I’m out mowing lawn the first week of August and cannot believe how thick and green the grass is. Our area has been so fortunate this far into 2017, not suffering flooding like the desert southwest currently is or drought and extreme heat in the northwest part of the country. We are not far from our annual rainfall average and still have five months left in this year. How nice not to have burn bans or water rationing.
LAWNS. Lawns in the area have received adequate moisture for most of their growing season this year. Regular mowing to a height of four inches will improve grass quality and lessen the weed problem. I used to bag my cuttings but now prefer to use a mulching mower instead.
TREES/SHRUBS. Think about any additions or changes you plan to make to your landscape and get them done in the fall. Should we go into a dry spell, supplement new (two years or less) plantings of trees and shrubs with at least an inch of water weekly. Particularly important for spring blooming shrubs like azaleas that are forming their buds now. Do not fertilize or do major pruning now. Watch for spider mite and lacebug infestations on azaleas, camellias and boxwood and spray as needed.
BULBS. Plant Madonna lily, the fall-blooming colchicum and fall crocus now. Select firm, plump bulbs and store in cool, dry place until ready to plant.
PERENNIALS. Last feeding for mums. Disbud for specimen flowers. Treat phlox as needed when mildew and mites occur.
HOUSEPLANTS. Catch up on repotting, propagating, root pruning or trimming that needs to be done. Pay attention to water needs of pot-bound plants.
ROSES. Final feeding this month. Keep spraying and deadheading. HERBS. Harvesting frequently produces vigorous, bushy plants. Dry or freeze pickings or infuse into oil, vinegars, pot pourri, etc.
VEGETABLES. Enjoy and share the harvest. Pick and use promptly for best flavor. Chinese cabbage, beets, collards, spinach, turnips, etc. can be planted now. Pick vegetables LATE in the day as that is when concentrations of Vitamin C, carbohydrates and proteins are highest. Exceptions are crunchy produce like lettuce and cucumbers that need picking in the morning.
Will talk more about grooming your late season flowering garden next week.