While the list of gardening tasks for August is shorter than in many months, there are still ongoing tasks to perform in the garden. The hot temperatures of summer make it tough spending time working in your garden, so take advantage of cooler early mornings grooming and weeding. Take a few minutes to pick off old dead flower heads on your annuals; this will help flowers to continue to bloom longer into the season. Flowering perennials can be divided and transplanted this month or next. Be sure to do this during the coolest part of the day and water the plant thoroughly after transplanting. Blooming shrubs should be pruned for shape after they have finished flowering, remove any dead or diseased branches. Now is the time to start your fall and winter vegetables. It is a good time to plant starters or seeds of green onions, carrots, beets, lettuce, spinach, radishes, and winter cauliflower directly into the garden this month.
Few odds and ends: keep the weeds pulled before they have a chance to flower and go to seed, otherwise you will be fighting newly germinated weed seeds for the next year. Continue to watch for insects, slugs, and snails or disease damage throughout the garden, and take the necessary steps to control the problem.