Bailey Arboretum Horticultural Notes: August 2015

*No quote this month. Most quotes about the August garden are depressing.

 Fixes for the Tired Garden:  Concentrate on a few things to perk up the garden. Make a strong first impression. What is the first thing seen? Entrance to driveway, pots at front door, walkway plantings?  Create a clear and inviting path, some pruning, edging and a fresh layer of mulch can transform an overgrown garden into a trim and tidy one, add a focal point to attract the visitor into the garden with an arbor, birdbath, sculpture, gate. A featureless lawn perks up with a bench or brightly colored chairs.

 Summer House Guests: Before they arrive refresh mulch, position outdoor furniture for best effect-whether you will use it that way or not. Water the garden for rigor, deadhead flowering plants, walk the garden for possible debris, wipe furniture clean, sweep any leaf litter under the shrubs

 Camouflage: Unsightly spots in the garden? Cut back and remove dead or dying plant material and add a sculpture, garden ornament or planted container or even a lattice screen.

 Weeding: Too tired to catch up? Work on the edges, the pavement, along the driveway and paths. Perennial weed do not respond well to weed killer at this time.

 Unify the Garden: This weather has brought a strange growth cycle, if things look out of whack buy some annuals that at least match the color of the dominant plants in your garden, a single color scheme adds harmony

 Pruning: Prune rambling roses, hedges (for the last time), herbs, wisteria. Remove old raspberry canes.

 Deadhead: Cut back hardy Geraniums and Lady’s Mantle for flush of new growth. Dead head dahlias, roses, penstemmon and all spent annuals for continued bloom..

 Lawns: Show your concern with the environment and “Go Brown” in August; it will green up naturally in the fall.

 Pests: Watch for grubs, mites, aphids, lace bugs, earwigs etc.

 Vegetables: Check the veggie patch daily, stake, feed, water and harvest as need be, Can plant fall crops this month.

 Watering: Soak drought stressed plants and spring flowering shrubs as they set bud for next year before watering the lawn. Soaking is better than sprinklers in August.