August Tips

Lawn Care
Here are some helpful tips to having a healthy and beautiful lawn.

•    If you didn’t treat the lawn with an All Season Grub Control this season, then treat it this month with a fast acting grub control if grubs are present. It’s too late to apply an All Season Grub control.
•    If crabgrass is appearing in the lawn then spray a crabgrass killer, and remember to apply a crabgrass preventer next spring.
•    As the weather turns hot and dry, check the lawn for chinch bus, which can turn a lawn brown within a week.

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Ornamental Flowers, Trees and Shrubs
Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your landscape beds beautiful.

•    While  out in the yard, check shrubs, trees and evergreens for insects.  Those little cone shaped things hanging from evergreens aren’t little pine cones. They’re bagworms. Bagworms are caterpillars found in small cone shaped bags that are made of plant matter that are attached to the tips of branches of some evergreens and trees. Inside these bags, the hungry caterpillars are eating away at your tree or evergreen while in the safe confines of its protective habitat. These pests can be controlled by hand picking the bags, if easily accessible, or by spraying the plant with a systemic insect control for bagworms.
•    Fall tent caterpillars that are evident now should be either cut off and destroyed or sprayed with a systemic insect control for fall tent caterpillars. When spraying, try and create a jet stream as to penetrate the web.
•    Azaleas, rhododendrons, japonicas and junipers may be showing signs of spider mites. Look for the mottled leaves or needles and webbing on the undersides of the leaves or needles. Spray with a systemic insecticide that contains wither acephate or imidacloprid. For and organic control spray with Insecticidal Soap, being sure to get the bottom side of the leaves, and apply a fine mist so it adheres to the leaf.
•    As the weather turns hot and dry, be on the lookout for a build up of spider mites on annuals and perennials. Leaves will appear mottled with fine webbing on the underside. Spray all leaf surfaces with a miticide.
•    If leaves of flowers start to turn yellow and may be curled, distorted and puckered, check for aphids. These pale green, yellow or purple soft bodied insects will cluster on leaves, stems, and growing tips. You will want to spray with an insecticide, making sure to get underside of leaves too.
Tip to Remember! If you are considering transplanting some trees or shrubs in the landscape this fall then start preparing them now for the move. With a nursery spade, dig around half of the plant as if you were digging it out. This will prune the roots and make for a finer root system. Several weeks later do the other half. In several more weeks it will be ready to transplant. The root ball should stay intact better due to the finer root system and the survival rate will be greatly increased.
•    Any potted annual that maybe getting too big for their containers should be transplanted. Use a good light potting soil and be sure to water well with a liquid fertilizer. Also, keep the plants in the shade for a few days to help reduce transplant shock.
•    Fertilize all annuals and perennials with a granular organic fertilizer and water with a liquid fertilizer such as bloom booster.
•    Hanging baskets that are becoming leggy should be cut back, removing 1/3 to 1/2 of the plant. Next loosen the soil, if possible, or make some holes in the soil that can be filled with some organic fertilizer. Now spray for insects or diseases of present and then water with a liquid fertilizer. Blooms will start to reappear within two weeks.
•    Continue deadheading blooming plants, which will increase the production of new flowers and extend the blooming time.
•    If coreopsis are looking a little rough, cut plant in half and it will re-bloom within several weeks.
•    Start planning and preparing areas for fall mums, flowering cabbage and kale now, for fall color. All will start becoming available near the end of the month.
Tip to Remember! When  planting perennials in the summer, try to plant the in the evening, early morning or on an overcast day. This will help eliminate any transplanting stress, and be sure to loosen the roots, fertilize, water and mulch for success.

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Here are some helpful tips on taking care of your rose bushes and keeping them healthy and blooming beautifully.

•    Keep roses sprayed or dusted with a disease control.
Tip to Remember!  If roses have lost a lot of leaves due to disease or insects and are looking leggy, cut the canes back to about 12-18”, spray with a rose fungicide, and fertilize.
•    Keep roses watered and add some bloom booster fertilizer every third watering.
•    Use a granular fertilizer by the end of the month on your roses. Some of the best rose growing weather is still ahead in September and October.
•    On hybrid roses, remove any sucker growth that maybe springing up from below the graft, then treat cuts with a pruning sealer.
•    To help control diseases on roses, spray them with a fungicide every 10-14 days or after every rainfall and keep the soul around roses free from litter. Refurbish mulch if needed.

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Vegetable Garden
Here are some helpful tips to getting the best yield.

•    Continue spraying tomatoes with a fungicide for the prevention of late blight.
•    Fertilize plants with an organic fertilizer this month. This will help to increase yields, plus healthy plants are less susceptible to insect and disease attacks.
Tip to Remember! Keep picking vegetables when they are young and tender. Harvesting more often will increase and extend the harvest.
•    In empty spaces you can plant seeds of cucumbers, swiss chard, zucchini and beans. There is still time to get a second crop, you’ll just have to plant extra since plants won’t produce as much in the fall as in the summer.
•    Prepare an area for fall planting of turnips, escarole, endive and lettuce. These can all be planted from seed any time in August and early September. Plant them in an area that will be easy to protect from frost and you could have fresh greens at Thanksgiving and later.
•    Decide now where you are going to plant garlic this fall and prepare the area.
Tip to Remember! Garlic likes fertile, loamy, well drained soil, so work in some compost and some organic fertilizer into the garlic bed at this time.
•    If soil insects have been a problem in the past, treat the soil with granular Sevin now, because when it’s time to plant the garlic in October many of the insects could have laid eggs or gone dormant for the winter and will become active in the spring.
•    Once the garlic bed has been prepared then wither cover it with black plastic, grass clippings or straw mulch to prevent weeds from growing.
•    It is best to keep gardens weeded since weeds not only rob the soil of moisture and nutrients, but are also host plants for insects and diseases. By keeping the garden weed free, it will help in cutting down on next yeas weed population, so you should mulch areas that have been weeded or treat with a weed preventer such as Preen.
•    As plants stop producing, remove them from the garden. They are taking nutrients and moisture from the soil and can be a haven for insects and disease just like weeds.
Tip to Remember! You should harvest tomatoes when they are a uniform red and firm. The best temperature range for ripening a tomato is 60°F to 70°F . Storage is best at 60°F, this will produce the optimum flavor.
•    Late in the month, pinch off all but three or four fruits form vine crops such as: cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkin, and winter squash. Fruit setting now will not mature by the first frost.
•    Keep plants and newly planted seed watered during the hot days of August, because by paying attention to the watering will pay off with extra harvest this fall.
Tip to Remember! Any plants that are heavily infested with insects or are showing a number of diseased leaves should be removed from the garden. If it is a perennial, it should be cut back to the ground and the area and surrounding plants sprayed.
•    Spraying and dusting should be done in the early morning or late evening, if possible. This is the time that insects are at rest on the plants and are not moving around. Therefore, they are more vulnerable to the insecticide treatment.
Tip to Remember! When spraying or dusting vegetables, keep in mind that some sprays have a waiting period before harvesting.  There are sprays that can be applied one day prior to harvesting, such as any spray containing pyrethrin, insecticidal soap, rotenone, and even Sevin.

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Here are some helpful hints on taking care of your orchard.

•     Cut out any water sprouts (suckers on upper branches) and remove any branches which have become misshapen or poorly colored fruit.
•    Continue to keep fruit trees and berries sprayed with a multipurpose fruit tree spray.

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For more helpful tips and answers to questions you may have, refer to FAQ.