August Yard and Garden Tips
Watch out for:
- Lawn diseases - continue watching for problems
with brown patch and dollar spot in warm season grasses, especially if
you had problems with one of them last year. See Brown Patch Disease of Lawns and Leaf Diseases of Lawns for more information.
- Chinch bugs - watch for chinch bugs in your warm season lawn. See Chinch Bugs for more information.
- White grubs - the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis does a
nice job on them, but it does take a little time to build up in the
soil. See White Grub Management in Turfgrass for more information.
- Mole crickets - inspect warm season lawns for mole crickets
this month. Eliminating these critters requires diligent work in June,
July, and early August. See Mole Cricket Management for the Home Lawn for more information.
- Spittle bugs - watch for spittlebugs in warm season lawns and on hollies. See Two-Lined Spittlebug for more information.
Trees and Shrubs
- Bag worms - bag worms can kill a tree if it is heavily
infested. Inspect your trees periodically - bagworms seem to like
juniper, arborvitae, and pines, but they are will attack many broadleaf
shrubs and trees such as rose, sycamore, maple, elm, and black
locust.. Hand-picking light infestations works well; applying the
bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis will also take care of the problem.
See Bagworms for more information.
- Oakworms - these pesky little critters will strip the leaves
from a 5 foot tall oak tree in two to three days. Spraying carbaryl
(Sevin, etc.) will take care of them quickly. (you cannot effectively
treat a large tree, but if you see them on lower branches and can
safely spray them that will certainly not hurt). Observe all label
precautions on mixing and use. Do not use dusts due to the problem
with application - a spray made using the liquid form of the product
will work fine. See Oak Diseases and Pests for more information.
- Webworms - fall webworms should be appearing in pecan trees
in mid- to late-August. Controlling the bottom 1/3 of the tree will be
quite effective, even though we cannot reach the upper areas. Carbaryl
(Sevin, etc.) is a good product for this. Observe all label
precautions on mixing and use. Do not use dusts
due to the problem with application - a spray made using the liquid
form of the product will work fine. See Web-spinning Caterpillars for more information.
- Garden insects - keep an eye out for cucumber beetle, and squash vine borer in the garden. See Cucumber, Squash, Melon & Other Cucurbit Insect Pests for more information.
- Blossom end rot - check your tomatoes for blossom end rot
on the fruit as it begins to from. This is usually an indication of a
calcium deficiency. Place a handful of gypsum (land plaster) in the
soil beside the tomato at planting (or later) to prevent this. Foliar
sprays such as blossom end rot spray will also help alleviate the
problem. Nothing will "heal the fruit with rot on it, so remove and discard them. See Tomato for more information.
Things to do:
- Spray fruit trees - continue spraying your fruit
trees with a fungicide (Captan, etc.) every 7 to 10 days to provide the
beautiful fruit you look forward to. Do not use any insecticides on
the trees until less than 10% of the blooms remain - you certainly do
not want to hurt your bee pollinators. The fungicide will have no
effect on them. After the blooms have fallen you may begin to also spray malathion insecticide.
- Lawn Fertilizer - you should apply a complete fertilizer to warm season lawns
this month. See
Fertilizing Lawns for more information.
- Fire ants - if you have not yet broadcast fire ant baits apply your first
treatment any time this month. Be sure to apply fresh
bait, and do it at the correct time of day (fire ants only forage
actively when the ground temperature is between 70 and 95 degrees F). See the
Fire Ant Management in the Home Lawn and the
State Fire Ant website for more information.
- Aeration - fall is a great time to aerate cool season lawns such
as fescue. Warm-season lawns (centipede, zoysia, Bermuda, St.
Augustine) should be aerated in the spring and summer. See
Aerating Lawns for more information.
- Irrigation - your irrigation cycle is till going strong. See
the Home and Garden Center's irrigation publications for more information. One inch per
week is the appropriate amount for most lawns and vegetables (except
sweet corn and yellow squash, which may require up to two inches
depending on growth stage). Include rainfall in this amount, and see How Much Water
to determine how much water you are actually applying. And make sure
that you adjust your water applications with plant growth stage and
time of year - one size definitely does not fit all for the entire
Trees and Shrubs
- Pruning - now is another good time to prune most trees and shrubs. July and August are the months to prune azalea,
dogwood, forsythia, redbud and rhododendron. They should be pruned
after they bloom, but before bloom set in the fall. Oakleaf
hydrangea and late-flowering azalea cultivars might also be considered now.
Avoid any pruning in the spring and fall if at all possible.
See Pruning Trees and Pruning Shrubs
for more information.
- Plan ahead - if you plan to plant some trees or shrubs this year, begin thinking about which plants you would like now, and find retailers that carry those varieties. You have plenty of time, but you certainly do not want to miss your favorite at the last minute.
- Pecan Weevils - pecan weevils are those little critters that make holes in your pecans. Start treating for pecan weevils the first week of August, and continue treating once per week for 6 weeks. Place 5 ounces of liquid carbaryl (Sevin, etc.) in 10 gallons or more of water and spray the entire area under the tree, from trunk out to dripline. Repeat this for each tree. You will need to do this 2 years in a row to get rid of the pesky critters (they have a 2 year lifecycle). See Pecan Weevil for more information.
- Garden clean-up - half the tomato disease battle in a vegetable garden is sanitation. As tomatoes end their production remove them from the garden and take them to a landfill. Many diseases will over-winter on old infected leaves and stems. (A good practice for any plants you have had disease problems with this year).
- Make a note - sketch out where you planted various vegetables in your garden. This will come in handy next spring when you plant, so you can rotate your crops to help prevent disease.
- Vegetables - Some planting times for more common vegetables (See
Planning a Garden for a full list and planting depths and spacings):
- Collards - Jul. 1 - Aug. 30
- Snap beans - Aug. 1 - 15
- Half-runners - Aug. 1 - 15
- Lettuce - Aug. 15 - 25
For more information for August, see
This Month in Your Garden's