Landscaping Newsletter and Garden Tips
August, 2017   Volume 149
 A Personal Message
Gardening work is easy in August.  A little weeding and a lot of harvesting.  A chance to enjoy all the hard work you did during the spring and summer.

My teams finally had a chance to do some landscaping work around our own offices.  Here's what they did...

I was amazed that I caught the sunlight just coming over the roof of the offices.  This was a very early morning picture.  
I've always loved the flagstone walkway that winds around the front of the office.
Melissa chose pink crape myrtles for the border of the property along the white fence.  I'm glad she did.  This is a great choice for curb appeal.  You can really see these trees as you travel the road in front of our offices. 
The team cleared away so many weeds that I now have room for more plants.  
Note to self...you need more plant material in this spot next year.
Hope you'll continue reading for this month's best garden tips.  And check out my Garden Resolutions for next year...see what you think.

Enjoy the rest of our lazy daisy days of summer! 

August Garden Tips

*  Deadhead annual flowers and roses.  You can easily do this by hand or with a pair of good pruning shears.

Deadheading keeps your flowers coming back with more blooms.  Enjoy them while you can!

You can use the pinch method.
Hand shears work well too.

*  Pull weeds as soon as you notice them, before they go to seed in the garden. This will help reduce overwintering weeds that can wreak havoc next year.

Landscapers often call this "wire grass."  It's a very difficult weed to extract.  Small hand tools like this big gripper/trowel may help.

*  By the way, that hand tool that's pictured above is by Fiskars.  We use a lot of Fiskars equipment, such as pruning shears and loppers.  I also found out that my office staff even uses their scissors.

No, we're not being paid to endorse their products.  I just wanted to pass along information on a good tool at a reasonable price.  Check them out at your local hardware store or go to their website for more information: 
*  Have you ever tried to dry flowers?  We have and it works well, depending on the flowers you choose.

This is a wonderful project for late summer.  You might have your fall decor ready when the weather changes!

Hydrangea are a perfect choice for drying.  Those big beautiful blooms will look wonderful in a big vase with autumn leaves.

Lots of flowers are good candidates for drying including hydrangea blossoms, globe amaranth, celosia, straw flowers and ornamental grasses.

Harvest them when they are dry in the morning but before noon when temperatures begin to get hot.  With annual flowers, select those that are not fully open.  

Once you cut the stems, strip all the leaves and remove any damaged parts of the flower.  Store them in a dry, dark, warm place, preferably one with good air circulation.

Depending on the type of flower, it may take two to three weeks before they are completely dry.  You can also hang them upside down to dry, or in a vase without water.

Once they dry completely, the blooms should last for years, although the colors will fade over time.

*  And, here's that all important garden tip for August: 
                                 WATERING.  IT'S A MUST!
 No matter what method you choose, plant material even lawns, must be watered during periods of drought.   

If possible, water plants a few hours before applying pesticides, especially during times of drought.  In these conditions, plants have less water in tissues, and as pesticides enter cells, they may burn leaves.

Avoid watering during midday, when more water will evaporate than soak into soil.  You can really burn plant vegetation when you water them in the blazing sunlight.

It's not uncommon for plants to wilt on hot afternoons even though soil has adequate moisture.  The wilting occurs because plants are losing water faster than their roots can absorb it.  Leaves should revive by early evening, after the sun is no longer directly on leaves.  If not, water deeply.

Some shrubs need weekly deep watering now.  Rhododendrons are beginning to form flower buds for next year's show, and adequate water is vital.  Winter show-offs such as hollies and pyracantha need water to ensure berries grow vivid and don't drop. 
We've helped a lot of people with their landscaping projects during our 20 years in business!  Please don't hesitate to contact me if we can assist with any of your outdoor chores.  Call me at 410.770.5882.

What Will I Do Next Year?

While I was researching the garden tips for August, I ran across a really fun article from Sunshine Community Gardens.  They're a non-profit group in Austin, TX that leases land from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  They have about 200 community garden plots on these three acres of land. 

Their Board of Directors also publishes a newsletter and I read one from August several years ago.  They wrote an article entitled, "What Will I Do (And Not Do) Next Year."

Some of their items were hysterical, others were informative and the whole thing was just fun.  You can read about it in this link:  

And, here are some entries of my very own

To Do/Don't Do List

To Do List

*  I will apply pre-emergent in the flower gardens earlier in the year, so that I don't have to weed so darned often. 
*  I will fill in those bare spots that are glaringly apparent when the above mentioned weeds are finally pulled. 
*  I will tie up my droopy tomato plants more often, so that the tomatoes don't drag in front of the lawn mowers and I lose delicious tomatoes. 
*  I will power wash my deck next spring, so that it's not slick and I run the risk of falling and breaking my neck. 
And finally.  I will trim the bushes more often so that they don't grow across the doorway and so that it doesn't look like I live in an abandoned house.

Don't Do List 

*  I won't apply so much compost to my vegetable garden that it kills two sets of pepper plants which I paid a lot of money for EACH time I bought them. 
*  I won't wait two weeks to install new plant material after I bring it home from the nursery.  My plants deserve better.
*  I won't be forced to physically cut back tomato plants with because I didn't put cages on them soon enough, resulting in the loss of even more delicious tomatoes.
*  I won't accidentally drop a hopper full of charcoal ashes from my grill onto the lawn beside my deck which resulted in an ugly bare spot that has yet to completely grow over.
And finally.  I won't try to trap a raccoon with a broken trap, because he can eat a whole tin of sardines, then walk right back out of the trap that night and into my garden.  Yes, I lost even more delicious tomatoes this way.     

What Will You Do or Not Do Next Year?