Gardening Tips for the Southwest Region for August

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Start your fall vegetable garden by planting broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, carrots, collards, lettuce, and other cool-season vegetables that will winter over.

Remove old vegetable plants that have stopped producing; this will help eliminate pests and diseases from your garden.

Beware of caterpillars, aphids, spider mites, and other insects in the garden. Treat them as needed.

Stay on top of weeds; don't let them go to seed.

Deadhead spent flowers; this may encourage new blooms in September.

During these warmer months, raise the mowing height to 2.5 to 3 inches.

For Bermuda lawns, water 1 inch per week.

Check the mulch around your plants; if there is little or no mulch, make sure to put in a 3- to 4-inch layer to conserve moisture.

Divide and transplant iris, peonies, and other spring blooms as they go dormant.

Plant new perennials, shrubs, and trees; they have a better chance to establish themselves during the milder fall months than those planted in the spring.

Order your spring-blooming bulbs.

Be sure to regularly water your houseplants and potted plants. Use a water-soluble fertilizer so that the plants do not lose vital nutrients. Do not let houseplants dry out.

Pick your annuals and perennials frequently to encourage more flower production.