August gardening tips

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For the lawn

  • Late summer is the most effective time to control fire ants with baits.
  • Treat lawns for grubs only if you find more than 5 grubs per square foot.
  • August is the last month to fertilize bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass. It is recommended to apply 1 pound of Nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.

    Trees, shrubs and flowers

  • Now is the time to start making plans for planting trees. Fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs in the landscape. August is a good time to analyze your site and make decisions on what to plant this coming fall.
  • Do not prune or fertilize landscape shrubs for the remainder of the year to allow them to prepare for dormancy. Properly acclimated plants have a greater degree of winter hardiness.
  • Fall webworms form large masses of webbing on branch ends but usually do not cause much damage. If unsightly, rip webs open with a long pole or disrupt with a strong stream of water.
  • Pull up tired annuals and dead-head those that are healthy.
  • Get a second bloom from faded annuals by cutting them back by one third their height, then feed with a liquid fertilizer.

    Fruit, vegetables and herbs

    Be on the outlook for the pecan weevil. The pecan weevil usually emerges from the soil in early August after a significant rainfall. Treatments should begin the first of August after a rainfall. Drench the trunk and lower limbs with insecticide (Sevin).

    Order seeds for your fall vegetable garden.

    To grow your own transplants, start seed of broccoli, kale, collard, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, and cauliflower in containers of potting soil this month.

    Sow parsley seed direct in the garden or in containers. Soak seed in warm water for 6 to 8 hours before sowing.

    Sow lettuce, spinach, arugula, and other salad greens in the garden or grow in containers.

    Direct seed carrots, beets, rutabaga, and kohlrabi.

    Spray peach tree trunks with permethrin to prevent peach tree borers from killing trees.

    Got gardening questions? We can help! Contact the Wayne County Extension Gardener Volunteer Plant Clinic on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm. One can reach the Wayne County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Clinic by phone at 919-731-1433, e-mail at Master.Gardener@waynegov.com, or stopping by the Wayne County Extension Office at The Maxwell Regional Agricultural & Convention Center (3114B Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro).

    Jessica Strickland is an Agriculture Extension Agent, specializing in horticulture for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Wayne County.

    Upcoming Wayne County Extension Gardening Programs

  • Visit the Farm Credit Farmers Market located behind The Maxwell Center at 3114 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro. The market is open Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Plant Propagation Basics class will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the Wayne County Extension Office, 3114B Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro. The workshop will cover techniques and tips on the many different methods for creating new plants from seeds to cuttings. A $5 registration fee is required. Pre-registration is not required. Students registering on the day of the class are asked to arrive a few minutes early.
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