds
August is the time to start preparing for Fall vegetables. To get your soil ready, we recommend mixing Nature’s Blend Compost or Cotton Burr Compost with your soil to replenish nutrients and loosen the soil before planting. Then when you plant, add Biotone Root Starter into the planting hole and water well to give your garden a healthy start.
4. Watch Your Watering
Now that the rains have subsided, it is important to keep up with regular Summer watering for your lawn and garden. Even drought-tolerant plants still need water in these hot months. Make sure to check on your plants daily to ensure that they aren’t staying too wet or too dry. If you’re not sure, use a moisture meter! Pro tip: Water at ground level, don’t spray the leaves.
5. Beware of Bad Bugs
White cottony clumps on tips, stems, and undersides of leaves in summer are most likely mealy bugs! People often think these are a fungus because of their appearance but one squish with your fingers will tell you they’re insects feeding on your plants. They especially love Hibiscus, Jatropha and some Salvias. We’ve been seeing a lot of spider mites too. You’ll notice a fine webbing and small sandy speckles (see photo). The mites themselves are usually on the underside of leaves. Both can be treated organically with Spinosad soap, Bee Safe 3-in-1 spray, or Neem Oil during cooler evening hours.