Horticulture Tips for August

Home Grown  by Keith Reed
Consider the following tips for your August landscape. The current cool-off and prediction that it is going to stay around for a while gives us a unique opportunity to get fall gardens off to a great start.
  • Early August is a key time to plant many fall vegetables such as beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, squash, swiss chard, and turnips. When it does heat back up, be prepared to provide afternoon shade for the tender seedlings. See OSU Fact Sheet HLA-6009 Fall Gardening (PDF Mobile) for additional information on this topic.
  • If you have mature tomato plants that just don’t look good, now is a good time to consider giving them a hard pruning (removing as much as one half the existing plant) and regrowing them for a fall tomato crop. Most tomato plant failures this time of year involve spider mites so watch the new growth carefully for mites and be proactive with control efforts.
  • Monitor and adjust irrigation needs accordingly. Even though the weather is unseasonably cool (as this article goes to press anyway), we are still seeing signs of drought stress in the landscape. Important trees that are not regularly irrigated could probably use a deep irrigation.
  • The first opportunity for successful weed control begins late this month with the application of a fall preemergent. See OSU Fact Sheet HLA-6420 Lawn Management in Oklahoma (PDF Mobile). Remember, if you have an area that is in need of a fall seeding, avoid applying these products.
  • August-September is the best time of year to apply glyphosate herbicide when attempting to eradicate bermuda from an area. The bermuda begins storing winter energy reserves at this time and this helps the herbicide move through the plant a little better than at other times of the year. However, even this is not enough to expect 100% control of this pesky plant. Be prepared to rogue out returning sprouts as they green back up later this fall and next spring.
  • Make plans now for September seeding of wildflower mixes and lawns for shady areas. The most successful shade tolerant lawns in our area are predominantly Tall fescue with a small percentage of Kentucky bluegrass.
  • Late August is a good time to dig, divide, and replant many perennials such as daylilies, iris, and peonies.

Keith Reed is the Horticulture Educator in the Payne County Extension OSU Extension office. You can contact him via email at keith.reed@okstate.edu, call 405-747-8320, or stop by the Payne County Extension Office at 315 W. 6th in Stillwater.

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