August Gardening Tips
It's always exciting to see the fuilts of your labor from your spring planting and pruning! Here are a few tips to keep your garden, orchard, and lawn healthy and your produce production abundant!
By August – you have either begun to pick your produce or are getting ready to! It is very important to treat all fruit trees for borers with an insecticide spray. It is crucial to spray for borers so they do not infest and kill your trees. You should also spray your apple and pear trees for codling moths up till the month of September. To prevent limb damage to heavy fruit trees such as peaches – brace the limbs with ladders or sturdy wood planks to prevent breakage. It is also crucial to keep your orchard floor clean of dropped fruit – as this attracts unwanted wasps and also minimizes disease.
Corn harvest is almost upon us during the month of August, and to prevent worms in your corn, you should dust the silks with an insecticide. Generations ago, farmers used mineral oil to keep worms off their corn! Once you harvest your corn, storing it within a refrigerated space will keep it fresher for longer – as the sugar will not convert to starch as fast as if you were to store it at room temperature.
If your tomatoes aren’t quite ripening fast enough – reduce the amount of water they consume. Concerning watermelons, you can start harvesting them once the stems fall off easily – or “the bee stings.” Bees actually sting watermelon when they are sweet and ripe! You can tell if a bee has stung a watermelon if you notice small, raised black orbs or buds on the rind.
Did you know you can plant a fall garden? August is the perfect month! You can plant beets, radishes, swiss chard, lettuce, broccoli, peas, and cabbage for a fall harvest!
August is a good month to determine if you need to reduce the amount of water your lawn is getting, or increase. A good rule of thumb is watering your lawn about 1.5 inches per week. You can set a dish out and see how long it takes your sprinklers to fill it half an each. Then – water your lawn that determined amount of time, three times per week to equal 1. 5 inches. If you need more than 1.5 inches of water for your lawn, you can use the same method to adjust your watering times.