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General August Checklist

by Gardening123 Staff

Here are a few general gardening tips to keep in mind during the month of August:


  • Continue to be on the lookout for chinch bugs in Centipede and St. Augustine grasses. They cause yellow, wilting grass patches in sunny areas of the lawn. To check for chinch bugs, use a bulb planter to remove a small section of your lawn. Slowly place the section into a container of water. If small insects appear on the water's surface, use the Gardening123 Plant Clinic to learn control information for this pest.

  • Be sure to keep your lawn at the recommended height. Some grasses, particularly evergreen types, can be severely damaged by August's heat if they are cut too closely. The general rule of thumb is to remove 1/3 of the height with each cutting.

  • Do not plant evergreen grasses, like fescue, until September when daytime temperatures start to cool.
  • Do not fertilize evergreen grasses unless they are light green or yellow in color. If your lawn does become discolored, fertilize with a high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer at half the recommended rate. Keep in mind that the best time to fertilize evergreen grasses is in September.


  • Hanging baskets need more water during hot summer months than other plantings. Water them thoroughly, then soak them again once the surface has dried.

  • Insects can be a very big problem, particularly in August. Keep a close eye on your plants this month for possible signs of aphid, spider mite, leaf hopper, thrip, and worm damage. Check out the Gardening123 Plant Clinic for tips on identification and control of many common garden pests.

  • Japanese beetles can also be a serious problem in your garden during August. Spray or dust your plants with Sevin as directed on the label. Beetle traps can also be effective, but remember to place them downwind so they do not attract more beetles to your garden.

  • Keep trees and flower beds well mulched, to help conserve moisture during the hot, dry months of summer. If no mulch is used, cultivate the soil frequently to keep it loose, allowing air and moisture to enter, and to help control weeds.

  • During dry weather, spray plant foliage with a water-soluble fertilizer to help maintain their growth.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Remove any spent plants from your garden and plant a cover crop, such as crimson clover, to help improve the soil for next year.

  • In the South, start the seeds of cool weather vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, and lettuce, for transplanting during the first week of September.

  • Do not prune fruit trees in August. New growth is emerging at this time and next year's fruit will form on this new growth.


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