Plants & Products

Monthly Tips


Annuals and Perennials

In Bloom
Natives: Cardinal flower, coneflower, coreopsis, eupatorium, goldenrod, helianthus, heliopsis, Japanese anemone, Joe Pye weed, milkweed, monarda, rose mallow, rudbeckia, Russian sage, stonecrop

Zinnia, black-eyed Susan and sunflowers are excellent blooms you can cut fresh from the garden and use in flower arrangements. Cut blooms early in the morning, place them in water immediately and keep your floral arrangement in the shade to make it last longer.
Fall mums begin to arrive at the garden center this month.

Trim leggy annuals, replace struggling plants and fertilize with a bloom booster to keep your containers and beds full of blooms.

Protect cut flower arrangements from direct sun to help them last longer.

Late summer is the best time to divide and transplant bearded iris and daylilies. Do this once every 3 to 5 years, and replant immediately.

Plant evergreens shade perennials such as ferns, coral bells and foam flowers now so that they have time to establish roots before the winter arrives.

Now is a good time to plant ornamental grasses such as miscanthus, pennisetum and hardy pampas grass. There are many native options in our region, and they are generally easy to care for.

Fruits and Vegetables

General Care
Use mulch to cool and protect the soil in your vegetable garden and conserve water.

Warm Season Vegetables
Fertilize fruits and vegetables with Garden-tone, an organic, slow-release fertilizer.

Stake tomato plants, or use Merrifield’s custom 2-piece tomato cage to support large plants.

If necessary, spray tomato plants and other vegetables to control diseases. See our staff for advice.

Remove warm season vegetables that are no longer producing, and replace them with cool season vegetables.

Cool Season Vegetables
Plant cool season vegetables including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and more this month for a bountiful harvest this fall.

Use shade cloth to protect cool season vegetables on days where the temperature will rise above 90 degrees.


Lawn Restoration
August is the time to restore your lawn to a fresh, lush green for the fall.

Seed shady lawns this month.

If your lawn is in really bad shape, now is the best time to begin a total lawn renovation. Our lawn specialists can either teach you the steps for renovating the lawn or our crews can do the work for you.

Pest and Weed Control
August is the best time to control grubs in the lawn. Apply Dylox and water it in thoroughly.

If needed, apply a weed control to the lawn when temperatures are below 90 degrees and there is no rain expected for several hours to kill actively growing weeds. Use Trimec Crabgrass plus Lawn Weed Killer.

If you want to prevent broadleaf weeds such as chickweed and henbit next spring, but you would still like to seed the lawn this fall, apply Broadleaf Weed Preventer with Gallery in early August. By applying this product now, you will be able to seed in early October (seeding can be done 60 days after you apply the Gallery).

Supplements and Fertilizer
Apply Fast Acting Iron to keep your lawn nice and green throughout the summer months. This product contains gives added color without excessive growth.

Fertilize zoysia lawns for the final time this season with Merrifield Premium Lawn Food.

Water Features

Water Clarity
Clear pond water can be achieved with proper plant balance. If the pond is in full sun, 50-70% of its surface must be covered with foliage such as floating heart, water hyacinth, water poppy, water lily, or lotus.

Underwater grasses produce oxygen, helping to maintain D.O. Levels.  Grasses will improve water clarity by using nitrate.  Following are some easy guidelines to know when trying to figure out how many grasses are needed:

  • 1 clump of grass per 1 sq. ft. of surface area for ponds less than 25 sq. ft.
  • 1 clump of grass per 2 sq. ft. of surface area for ponds greater than 25 sq. ft.

Water Lilies
Tropical water lilies make a spectacular show of color for any water garden. Whereas hardy water lilies bloom only during the day, tropical varieties, which are considered annuals in this area, include day and night bloomers. This makes it possible to enjoy the bloom in the late afternoon and evening. Day blooming tropical water lilies bloom heavier than hardy lilies. The flowers stay open longer each day and they bloom much later into the season. Night blooming tropical water lilies open their flowers at approximately 5 pm and do not close until the following morning around 9 am. This is perfect timing for those evening barbecues and parties.


Goldfinches feed exclusively on seeds. Attract them to your garden by providing birdseed feeders and planting milkweed, coneflower and woodland sunflower.

Trees and Shrubs

In Bloom
Butterfly bush, crape myrtle, hypericum, Pee Gee hydrangea, perennial hibiscus, rose of sharon, viburnum

Fertilizing and Pruning
Avoid any significant pruning or fertilizing at this time of the year which could stimulate growth susceptible to winter injury.

Seasonal Care

Check all plants, especially newly planted ones, for water on a regular basis. Water deeply and thoroughly as needed.

View our watering guide.

Early morning is the best time of the day to water your garden. This allows plants time to absorb the water and become fully hydrated before the heat of the day arrives. The morning sun will also dry excess water from the foliage to reduce the risk of diseases.

Most plant problems are caused by environmental or cultural stress such as over or under watering, planting too deep, incorrect pruning, etc. Don’t reach for the pesticides until you have correctly diagnosed the problem.

Eliminate sources of standing water, where mosquitos lay their eggs, to control their population. You can also place Mosquito Dunks in water for a natural, pet and people safe control option.