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Tips, tricks and answers to your frequently asked lawn and garden questions.


August Lawn & Garden Tips
bedding plants

PLANTING  

Be planning your fall beds and plantings. This is the time for the soil prep.

All container-grown perennials, shrubs and trees can be planted. Make sure to prepare your soil by mixing good-sized quantities of a processed manure, and compost in with your existing soil to amend it.

 

FERTILIZE

This is a good time to test your soil for fall fertilization requirements, if you haven’t had it done in the last three years or so.  A soil test would make you better prepared to add what it needs. This will save time and money, rather than add anything and everything needlessly. I have heard it put something like this: adding lime or fertilizer to untested soil is like adding salt to your food without tasting it first.

- Woody plants and roses should only be fertilized now as needed. It can stimulate new growth that would not have time to harden off before winter. Discontinue altogether after Labor Day.

- Keep your annuals blooming possibly right on into fall, by watering and fertilizing.

- You can continue feeding your houseplants as usual with a good slow release granular fertilizer.

- Keep up the good work on fertilizing your container and hanging basket plants. If you have been using a liquid, try a slow release during this extra watering time. It can cut back on your labor while maintaining their health and beauty.

- If your hibiscus foliage is beginning to yellow it could be lack of iron. You can drench to soil around the base of the plant with a liquid iron (always follow label directions exactly) and you should see your foliage begin to green up within a week or so.

-To turn a Pink Hydrangea blue, add garden sulfur or aluminum sulfate. To turn a Blue Hydrangea pink, add ground limestone.

PRUNE

- Most woody plants and shrubs should be pruned of the dead or diseased wood. You can do minor pruning of tips and such but save the major pruning until later in winter.

- Go ahead and clip your evergreen hedges as needed. This should hold them over until next spring.

- If your petunias are leggy and need reviving, try cutting them back to about six inches and feed them with a water-soluble fertilizer, as the label directs. This allows for root drenching and foliar feeding. Your plants should be flowering again within a couple weeks or so.

- Perennials and rose bushes would benefit from a minor pruning and the crape myrtles faded flowers can be trimmed off to encourage a re-bloom.

WATER

· The main thing to keep an eye on in August is water. Make sure you water deeply and thoroughly   to get the most benefit of it.

· Keep an eye on your azaleas and camellias. Meeting their water needs will help assure the future blooms to be the best they can be.

- Container plants, and hanging baskets need to check every day because of the summer heat, and it is wise to check below the surface. Poke your finger in the soil; see for yourself if the ground over an inch down is dry or moist. This will help prevent you from over watering also.

· Your compost also needs to be moistened regularly to keep it active.

· Your sod may become extremely dry due to no rain or no irrigation, if so consider watering it before you mow. If you mow it in that extreme condition, it can stress the sod and expose it to the heat of the sun and drying effect of the wind.

PEST CONTROL

· Always follow the label directions of any chemical you use, EXACTLY.

· Fruit trees should be on a regular spray program. Check with us here at Magnolia Landscape Supply for suggestions.

· Always clean up all fallen fruit from your fruit trees and any fallen rose leaves, to help reduce pests and diseases next year.

· Remove any old plants that are not producing any longer, to eliminate a breeding grounds for insects and disease organisms

· If you need to, apply a fungicide to the lawn to control turf diseases like brown patch, dollar spot and others.

· Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquito larvae so keep an eye for it. Empty out where you see it and don’t forget to change the water in your birdbath often so it doesn’t become a breeding ground too.

· Control weeds before they go to seed. Those seed are another batch of trouble for next year. Weeds can also use up the water and nutrients that your plants need, as well as can get too big and push out your plants. They also harbor disease and insects.

· Roses would benefit from a spraying of a rose fungicide like the Bayer All in One Rose and Flower Care that we carry, to keep black spot and other problems under control.

· White flies are attracted to yellow, so use yellow sticky boards to reduce or monitor their population.

MISC

· Imagine the beautiful color of the plants in containers or hanging baskets around your patio or on the porch. Use a potting mix when planting them and add Hydrostretch, which is a water-holding polymer. It will help to reduce the frequency of watering.

· Try raising the cutting height of your lawnmower during the hottest part of summer. The longer blades of your sod will provide a little extra shade for its roots and also acts as insulation, helping retain moisture in the soil.

· Establish a new compost pile to accommodate the extra grass clippings of summer and future fall leaves, but don’t put weeds with mature seed heads in as they can germinate next year when you use this compost. If you have used an herbicide on your grass this year, wait two or three mowings before collecting the clippings to add to a compost pile but remember, it’s a good thing to let the clippings work for you in the yard. They are beneficial to your soil by returning nutrients back into the soil and like mulch, they aid in sheltering the soil from the drying sun and wind.

· Hummingbirds will be migrating back through during August. Think about them when putting in any new perennials and don’t forget to get the feeders ready.




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