August: Things to do to prepare for fall gardens and landscapes.
1. Remove webworms from pecan and landscape trees, by trimming branches, or treat with Bacillus thuringiensis (or Bt).
2. Pinch faded blooms from crape myrtle for more blooms. Don’t trim branches.
3. Set out transplants of fall vegetables; tomatoes, peppers, eggplant - provide afternoon shade.
4. Stop pinching asters, mums, blackberry canes, and poinsettias.
5. Thin iris. Share with friends or replant in full sun.
6. Add a layer of compost to the vegetable garden before planting.
7. Prune roses, except climbers, for a profusion of blooms in the fall.
8. For spring flowers, sow seeds of larkspur, cornflower, California poppy, snapdragon, sweet alyssum, and wallflower. Tip: Save large salt shakers; fill with seeds to plant straight rows.
9. Sprinkle powdered detergent or ground cayenne pepper around sweet corn to keep raccoons away. Tip: To “silk” ears of corn, use a wet terrycloth wash cloth. It does a great job of removing the silk and doesn’t do any damage.
10. August is the latest you should wait to seed Bermuda. The grass seed must be kept wet until it germinates. Sometimes you must water it three times a day. If you have a large area, it is easier to place sod. It will cost you more in the beginning, but it is easier to keep sod wet than seed. Be sure to rent or borrow a roller filled with water; the roots need to be in contact with the soil.
11. Begin locating and purchasing wildflower seed. These should be planted in September and October. Remove weeds and rake the soil. The seed must be in contact with the soil. Don’t cover them; just rake the soil over the seed and walk on the seeded area.
12. If you need to move or plant palms, this is the time of year. They need to have warm weather to be planted or moved.