Houston August Garden Care

August garden time! This is the time of the year where I tend to let the garden fend for itself. The heat is not a joke and if you can not get your hands in to the dirt before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m. it is okay, in my book to let them go until September. Though, you’ll do yourself a favor if you can at least pull off the flowering parts.

Now is the time in Houston to plant fall gardens. You will likely be able to find tomatoes and peppers in garden centers but anything else you may have to order online or will need to start it from seed.

August Garden Care Checklist:

Weed as needed and protect yourself from the sun!

Check plants and lawn regularly for problems like fungus or insect damage. If you can catch it early it will be easier and cheaper to treat.

Water, water, water. If it is not raining enough your plants need it your house needs it.

Hurricane prep – trim back tree limbs and remove dead limbs.

Lawn care:

  • Your mower blades should be set to three inches and mow as needed.
  • Do not bag your clippings. They decompose quickly and are great nutrition for the soil.
  • Continue your fertilizing schedule you began March through May, 1 lb. per 1,000 square feet of lawn or 1 1/2 lb. of slow release nitrogen.
  • Add an iron fertilizer throughout the growing season to reduce yellowing.
  • Continue watering, ideally early in the day, between 5-9 a.m.
  • Apply a pre-emergent as needed to control weeds (remember, these only work on weeds that have not flowered yet)
  • The two biggest pest dangers to your lawn are Chinch Bugs and Grub.  Check out the links from the AgriLife Extension if you suspect these are damaging your lawn

Care of Common Houston-Area Plants:

  • Dead-head and remove spent blooms to promote more flowering.
  • Azaleas
    • Nothing, they are done for the year
  • Brugmansia (a.k.a. “Angel’s Trumpet”)
    • Feed plants every two weeks during the growing season with a 17-17-17 fertilizer, alternated with a fertilizer for blooming plants (high middle number (phosphorus). These are very hungry plants!
  • Bulbs
    • Certain fall bulbs can be planted now for spring blooming. Keep an eye out.
  • Gardenias
    • Use a 30-10-10 fertilizer every 4 weeks of the growing season.
  • Gladiolus
    • Fertilize when you see flower spikes and after you pick the flowers. Pinch off faded blooms.
  • Mandarin Trees and other Citrus
    • Water if the soil dries out, water should penetrate an inch or so down
    • Fertilize monthly from February to October if your plant is less than two years old, remove suckers as needed.
  • Edible Garden
    • August plants you can start from seed: Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumbers, Kale, Peppers, Radishes, and Tomatoes.
    • August plants to transplant: Peppers & Tomatoes
    • Consider planting cover crops to add nutrients to the soil.

All right, now it’s time to head outside and get to work!

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