August is traditionally the time to prepare our fall gardens, whether it’s for crops or flowers.  And typically that’s to avoid the first frost.  In Oklahoma City that’s November 3rd this year.  And we’re merely weeks away from Autumn.  Though it might be difficult to believe now that we’re in the heat of August, and we’ve been seeing record highs across the country.  Moreover here in Oklahoma we’ve had dog days of summer too.  But at least July wasn’t as dry as it normally is.  However that’s due to the approximate 4.5 inches of rain we saw in Oklahoma City this year.  With that being said, let’s discuss what to do in August in the garden.

What to do in August in the Garden

A Flower Garden

purple and yellow pansies

Photo by Pixabay on

  • Weed your garden

Whether you have a vegetable garden or a flower garden, it will need to be tended to.  Removing weeds from your garden keeps the latter healthy, because weeds often steal the nutrients your plants require.

  • Prune existing perennials

If your current perennials are looking in bad shape and you want them to return next year, just cut them back.  But leave the root system intact, so they’ll come back the following year.

  • Add new color

However, if you decide you’d rather have some new color now, then remove your current perennials.  And add new flowers and shrubs.  Including peonies, pansies, sedums, petunias, dahlias, mums, geraniums, ferns, and irises to name a few.

What to do in August in the Garden

A Vegetable Garden


Photo by Gelgas Airlangga on

  • Don’t forget to harvest

As summer starts to wane we might get slack when it comes to harvesting our summer vegetables.  But it’s a great time to share the bounty with co-workers and neighbors, especially if you planted squash.  It proliferates like crazy!

  • Plant crops

If you have the space and want to, August is the perfect time to start seedlings outside, if you didn’t start any indoors.  Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower can still be started from seedlings this month.

What to do in August in the Garden

For Both a Flower and Vegetable Garden

garden tools

Photo by Gary Barnes on

  • Add new mulch

Combining new mulch to either a vegetable or flower garden has many benefits.  Such as preventing soil erosion and diminishing weeds.  Mulch also conserves moisture and defends against temperature shifts.  Additionally, it adds nutrition for the plants and encourages earthworms, which is great for gardens, and thus plants.

A lot of us are probably guilty of throwing our garden tools in the corner after toiling away at the end of a hot day.  And sometimes that might end up in a blunted instrument.  But some easy to do tool maintenance will save us money in the long run.  The most important part is storing our tools.  Ones with moving parts need to be oiled.  And to clean your tools, rinsing with a garden hose is necessary.  But if that isn’t enough, use soap and water.  To prevent the spread of disease, use a 5:1 bleach solution on the tool before working on the next plant.  However since bleach can damage blades, thoroughly clean, rinse, and dry the tool after using the bleach solution.

  • Stay on top of the pests

Bugs and plant diseases continue into the fall, so be vigilant.  Cutworms, cabbage worms, hornworms, and the Colorado potato beetle are just a few of the pests that we see here in Oklahoma.  Furthermore, rust and powdery mildew are a couple diseases we have to contend with here as well.

What to do in August in the Garden


flowering Redbud tree

Fall is the best time to plant trees, because they have an extra growing season before the stress of summer.  So now would be the perfect time to decide if you want to add any trees.  And if you do, where you would put them and what trees to get.

Many people choose columnar trees like the Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar.  It’s extremely popular in landscaping in our state and has been for several years.  Other landscaping options are large shrubs like Crape Myrtles, Weeping Blue Atlas Cedars, or Arborvitae.

However if you wanted to add more shade to your property, then Oak and Maple trees top the list, specifically the Shumard Oak and Caddo Maple.  Both trees are native to Oklahoma, can grow to ~60 feet tall, and get amazing fall foliage.  The Chinese Pistache is an Oklahoma Proven tree, which means it’s drought tolerant.  It grows to ~40 feet and also has beautiful colors in the fall.  And Redbud trees are last on my list of shade trees, though there are plenty others out there.  The Redbud is Oklahoma’s state tree, and along with the Shumard Oak and Caddo Maple, the Redbud is native to our state.  It is a small tree, only growing to ~20 feet, and it flowers in the spring.

Oklahoma’s own Marcum’s has their annual tree sale in the fall.  Although they haven’t announced when it is or which trees will be on sale yet.  But if you live in Oklahoma City or in the surrounding area, definitely look for that sale.

As always, Daystar Handyman can assist you with any projects you may have for your home and property.  Just give us a call.