Saturday, August 9, 2014

August plant and tree care tips

August is upon us. It's hard to believe that the dog days of summer are already here.

August is a challenging time for the upkeep of your garden. many plants are on their way out, some need replacing, some need to be planted. Let's take a look at some of out top recommendations for August. 


When it comes to the August garden, plants and trees, irrigation is the main thing you have to do on a regular basis. The best way to water can vary greatly depending on the garden situation. For this reason, it is best to watch your plants closely and regularly feel the soil with your fingertips to check for dryness. Obviously wilting plants need water, but also check the soil and be careful not to overwater and allow the top layer of soil to dry between waterings.

Plant Groundcover

It's also time to get a new groundcover started, whether in a recently cleared area or as a lawn replacement. As with any new planting, make sure it is kept moist until autumn rains set in.

Check for Bugs

You should also take special care to monitor newly planted trees and shrubs for insects or disease. Succulent new growth is often the first area to be attacked by insects. Aphids can be hosed off foliage. Many sucking, piercing, and chewing insects will finish feeding this month, leaving cosmetic damage but nothing serious enough to warrant chemical control.

Prune and Trim

August is a great time to prune hedges. Shrubs grows faster at the top. To counteract top-heavy growth, clip a hedge slightly wider at the base, slanting it in at the top. 

Tree triming is generally not advised this month, with the exception of shrubs that have just flowered. They are pruned immediately following their flowering.

This is the month that annuals need to get trimmed. Cut off dead flowers to encourage blooming. If heat causes annuals to stop producing flowers, cut the plants back by half and continue to water and fertilize; most kinds will perk up and start blooming again when the weather cools.

Add Color

Pop in some late-summer color: Many perennials reach their bloom peak in spring and summer, but there are plenty of flowers that will carry a border into later summer and fall. Choices include aster, cape fuchsia, chrysanthemum, coreopsis, daylily, gaillardia, gaura, Japanese anemone, lavatera, Nemesia fruiticans, rudbeckia, Russian sage, salvia, and summer phlox. Before shopping, check to see which plants are best adapted to your climate.

Eat Your Veggies

August also means you'll have more veggies! Early ripening tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers are starting to produce. The first of the garden beans are probably ready as well. August is a great time for starting fall batches of many cole crops and, in later August, greens and a new batch of peas. Cole crops include broccoli, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, etc. Short season root crops such as radishes and scallions can be started now, as well. When harvesting lettuces, cut every other plant to the ground. This practice allows each lettuce head to develop fully.

The best quality and best tasting salad greens come from plants that were watered frequently and lightly rather than infrequently but deeply. This advice is the exact opposite to what is recommended for watering trees, shrubs, perennials, grass, and other plants.


For your fruit trees this is the last month we recommend summer fertilizer. Sometimes it is appropriate to do some pruning of certain fruit trees in August, especially water sprout removal. These are the very vertical growths, frequent on apples, which shoot up after the fruit has started setting in spring. They are usually not desirable as future branches and can be removed. Major pruning can sometimes be done but is usually put off until winter.

On this flip side, roses and other repeat blooming shrubs can benefit from continued fertilizing if you have not done so recently. As most rose growers know, they usually benefit from continued use of fungicide to keep that black spot and mildew in check as well.

Lots to consider here. Hope this helps you keep your trees, shrubs and gardens in tip-top shape. If it seems like too much to monitor call us or your local tree service with a plant health care division. The Trees "R" Us, Inc. plant health care is a tree, plant and shrub maintenance program that will allow you to have more time to devote to your family rather than your lawn and garden. We fertilize, protect and care for your plants giving you timely advice and proper maintenance. Check out our plant health care program on our website at

At Trees "R" Us, Inc. we take pride in not only our professional tree care services, but also educating our customers. It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment. We hope you found this post informative and educational.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs. Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services. Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at or at 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading,
Jenni, President and CEO, Trees "R" Us, Inc.

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