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Gardening Tips 

August

The "Dog Days of August" are now upon us.  This time has been referred to as the time when it is too miserable to do anything but lie around like and old coon dog.  Popularly believed to be an evil time when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs turned mad and all creatures turned languid, it is easy to be lulled into a feeling that there is nothing that needs doing in the garden.  Actually,  there is much that can and should be done.  We should probably take a lesson from our canine friends and get it done in the cool of the morning or the shade of the evening. 

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Grab your clippers and deadhead all of those spent perennials to encourage more blooming

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Crape Myrtles will also reward you with a longer bloom time if faded flowers are removed regularly. 

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While you still have your clippers handy, clip dead leaves from shrubs and trees as well as do any light pruning and shaping up that may need to be done.  Don't prune heavily as this will encourage new growth that may not have time to harden before frost and freezing. 

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Rejuvenate hanging baskets and other leggy annuals by cutting back the leggy branches, fertilize with and water regularly to produce new growth and flowering. 

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Baskets and other containers need extra water during the hot "dog days" of August.  The extra growth that they have now requires extra moisture to keep planting happy and healthy. 

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Yes, it is incredibly hot and humid now, but this is a critical time for weeding.  Many weeds will be trying to produce seed.  If they beat you to the punch you will be battling their offspring for many years to come. 

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Try to pull your weeds when the soil is moist in order to get the entire root system. 

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When watering, be sure to water thoroughly.  If you water deeply, the roots will grow deep into the soil and have them less subject to freeze or drought.  Watering shallow, encourages shallow root development and plants will dry out quickly as well as not being anchored as firmly. 

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If fruit tree set is heavy, support the branches to prevent limb damage. 

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Late summer is a good time to treat  for lawn grubs.  Check with your local extension agent for recommendations. 

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Mulch around shrubs, trees and perennials to conserve water, prevent weeds and prepare for the cold months ahead. 

 

Page Created by Steve McCannon / Cedar Ridge Farm

Sunday, July 13, 2008 10:07 PM