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Seasonal Garden Tip:
Garden Tip

Submitted by FSGC club member Ruth E. Duckless
(Our belated thanks to Didi Saulnier for our previous garden tip on Winter Bulbs.)

What to do in the garden in August in zones 3 – 4
   As we know, weather in the NEK is fickle to say the least. This summer season has been more so than usual. Excessive rain, temperatures fluctuating from too hot and humid to Fall like. August is temperamental normally so be prepared. And we all know that Barton Fair is the “official” start to Fall in the NEK.

  • Water  August can be hot and dry.  Make sure everything is getting enough water, (so far not a problem this year!!) about an inch per week for most plants and lawn, more in extreme heat and drought. Water in the morning to minimize evaporation.

Feed annuals  Annuals need regular fertilizing for good bloom production, about every 4 weeks. Keep deadheading. Replace the scraggly ones with fall plants such as mums.

  • Harvest  Many of your vegetables will be ready for harvest by now.  Early season crops have been coming all along, but beans should be ready this month and tomatoes and peppers coming up soon.
  • Check containers and baskets  Container gardens, hanging baskets and window boxes dry out quickly and need frequent watering.  They will also need to be fertilized regularly.
  • Weed  Keep weeding to prevent a big fall weed crop that competes with your garden plants for water and nutrients. Plus it will help to give you a head start on that Spring clean-up.
  • Watch for powdery mildew  Powdery mildew usually appears in late summer.  Fungicidal sprays can be applied to susceptible plants before it attacks. (It seemed to appear overnight on my honeysuckle vines)
  • Plant peonies  Plant or divide and transplant peonies between the end of August and October.  Remember that peonies prefer not to be disturbed, so divide only if the clump has gotten way too large.
  •  Plant fall and Spring bloomers By the end of August you should be planting fall blooming annuals or perennials that need to overwinter for blooming the next year.
  • Divide  Daylilies, bearded iris, and peonies can be divided by end of August or into September.  Water well a few days ahead of division and again after replanted.  Mulch well.
Here are some links to local and global gardening resources:


Featured Resource:

“Improve your Home Garden:  Beginner’s Guide to Earthworms”
Healthy garden soils contain an abundance of earthworms.  You could spend a happy hour reading all about them at this site.  While exploring the site, see if you can find the answers to the following:
What is a clitellum?
Does adding lime to soil help or hurt earthworms?
Are the earthworms in our soil native to our region?
Do earthworms have gizzards?

National Garden Clubs
Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont
New England Region
Old Stone House
Wooden Horse Arts Guild
Mac Center for the Arts
Charlie Nardozzi’s gardening site
Master Gardener Program
Vermont Invasive Plants

National Audubon Society
VT Land Trust
American Public Gardens Assoc.
Vermont Nature Conservancy
VT Agency of Natural Resources
VT Chapter of the Am. Chestnut Foundation
Vermont Local Food System
The Garden Central