Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips Regions

Compost should be watered during dry periods so that it remains active.

Prune only to retain the shape. Do not prune spring-flowering shrubs such as azaleas and rhododendrons. Do not prune trees.

Mid-August through September is a good time to transplant any shrubs that you've purchased with root balls wrapped in burlap. Make sure you get them in the ground two to three days after purchase. Do not fertilize until the second year, when the feeding roots have become established.

Lawns or bare spots reseeded with grass now will have a chance to get established before winter sets in. Water often and mulch with hay.

Plant fall-flowering bulbs now.

Two or three leaves should be left when cutting gladiolus, so that the bulbs can ripen.

Sow these perennials outdoors for next spring: aquilegia, Phlox paniculata, digitalis, centaurea, and primrose.

Cut back the flower stalks of perennials that have finished blooming. Cut delphinium flower stalks to the ground, and a new, though smaller, flower stalk will develop. The flower will survive the coming cold days and even light frosts.

Lift, divide, and replant Japanese and Siberian irises soon after bloom. Transplant them to places where they will have "wet feet but dry knees."

If you notice a gap in your perennial bed between spring and fall blooms, visit a local nursery to see what's in bloom there and ask the experts for advice on what to plant.

The vegetable garden is likely to require daily harvesting now. Cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers should be picked as soon as the fruits are ready. This not only captures the best flavor, but it also makes way for new fruits.

Maximum flavor of herbs for drying is achieved by cutting them just before their flowers open.

Make sure that potatoes are not escaping into the sunlight. Hill or mulch them if they are.

Remove dead pea vines, bolted lettuce, and other plants that have gone by and add them to the compost pile. If they show signs of disease, however, burn them.

Separate melons from the ground with a thin board to prevent decay or damage from wireworms.

Cut out raspberry and blackberry canes that have just finished fruiting.

Keep harvesting your fruit and vegetables every couple days to encourage production into the fall.

Dig up your potatoes once the vines have died and the tops turn brown.

Harvest cantaloupe when the stem easily separates from the fruit.

Share the bounty of your garden with friends and those in need!

Ripen tomatoes on the vine, not the windowsill; put fallen green tomatoes in a brown paper bag with an apple.

Check your local nursery for fall-blooming plants, such as mums and asters.

Fertilize roses (last time this year).

Don't mow your grass too short during hot weather.

Continue to weed before the weeds go to seed.

Japanese beetles? Handpick and drop in a jar of detergent and water.

This is a great time to plant evergreen trees and shrubs, such as pines, spruces, and firs, because the plants will have time to develop their roots before the winter conditions.

Keep planting fall vegetables, such as lettuce, turnips, collards, kale, radishes, beans, spinach, and beets.

If there are dry spells, remember to water your plants and shrubs thoroughly to prevent drought.

Cut down raspberry canes.

Check your plants for any insect or disease damage and treat when necessary.

Remove any old plants that have stopped producing to help eliminate insects and diseases from your garden.

Remove any dead flowers from plants to encourage new growth.

Dig up and divide day lilies that have finished blooming.

Order spring-blooming bulbs at the end of the month for fall planting.

Check out local plant sales for great deals!

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.

Hardy lily bulbs may be planted in the ground and left to overwinter outdoors.

Do not neglect your plants in hanging baskets; they dry out faster than those in the ground.

Dig up your potatoes once the vines have died and the tops turn brown.

Ripen tomatoes on the vine, not the windowsill; put fallen green tomatoes in a brown paper bag with an apple.

Fertilize roses (last time this year).

Keep weeding your garden so that the weeds do not compete with your plants for water and nutrients.

Japanese beetles? Handpick and drop in a jar of detergent and water.

Tomato hornworms? Handpick and drown in soapy water or snip in half. Control the smaller worms with B.t. (Bacillus thuringiensis), a biological control.

This is a great time to plant new perennials, shrubs, and trees, especially evergreens; they have a better chance to establish themselves during the milder fall months than those planted in the spring.

There's still time to plant fall crops of beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, Chinese cabbage, kale, lettuce, and peas.

If there are dry spells, remember to water your plants and shrubs thoroughly to prevent drought damage.

Remove any old plants that have stopped producing to help eliminate insects and diseases from your garden.

Dig up and divide daylilies that have finished blooming.

Remove any dead flowers from plants to encourage new growth.

Order spring-blooming bulbs at the end of the month for fall planting.

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

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

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.

Continue harvesting fruit and vegetables as they ripen to encourage growth. (See our Ripeness Guide to know when veggies are ready to pick.)

Fertilize squash, cucumbers, and broccoli to keep production going as long as possible.

Keep a close watch on your plants to make sure that they do not dry out—especially raised gardens. Let the soil surface dry an inch or so deep before watering, and after make sure water reaches roots several inches deep.

If there is room in the garden, you can start your winter plants, such as winter kale, brussels sprouts, turnips, and parsley—plus, more beets, carrots, lettuce, and broccoli.

Keep an eye out for spider mites, caterpillars, root weevils, and other insects. Treat when necessary. (See our Pest pages.)

Yellow jackets and wasps often emerge. They are beneficial insects, so control with traps and lures as needed.

Spray fruit trees as needed to avoid pests.

Clean and fertilize strawberry beds.

Prune berry bushes after harvest.

Continue to remove any dead flowers from annuals and perennials.

Once the temperature beings to drop, you can divide and transplant perennials.

Separate spring-blooming bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils.

Keep feeding and watering your compost pile with yard trimmings and the hose!

Now through September is the ideal time to sow grass seed for a new lawn.

Make sure that your lawn is getting 1 inch of water per week to keep it green.

Apply a layer of mulch around your ornamental and garden plants to help protect them from any heat damage.

If you get frost, calculate your planting date to see if you have time for more crops. Count back the number of days to maturity plus 18 days for the harvest of the crop.

In areas with frost, there may be time for snap beans and Irish potatoes by midmonth and squash and cucumbers by end of month.

Be sure to harvest your fruit and vegetables as soon as they are ripe. See our Ripeness Guide on Almanac.com.

Check your plants for any diseases and pests and treat when necessary.

Prepare soil for fall plantings. Clean up all debris. Mix in compost or fertilizer.

Start plants for broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and onions to set out in September. In southern areas, cool-season crops can be planted.

Plant herb transplants: rosemary, ginger, laurel, Mexican tarragon.

Prepare your perennial flower beds now; you can start flowers for next spring soon.

Even in late summer, you can plant bulbs for many lilies (butterfly, Aztec, spider).

Continue to remove spent blooms, cut back overgrown bedding plants, and fertilize flowering annuals and perennials.

Stake any tall-growing plants to help prevent any damage.

Be sure to divide and replant any crowded plants. It is important to increase the air circulation between plants so that the plants can dry out between rain showers.

If your lawn seems stressed, determine whether it’s rainfall or pests or disease. Use a sharp mower and remove only one-half of grass blades to reduce stress.

If older palm fronds are yellowing, you may have a magnesium or potassium deficiency. Apply an appropriate palm fertilizer.

Fertilize ornamental plans that need more nutrition due to growth and leaching rains.

Lightly prune shrubs if they need it so that any new growth will harden off before the cold weather.