Southeast Gardening Tasks – Gardening In August When It’s Hot

Gardener Watering Plants
august SE
(Image credit: CREATISTA)

Gardening in August requires careful scheduling of your time to avoid being outside when it’s just too hot. By the time August rolls around, you’ve worked out a schedule to get your garden chores finished early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures drop somewhat from the afternoon highs. Read on for some Southeast gardening tasks.

August Garden To-Do List

When considering August garden chores, remember your primary objective is to keep your plants healthy through the heat. Extra water may be necessary for southeastern gardens in summer if rainfall is limited. Here are some things to do this month:

Lawn Care

Often there is little time left for anything extra, especially lawn maintenance that is needed badly in the heat of summer. The experts recommend mowing every five to ten days with a sharp mower blade and removing just one third from the height of the grass. This puts less stress on the lawn which may be struggling in the heat. Water the day before mowing if there is no rainfall.

Continue watering as needed, especially if brown patches appear from the heat or lack of irrigation. Yellow and brown patches can indicate insect damage, like chinch bugs, or from disease as well as too little water. Check for pests and treat for them as needed.

Fertilize St. Augustine grass and Bermuda grass this month. Maintain the health of your lawn in August for continued beauty throughout this and coming years. If you desire a lawn that remains green year-round, seed in annual or perennial rye grass at the end of the month or sometime in September. Purchase the seed now.

Propagation and Division

Cease fertilization of shrubs to avoid new growth that might get nipped by frost. Choose new shrubs you wish to plant in fall. Locate where you can buy them or propagate by layering if there are already bushes available.

Divide daylilies, iris, and other spring blooming perennials this month. If clumps appear overcrowded or blooms have become scarce, division will correct these issues and provide plant material for other areas.

If you’ve wanted to start a new bed or other planting area, take advantage of this division, and get it started. Space out the spring bloomers. You can add annuals and more spring/summer blooming perennials now, in fall, or even next spring. Walking iris, spider lilies, Aztec lily, and butterfly lily are plants that can go in the ground any time of year.

More Southeast Gardening Tasks

Those in more upper parts of the South can begin planting for fall harvests with cool-season crops – radishes, lettuce, and other leafy greens for autumn harvest, and spinach in a protected location, like a cold frame, for early spring harvest. The lower southern area should wait for cooler temps to arrive.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.