August 2020 Newsletter
"Breathe the sweetness that hovers in August."
~ Denise Levertov
It's hard to believe that it is already August. This year has been a blur of ever changing action and inaction. A year where the word "normal" is difficult to comprehend. Amidst all the uncertainty currently in the world, there is a place we can find some peace and respite;
In the garden one can release the stress of health and wealth concerns and attend to plants. Growing and caring for plants has been found to be beneficial for our mental, as well as physical health. Gardening is a great way to reduce stress and enhance your daily life. The sense of accomplishment one feels when viewing their flower garden in full bloom or the taste of a homegrown tomato is hard to match. With all the chaos and uncertainty that surrounds us on a daily basis, the regular routine of growing plants is reassuring. While we care and nurture our plants, we are also caring for and nurturing ourselves. We hope you are finding some comfort in your garden, regardless if it is an acre filled with blooming flowers and vegetables or a couple of pots on your kitchen counter.
Be safe. Happy Gardening!
We have been named the Best Florist in Northern Kentucky for 2020 by NKY Magazine! Thank you to our wonderful customers who have supported us through this difficult time and throughout the years. We are honored and will continue to work hard for you. Don't hesitate to contact us for all your floral needs. We look forward to working with you in the future.
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Gardening in August
The summer may beginning to wind down, but there is plenty to do in the garden. August is filled with hot and humid days. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and work outside during cooler times of the day. Hot humid weather can encourage some plant diseases (leaf spot, powdery mildew, rust, etc.). Look below for useful links on identifying diseases. Most importantly, make sure you take time to enjoy your garden. It could be as simple as enjoying a cold drink while sitting amongst plants on your garden balcony, relaxing with a book on your porch, or cutting some flowers for a homemade arrangement. Don't forget to take the time to enjoy all of your labor over the past few months. You deserve it.
The Annual Garden
Maintain your July care throughout August. You may have noticed that some annuals are falling victim to the heat and humidity of the summer. It may be time to remove plants that are underperforming.
Continue to check your plants daily for insects and disease.
Remove and throw away any diseased foliage.
Pluck and destroy easy to snatch bugs.
Water regularly. The easiest way to know if you need to water is by using the finger test. Stick a finger a couple of inches in the soil, if the soil is moist do not water, if the soil is dry water the plant (until water drains through the drainage holes if it is in a pot).
Remove spent blooms to encourage faster growth and new blooms.
If your plant begins to look spindly and leggy give it a haircut. Cut the long thin growth off and let the plant regrow.
Take stock of what plants grew well and what didn't. Start thinking of updating your containers and landscapes with new annuals once summer begins fading into fall.
The Perennial Garden
Continue to check your plants regularly for insects and disease.
Most plants perform best with 1 inch of water per week. Pay attention to the weather, if it has been dry and hot for a couple of days check your garden to see if any plants need a drink. Newly planted plants are more likely to need a drink if they are not yet established. Less frequent deeper waterings are more beneficial than frequent quick waterings. Avoid wetting the foliage of plants or water early in the day to allow foliage to dry before the sun sets.
If you prefer a clean and tidy garden, deadhead spent blooms or leave the dried blooms for the birds and visual interest.
Just like your annuals, take stock of your perennials, trees, and shrubs. If you are thinking of adding plants to your garden this fall, start researching what will grow best in your landscape.
The Vegetable Garden
Inspect the vegetable garden daily for weeds, insects, and disease.
Remove and throw away any diseased foliage.
If you find any unwelcome guests the quickest and simplest way to remove them is to pick them off plants with your fingers and drop them in a bucket of soapy water or use a strong stream of water to knock them off the plant.
Water earlier in the day, if possible, to allow foliage to dry before dark.
Harvest! Enjoy fresh from the garden produce while you can. Canning, freezing, and drying an abundance of fruits and vegetables will extend your harvest. You can always share a harvest with a neighbor.
Preparing Your Lawn for Fall
August is when you need to begin preparing your lawn for sowing grass seed in September.
Your goal in preparing your lawn is to create an area that will have good soil to seed contact. Eliminate weeds using selective or non-selective herbicides. Fill in any divots in your yard with top soil. Bald patches of compacted dirt should be loosened and then covered with healthy top soil. It is crucial that you do not work the soil when it is wet. Working with wet soil will compact it even more, making it difficult for seed to germinate. Once you have removed all weeds and leveled your yard you are ready to apply seed.
