gardening tips

Each month we remind you what to do, what to plant, and how to enjoy your central east coast Florida garden…

what to do in your garden in August

A reminder: We are still in a fertilizer ban period through September 30 to help us save our wonderful natural resource, the Indian River Lagoon.

August and September are still peak months in the hurricane season. Be sure to prune dead branches from your trees and shrubs since they could become projectiles in strong winds.

Help prevent mosquito breeding by emptying any containers of standing water, which is where mosquitoes like to lay their eggs. Or, use “mosquito dunks” in standing water (such as birdbaths) to prevent mosquito breeding.

Bananas thrive on nitrogen; sprinkle grass clippings around the base of banana trees to give them a boost.

September will be the month to plant veggies, so prepare your garden now for fall vegetables and herbs. The planting season is approaching and it’s important to prepare your bed properly. Remove grass and weeds and till the soil deeply, adding plenty of organic matter such as compost, cow manure or grass clippings.

Prune perennials that have been “growing like weeds” during these moist, warm months. They will grow back fuller and bloom again. Many of the perennial cuttings can be used for propagation.

Continue to watch for insect damage, and apply insecticidal soap, insecticides or horticultural oil sprays when necessary.

Many herbs can be planted in your garden and in pots this month including dill, fennel, mint, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.

August spotlight

Annuals and perennials for your August garden include alternanthera, begonias, bulbine, caladiums, coleus (above), Dahlberg daisy, gaillardia, jacobinia, lantana, lysimachia, marigolds, milkweed, pentas, Persian shield, purslane, salvias, sedums, shrimp plant, sweet potato, and vinca.