Horticulture Tips for August

Home Grown  by Keith Reed
Experience has taught me that one should seldom use the phrase “average Oklahoma weather” since it means virtually nothing when predicting what mother nature may bring next. The early part of this summer has certainly been no exception to that personal rule. The rains have been a huge bonus for landscapes throughout our region. As we move into August, we may see some things out of the ordinary given the surprising amount of humidity for this time of year. Consider the following tips as you work around your landscape, and as always, contact our office if you have any additional questions.
  • If vegetables plants are exhibiting exceptional growth but are not putting on fruit, consider pruning them back a bit. Tomatoes have been an issue this year, not with production, but with a harder than usual “core”. If you’re tomatoes have not been up to par this year in taste or texture, you are not along. Perhaps the late season crop will be better.
  • Adjust your automatic irrigation system to real-time need. Please don’t water “just because it’s what we do this time of year”. Also, take a close look at your property from a water management point of view. If you typically have wet spots even when it is dry, chances are very good that you need to fine tune your watering regime or improve your system.
  • August is a good time to apply a grub control product if you have a problem in your home lawn. It takes a fairly high population of grubs to cause significant damage, so unless your lawn is showing damage, control is not suggested.
  • On a related note, moles have been a real problem for local residents the last several years. It is generally fairly well known that controlling grubs (and other insects) will help control them. What is not so widely known is that this is a slow process and it may be several seasons before you see solid results.
  • Webworm activity is high this year. Webworms are unsightly and can affect nut production but are not fatal to a tree so attempting to control them is not critical in most circumstances. However, if you plan on treating for webworms, early control is important. Contact the Extension office for more information.
  • Plan now for September plantings of wildflowers (seeding) and tall fescue in shady lawn.
  • If early spring weeds are a problem in your lawn or landscape, a timely application of a fall-preemergent herbicide is a key component of a control program. These products need to go down in the later part of August to be successful. As always when applying pesticides, read the label and follow proper procedures. Not only is the label part of federal law, it is also the difference between success and failure when it comes to controlling weeds.

For more information on this or any other horticultural topic, you can contact Keith Reed, the Horticulturist in the Payne County Extension office. Keith can be reached via email at
keith.reed@okstate.edu, phone at 405-747-8320, or in person at the Payne County Extension office, located at 315 W. 6th in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies

Article Archives