Plants & Products

Monthly Tips

August
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Annuals and Perennials

Perennials blooming this month include helianthus, heliopsis, Russian sage, perennial hibiscus, coreopsis and coneflowers. All of these flowers provide food for pollinators and brighten up your summer garden.

Plant ornamental grasses such as miscanthus, pennisetum and hardy pampas grass.

Fall mums arrive at the garden center.

 

Fruits and 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.

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

Lawns

If your lawn is in bad shape due to drought stress, insects, weeds or other reasons and you are considering a total renovation, August is the time to get started. Consult one of our lawn specialists if you are planning a total lawn renovation. We can either teach you the steps for renovating the lawn or our crews can do the work for you.

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 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).

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

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.

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.

Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs that provide color in the month of August include crape myrtles, Pee Gee hydrangeas, viburnums, hypericum and butterfly bush.

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.