9 Tips for Your Yard & Garden

Knowing when to plant what can be tricky.

But our Garden Adventurer, L.A. Jackson, has the timely tips you need to keep your yard and garden growing strong!

To Do in the Garden – August

  • There is still time to squeeze more produce out of the veggie patch by adding fast-maturing plants such as eggplants, peppers, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes early this month.
  • Cool-season vegetables such as collards, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach can also be started now from seed in flats in a shady location.
  • Bermuda grass lawns will benefit from a one pound per thousand square feet application of nitrogen this month. Also, zoysia and St. Augustine lawn can be fertilized now with one half pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet.
  • Want fewer summer weeds? The answer is simple: pull the unwanted plants before their flowers go to seed, not after.
  • Late August is a good time to begin digging and dividing cannas, irises, primroses and daylilies.
  • It’s time to plant bulbs. No, not spring-flowering bulbs but rather fall-blooming beauties such as colchicum, sternbergia and autumn-flowering crocus that will put on a surprise show late in the year before winter grips the garden.
  • Neighborhood dogs and cats enjoying your garden a little too much? Sprinkle fine-ground black pepper around their favorite play spots. A snoot full and a few sneezes later, and they will think twice about sneaking into your garden again.
  • How does a nice drink of water sound on a hot August day? Gardeners like it, and so do birds, so keep the birdbath filled and give it a light cleaning at least once a week.

Timely Tomato Tip

The pursuit of perfectly shaped, homegrown tomatoes can be spoiled at this time of the gardening season by a problem known as cracking. This condition is marked by concentric, unappetizing rings circling the stems or vertical splits along the sides of ripening fruits.

The problem usually occurs when a big rain falls after an extended dry spell. So much ground moisture suddenly available to tomato plants causes the fruits to expand quickly and literally crack out of their skins.

Mulching the plants will help steady the moisture supply, and a regular watering schedule when the rains don’t come will also prevent this disorder.

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