August 2018

August Gardening Tips
Plants in Flower
  • Crapemyrtle, Rose-of-Sharon, Peegee Hydrangea, Abelia, Canna, Dahlia, Trumpet Creeper, Cardinal Flower, Butterfly Weed, Phlox, Cleome, Hosta, Liriope and summer annuals 


  • Strawberries will benefit from a feeding of nitrogen fertilizer this month. 
  • Do NOT fertilize shrubs in August, September, October or November. 


  • Plant pansy seed this month in flats for planting in the landscape in September. 
  • Spider lily (lycoris), colchicum (autumn crocus) and sternbergia bulbs should be planted in August. 
  • Sow seed of the following perennials: hollyhock, delphinium and stokesia to produce healthy plants for next spring. 
  • Continue repotting house plants. 
  • Plant the following fall vegetable plants this month: beets, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, radish, rutabaga, spinach, squash and turnip. 


  • Do not prune shrubs in August, September, or October. 


  • Peach and nectarine trees need a trunk spray for peach tree borers at the end of August.
  • Spray the following fall vegetables for insects: broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower (worms), squash (borers). 
  • Continue weekly sprays on bunch grapes and tree fruits.
  • Control the following woody weeds by spraying them with the recommended herbicide: greenbriar, kudzu, trumpet creeper and wisteria. 

Lawn Care 

  • Treat if needed lawn areas for grubs. Use the recommended insecticides. 
  • In late August, prepare the lawn areas for seeding if you plan to have a tall fescue or bluegrass lawn. 


  • Cuttings of your favorite shrubs can still be taken in August. 

Specific Chores 

  • If you are planning to do some fall landscape planting, be sure you have a planting plan prepared. 
  • Dig Irish potatoes this month

Alexander County Farmer's Market

When:  Saturday's from 8:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

Where:  Old Hospital Parking Lot


If you have produce to sell see our market manager on Saturday morning.  If you are looking to purchase locally grown produce this is a great place to start.  

ServSafe Class Available
When: August 27th & 28th (9am-4pm) August 29 (8:30am-12pm)
Cost:  $100

Participants are trained and tested for certification through the ServeSafe Manager 7th Edition book. This class is taught in English but the manuals can be purchased in Spanish.  Test are available in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, French Canadian, Japanese and Large print.  

The course will cover the latest information in food safety, including personal hygiene; how to use food thermometers and keep temperature logs; how to prepare, store, cook, hold, cool reheat and serve food safety; and methods of cleaning and sanitizing.  

If you are interested in more information please contact the Alexander Extension Center at 828-632-3125 or email Der Holcomb at  

Preserving the Harvest:  

Dehydration Class 101


When:  August 30th at 5:30 p.m.

Dehydrated fruit and veggies can pack intense flavors while offering a healthy alternative to artificially sweetened snacks.  

Come learn the basics of dehydration as we dehydrate seasonal fruits and veggies, and learn how to make fruit leather.  Almost everything can be dehydrated, so don't miss out on this opportunity.  

Register by calling 828-632-4451 or email

4-H'ers Kaylor Berwick and Nolan Ritchie and volunteer 4-H leader Merlyn Davis from Alexander County attended the 71st annual 4-H Electric Congress July 10-12 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. 170     4-H'ers, adult leaders and N.C. Cooperative Extension agents from 47 counties attended the three-day event. Since 1947, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy have sponsored the annual congress to emphasize electrical energy concepts, energy conservation and safety working with electricity. The 4-H electric program is one of the most popular activities among Tar Heel 4-H'ers. The 4-H program is the youth education program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, based at North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities. More than 232,000 young people between the ages of 5 and 19 participate in North Carolina 4-H activities each year with the help of 20,563 adult and youth volunteers. 

Youth Attend 4-H Congress
A quote from John Maxwell states "Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower."

This summer Alexander County 4-Hers had the opportunity to build their leadership skills so they can empower others.

4-H Congress was held July 21-July 24.  This annual event begins with presentations, and the rest of 4-H Congress will improve delegate's knowledge of current issues, develop leadership skills, provide educational tours and social events, and recognize attendee's accomplishments.  Alexander County 4-H members will have the opportunity to stay on NC State's campus and interact with youth from across the state. Sarah Perry, Anna Beth Harris, Kaylor Berwick and Anna Reid represented Alexander County at Congress. Peyton Fox and Anna Reid represented Alexander County with Presentations on Saturday!

Alexander County 4-H is passionate about helping youth develop skills so they can be successful in the future.  Come be a part of an awesome organization!

 Read more N.C. Cooperative Extension news at >>
NC State University and N.C. A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sexual identity (including pregnancy) and veteran status. NC State, N.C. A&T, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.