DELMARVA ALMANAC

August Garden Planner

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Scott Duncan gives us garden tips for August that month which is all about knowing when to keep things watered and harvesting as things ripen.

  • Sometimes August is dry as a bone but often it is very soggy. Avoid over watering, and as we mentioned in July water in the early mornings for best results.

  • Now is a good time to be extra vigilant about denying mosquitoes a place to lay eggs. Clean up and empty things that collect water creating mosquito breeding grounds.

  • If drainage ditches are clogged and holding stagnant water for longer than a week they should be reported to your county mosquito control office. They may be protected by wetland regulations so you should not try to clear these ditches on your own.

  • Once or twice a week change the water in bird baths, planter trays, pet dishes, and livestock water troughs. Add fresh water to ornamental ponds.

  • Prune your hybrid roses in late August to promote the most fall blossoms. Remove about a third of the vigorous growth. Any stems that cross each other should be removed, as well as those that are in the center of the plant. Weak, spindly canes and any damaged by black spot fungus should be removed.

  • During hot dry spells your lawn will enter a dormant stage and may turn brown. While this might not look like the golf course putting green it will recover once it rains again. Avoid mowing during these conditions.

  • Lovely humming birds and butterflies will visit the garden during August. Other wildlife will also visit for a meal especially if there has been little rain. Ask your barber or hair dresser for a bag of hair clippings to spread around your beds to ward off rabbits and deer. Otherwise erect a good fence.

  • Late August is often very hot and prime time for tropical storms. Extreme weather stresses plants making them more susceptible to disease and pests. Having a problem with your garden? We have an amazing resource in our local Cooperative Extension offices which not only provide very thorough websites, but if you call them they can be provide helpful solutions for whatever ails your garden:

    • University of Maryland Cooperative Extension - Plant Diagnostic Center
      Cecil County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-996-5280
      Kent County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-778-1661
      Queen Anne's County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-758-0166
      Caroline County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-479-4030
      Talbot County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-822-1244
      Dorchester County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-228-8800
      Wicomico County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-749-6141
      Worcester County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-632-1972
      Somerset County Cooperative Extension Office - 410-651-1350

    • University of Delaware - Plant Diagnostic Clinic
      Kent County Cooperative Extension Office - 302-730-4000
      New Castle County Cooperative Extension Office - 302-831-2506
      Sussex County Cooperative Extension Office - 302-856-7303

    • Department of Horticulture, Virginia Tech - Diagnosing Plant Problems
      Accomack County Cooperative Extension Office - 757-787-136
      Northampton County Cooperative Extension Office - 757-678-7946