August is a month to enjoy the bounty of your edible harvest and the glory of late summer flowers. Even as you reap the rewards of a well-tended garden, prudent gardeners will prepare for fall, perhaps the easiest garden season of all. If you’ve never planted a vegetable garden before, fall is the best time to start.
Pick, pickle, preserve
The hottest summer days bring more tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers to enjoy. This is also the time to get the most out of annual herbs like basil. Pinch back flowers to extend the harvest and savor the leaves in herb butters and pesto. Read more about herbs here.
Sun-ripened tomatoes and peppers are delicious in summer salads. Try canning a small batch of salsa with extra produce from your garden. A bumper crop of cukes means plenty of pickles. Look for quick pickling recipes to save time.
Cut summer flowers for bouquets
When it’s too hot to go out in the garden in the middle of the day, head out early and snip zinnias, sunflowers, daisies and dahlias for abundant cut flower bouquets.
While you’re in the garden, pay attention to perennials like coneflower and coreopsis that can look rugged in late summer.
Aerate and reseed lawn
Prepare for the fall season by aerating and reseeding your lawn. Give cool-season grasses time to grow before first frost.
Plan water wise changes
If summer has been hard on your gardens, make plans to improve irrigation and bring better health to your landscape. Water in the morning for best results.
Feed roses with a balanced fertilizer. Read more about Pacific Northwest regional gardening tips.
Keep shrubs like azaleas and rhododendrons watered as they set buds for next spring’s blooms. Read more about North California Coastal regional gardening tips.
Harvest edibles when mature and keep the crop growing by side-dressing with compost. Read more about South California Coastal regional gardening tips.
Indoors, houseplants may need a refresh if the leaves are yellow and limp. Check for pests like whiteflies and aphids while you’re at it. Set up a repotting station (a kitchen is best). Read more about Southwestern Desert regional gardening tips.
Prevent weeds from going to seed and creating bigger problems by being diligent about pulling them out of your garden beds. Read more about Western Mountains regional gardening tips.
Prepare garden beds for cool season crops such as turnips, carrots and beets. Plant seedlings in the last half of the month. Read more about Middle Atlantic regional gardening tips.
Refresh and replace tired, leggy annuals in containers and garden beds. Consider moving annuals like geraniums indoors when the nights turn cold. Read more about New England regional gardening tips.
Temps will be in the sweet spot for growing greens soon. Start seeds indoors now for cole crops, or buy seedlings from The Home Depot Garden Center. Seedlings will appear in your store just in time to plant. Read more about Upper South regional gardening tips.
In extended times of drought, keep lawns watered through irrigation systems. Follow guidelines from your local municipality. Read more about Lower South regional gardening tips.
Check out the gardening year at a glance: