• Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • March garden tips & tasks

    If your fescue lawn looks a little skimpy, overseed early this month. Fescue grows best when the weather is still cool.

    Clip dead stems from perennial herbs – thyme, sage, lavender, rosemary. Pruning encourages vigorous new growth.

    Prune nandinas, flowering quince and other airy shrubs by reaching in and removing about a third of the branches at ground level.

    Remove mulch or leaves that may be covering perennials in garden beds.

    Prepare a new garden bed: Have the soil tested (check with your county’s Extension service). Remove grass and dig or till soil 8 to 10 inches deep and mix with soil amendments and organic matter to improve drainage.

    Add fertilizer lightly to perennials as soon as you see new growth. Too much fertilizer may result in lanky growth.

    Herb transplants that don’t mind cool weather -- parsley, cilantro, sage, oregano – can go in the ground now.

    When you cut daffodils to bring inside, cut the stems at an angle and place them in water right away. Change the water in the vase daily to keep them fresh longer.

    Save the date - Middle Tennessee garden events

    The Perennial Plant Society's annual Plant Sale will be April 8, opening at 9 a.m. at The Fairgrounds Nashville. The sale offers newly released and hard-to-find perennials from top local nurseries -- more than 450 varieties of perennials, vines, grasses, shrubs and annuals. The event supports local scholarships for Tennessee horticulture students and monthly gardening programs, open to the public, at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. For information visit www.ppsmtn.org.

    The Herb Society of Nashville's annual Herb Sale will be April 29, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at The Fairgrounds Nashville. The sale will offer heirloom vegetables, rare varieties of perennial and annual herbs, handmade pottery herb markers and more. To learn more, visit herbsocietynashville.org.

  • Categories

  • Archives

August garden tips & tasks

It’s hot, so get out early in the day for these mid-summer garden tips and tasks:

Early in the month

summer flowersContinue deadheading summer-flowering perennials and annuals, cutting off the spent flowers to encourage the plants to keep blooming. Be sure to cut fresh flowers, too, to enjoy in bouquets indoors.

Nothing’s more frustrating that finding that birds have poked holes in your prized tomatoes. To discourage pecking, pick tomatoes before they are fully red and let them ripen indoors.

Petunias may start to look ragged. Cut them back and fertilize lightly, and they should soon rebound with fresh blooms.

Continue to watch for Japanese beetles, which are attracted to many of your favorite ornamentals. Pick off any you find on your prized plants, and plunk them into a bowl of soapy water.

Depending on your hardiness zone, you may be able to plant seeds of fast-growing bush beans to provide a late harvest of beans this fall. Check the “Days to maturity” note on the seed packet.

Reduce the mosquito population by regularly emptying everything that collects water. Change the water in birdbaths every day or so. Use natural mosquito control products in ponds and rain barrels.

Mid-August

There’s a saying: One year of seeds; seven years of weeds. If you can’t dig out the weeds frequently enough, at least cut the tops to keep them from flowering and setting seed.

SquashBegin gathering seeds of your favorite annuals or vegetables to plant next year. Dry seeds thoroughly, package, label and date them, and store them in a place that’s cool and dry.

Continue to harvest and use basil frequently to keep the plant from setting seed too early.

Summer vegetables – tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, summer squash, peppers — will continue producing if you harvest regularly. Okra, especially, should be picked every day or so, before the small tender pods grow large and tough.

If the weather is hot and dry, watch for spider mites on roses. They thrive in these conditions and can quickly defoliate a rosebush. A strong spray of water on the undersides of the leaves every two or three days for a week should help keep them under control.

Later this month

Parsley curledSome summer herbs can be frozen to use later. Try freezing fresh sprigs of parsley, oregano, sage, tarragon and dill. Rinse the herbs and pat them dry, then place them in separate freezer bags or containers with tight-fitting lids. Use them within four months.

Provide ample water if it doesn’t rain. It’s still hot, and you may need to water frequently. In fact, you may need to douse container gardens every day.

Keep vegetable beds clean of dead or dying foliage and rotting vegetables. A tidy garden bed means fewer places for destructive insects to overwinter.

Avoid planting new trees and shrubs in the hottest part of summer. Be sure that trees, shrubs and perennials planted this spring are receiving enough water during long hot spells.

Begin planting a cool season kitchen garden — spinach, greens, kale, lettuces and other favorites. Keep beds or containers watered as seeds sprout, and watch for late-summer insect pests.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: