The heat is definitely on for gardeners and their gardens throughout the month of August. It can be challenging to keep plants thriving and looking their best during late summer’s heat and humidity.
Keep your August garden checklist handy and try to beat the heat by performing maintenance tasks earlier in the day, and just as you water your garden, be sure to stay hydrated yourself.
Carve out some rest and relaxation time, but don’t forget to make room for some key tasks from our August Garden Checklist Zones 9-10, which will help keep your garden looking great and producing as we round out summer and transition to fall.
Fall Garden Planning
Continue to assess your gardens this month and jot down pertinent information about diseases, weather, rainfall and humidity, pests, successes, growing failures, and garden goals.
Here are some highlights of what you should be thinking about on the August Garden Checklist Zones 9-10.
- The summer sun is intense, and the heat can be unbearable to work in, so plan to do your garden chores early in the day or later in the evening. Do your best to keep yourself hydrated and protected from the sun.
- If you plan to travel during the month of August, consider asking a friend or neighbor to help you water your garden. Reward them with your harvest for the time you are gone.
- Monitor your gardens for pests and disease and jot those areas down in your garden journal so you can avoid planting the same plant varieties in those locations next year.
- Purchase some seed collecting envelopes, labels, and seed storage containers so you can harvest seeds from your best-performing plants.
- It’s time to start perusing seed catalogs for bulbs to plant in fall that will produce beautiful blooms come spring. Place your orders early for the best selection.
- Don’t forget about planting more marigolds, cosmos, calendula, sunflowers, zinnias, and other fall-blooming annuals to encourage beneficial pollinators to the garden.
- Make a note of the temperature, pests, rainfall, and overall weather conditions that are happening this month.
- Take photos of your gardens and stick them in your garden journal so you can have a visual of your garden’s progress. It will help you as you plan next year’s gardens.
- Continue to search for recipes and ways to use and prepare the fruits of your harvest. Ask friends and neighbors for tried and true favorites.
- Regularly check your garden center and nursery for an end-of-season clearance section. Sometimes there are straggly, heavily discounted perennials, pots, or other garden supply deals that you can snag.
- Monitor plants for signs of stress and troubleshoot the problem. Is more water needed? Fertilizer? Or could plants benefit from a shade cloth?
August Garden Maintenance in Zones 9-10
Gardens are in full bloom, and fall gardens are already in the works. The majority of the garden maintenance tasks warrant repeating throughout the growing season.
Weeding, mulching, pruning, fertilizing, watering, and a few other tasks on the August Garden Checklist Zone 9-10 will do wonders to keep your garden thriving and productive in the heat of summer.
Summer Garden Weeding
Weeding regularly is the best method for organic weed control so, continue to weed your gardens frequently. The more often you evict those weeds, the less likely they will have the opportunity to go to seed and further propagate.
Summer & Fall Garden Mulching
Mulching the garden continues to help regulate soil temperature, cool plant roots, retain soil moisture, deter weeds, and protect the soil from erosion. Keep some mulch close at hand in case a bare spot opens up in your garden.
August Garden Pruning Checklist
- Pinch off basil to promote a bushier plant and keep it from going to seed.
- Pinch off the flowers of coleus plants to encourage a fuller plant with more beautiful foliage.
- Deadhead flowering annuals and perennials.
- Trim back herbs to prevent going to seed and prolong your harvest.
- Prune tomato suckers, pepper plants, and eggplant to encourage new growth.
- Prune squash plants if their foliage is overlapping other plants.
- By the end of the month, you can remove the female flowers from pumpkin plants to push more energy back into the producing plant.
- Deadhead roses and practice summer rose care during the month of August.
Fertilizing the Summer Vegetable Garden
Vegetables are heavy feeders and have been working hard to produce this summer, so they could benefit from compost or organic fertilizer. If you are using your summer vegetable garden beds for a fall crop, it is paramount to amend the soil with nutrients. Fertilize citrus trees after harvest.
Summer Garden Watering Tips
Plant root systems are well developed by now, so long, deep watering sessions are paramount for your vegetable gardens, hanging baskets, perennial gardens, and fruit trees success.
Give your plants a thorough drink and allow the soil to dry between waterings. Container plants and hanging baskets will likely require daily watering because the heat can dry them out quickly.
As always, if there is a water usage restriction in your area, please abide by those regulations.
Other August Garden Checklist Zones 9-10 Must-Dos
- Repair your lawn by patching up bare spots.
- Protect tender vegetable plants with shade cloth to protect them from the intensity and heat of the sun.
- Amend vegetable gardens with compost and other organic soil amendments to replenish the soil.
- Remove spent vegetable plants that have stopped producing to keep pests and diseases from becoming a problem.
- Divide irises and perennials at the end of the month.
- Remove dead or underperforming annuals. If they are not thriving now, it’s best to cut your losses. Place a high-performing container of blooms in empty spots.
- Deadhead perennial flower heads.
- Collect seeds from your most successful vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
- Remove spent tomato plants and pumpkin vines to make room for fall plantings.
- With the heat bearing down, raise the lawn mower height to 3 inches to prevent scorching.
Outdoor Planting in August
Fall gardens should be planted and are being maintained this month:
- Plant garlic in late August or in the Fall and enjoy a carefree crop come springtime.
- Remember to cover your fall crops with shade cloth to keep them protected.
- Plant seeds for marigolds, nasturtiums, cosmos, and zinnias for fall blooms.
Summer Garden Harvesting
Harvest citrus fruits and continue to harvest all vegetables as they ripen, checking them daily for developed fruits. Regular harvesting encourages more fruiting and helps to avoid woody or bitter produce.
Vegetables such as zucchini, squash, and cucumbers can overgrow during the heat of summer. Pick them when they are between 6-8 inches in length for optimal flavor.