August Actions for the Florida Gardener

FertilizingLandscape Maintenance

The Florida homeowners August landscaping to-do list varies by plant category and may include fertilizing, trimming, and pest control. Use our blog to guide you in providing mid-summer care of the plants in your garden beds and on your property.

We’re in the back half of summer, and there are landscaping tasks that need your attention, Florida gardener. Skim this article and schedule those feedings, prunings, and controls that you might otherwise forget to do. Keep your landscape looking great during this hot and humid season.

Shrubs

Shrubs can get a granular or liquid fertilizer feeding now. Prune them back to control legginess, promote fullness, and control height. Hedge shrubs such as viburnum will continue to need trimming every few weeks until the weather turns cooler.

Perennials

Perennial flowers—those plants that last longer than one season—need pest control in August. Watch for aphids, slugs, snails, grasshoppers, and garden flea hoppers. Some Florida grasshoppers grow to be four inches long and have voracious appetites. Oil sprays, soap sprays, and synthetic pesticides will control these pests and are available at garden centers and nurseries.

Roses

Stake tall roses this month. Prune back long, stray shoots. Thin out and cut off dead plant parts.

Annuals

Fertilize all annuals. Some will be at the end of their life cycle so either remove them or trim them back to encourage some last growth. Add new annuals to replace the ones that are finished serving your garden.

Trees & Palms

Trees don’t need fertilizer in August, but palms do. Buy palm fertilizer at a garden center or nursery and apply according to the directions.

Lawn Turf

August is not the time of year to fertilize your lawn, so don’t be tempted. If your grass looks yellowish, you can add a feeding of iron, but leave it at that. Liquid iron is available for purchase or mix your own with ferrous sulfate in water. Two ounces of the product in 3-5 gallons of water will sprinkle-feed 1,000 square feet of grass.

Citrus Trees

Yes, feed your citrus trees this month. Buy citrus fertilizer at a garden center or nursery. How much should you apply? Measure around the citrus trunk six inches up from the ground. For each inch of circumference, apply ¼ pound of fertilizer. An eight-inch-circumference tree would get 2 pounds of fertilizer scattered around the trunk and out to the dripline.

Bulbs

Now is the time to dig up bulbs that are going dormant. Divide and transplant them to expand your bulb garden and give new bulbs plenty of space to develop. If you’ve got too many, give the extras away to gardening friends who might love to add them to their landscapes.

Water Gardens

Add plants to your water or bog gardens this month. Dig up overgrown plants, divide them, and replant them with enough space that they can thrive. Grasshoppers and aphids may be enjoying your water garden plants, so be alert to these pests and spray or pick them off. Service your water pump if you have one.

Fruit Plants

Do not fertilize fruit plants in August, unless they are grapes, nectarines, and peaches. These plants may need a little help to keep their leaves robust into the fall. Prune blackberries down to the ground and blueberry plants to 4-6 feet in height.

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