The best time to seed is late August through September. The second best time is in late winter; February through March. How much seed you will need depends on the size of the area you are seeding and if you are creating a new lawn or overseeding.
Recomended seeding rates are:
KY Bluegrass 2lbs per 1,000ft²
Perennial Rye 4 lbs per 1,000ft²
Tall Fescue 6lbs per 1,000ft²
After you have seeded it is imperative that you do not let the seedbed dry out. Depending on the weather, you may need to water two to four times a day. You want to make sure that the top .5 - 1" of soil remains moist, but not oversaturated. As the seedlings grow you can gradually reduce your watering frequency. Once your grass has grown a few inches it is safe to mow. Make sure you only remove 1/3 of total blade length in a single mowing.
The best time to apply fertilizer is in early and late fall. We recommend using the fertilome 3-Step program. Apply two applications of Lawn Food Plus Iron® in the fall and an application of For All Seasons II® in late winter.
Stop by the store to pick up everything you need to grow a healthy and lush lawn. We are ready to help with any and all of your lawn care questions.
To learn more about establishing a healthy lawn read this article from Purdue University's Extension.
Sometimes referred to as “nutgrass” due to the resemblance to grasses, nutsedge is an aggressive and persistent weed commonly found in lawns. Getting rid of a nutsedge infestation can be very difficult and take a long time. Identifying nutsedge is crucial to eradication. Even though they resemble grasses, most herbicides for grass control do not work on sedges. Nutsedge is not a grass nor a broadleaf weed, it is a sedge.
Nutsedge stems are triangular versus round and hollow like grass stems. Nutsedge leaves are thicker and stiffer than grass leaves, and are arranged in groups of three at the base of the plant. Nutsedge leaves also appear creased with prominent mid-veins.
Nutsedge is active from late April through to frost. A single plant can produce hundreds of underground tubers during the summer. Think of these tubers, called nutlets, as the plants’ roots and how nutsedge primarily reproduces. A frost may kill the aboveground portion of the plant, but the tubers are perennial and will overwinter. This is one tough plant. You will need to use both cultural and chemical practices to eradicate nutsedge.
The best way to control nutsedge is to grow a healthy lawn that can compete with weeds. Lawns mown too short are susceptible to nutsedge. Hand pulling the individual weeds will eliminate the stems, but will not remove the tubers in the soil. If you only have a few nutsedge plants you can remove the entire plant by digging around the plant’s base.
Herbicides will most likely be required when you have large patches of nutsedge. Read labels carefully (and follow the directions), herbicides for broadleaf weeds or grasses will not work on nutsedge. Herbicides for dandelion and crabgrass control will not work. Only an herbicide that is labeled for sedges will be effective. Ortho Nutsedge Killer for Lawns® and HI-YIELD Nutsedge Control® are two products that we recommend. Regardless of which herbicide you use, you will most likely have to apply multiple applications and it may take a couple of years before you notice a large reduction in the amount of nutsedge plants. Be patient. We are here to help you .
To learn more about nutsedge and control practices please visit the Purdue Extension website.
How are your house plants? Have they grown over the summer? Did you move them outside or to another spot in your home for more sunlight? I bet they have grown.
In August, most tropical house plants are still actively growing. Continue fertilizing them regularly. A weekly inspection for pests and disease will make it easier to keep your plants happy and healthy. If you have added to your house plant collection you may need to start planning where every plant will go once it is time to bring them indoors. Some common annuals can be grown successfully as house plants. Begonias and geraniums are commonly grown as both annuals and house plants.
Even if you do not have access to a large yard to create a garden, as long as you can provide three basic house plant needs you can create a garden almost anywhere. Just provide shelter during cold and inclement weather, light, and water. How much light you can offer will determine which plants you can grow.
We are here to help you with any house plant questions. We have a great selection of tropical house plants, fertilizers, and specialty soils to help you grow a lush indoor jungle.
"August is ripening grain in the fields blowing hot and sunny,
the scent of tree-ripened peaches,
of hot buttered sweet corn on the cob.
Vivid dahlias fling huge tousled blossoms through gardens and
joe-pye-weed dusts the meadow purple."
~ Jean Hersey
Your Friends at Jackson Florist & Garden Center