Practical Gardening Monthly – August Tips & New Stamps

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Practical Gardening Monthly – August Tips & New Stamps

PRACTICAL GARDENING MONTHLY: AUGUST 2017 ISSUE

Hello Gardening Friends,

Happy August! I love how alive the garden is this month … full of color, texture, seasonal sounds, and glorious fragrances.

The tomatoes and peppers are looking good now in our area … and the sweet corn was certainly worth the wait. Delicious!

We took a drive to the country yesterday and stopped again at a wonderful farmstand “Bountiful Blessings” in Hinckley, IL. They have an abundance of farm fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices. Friendly folks who frequently offer free Chicago style hotdogs and roasted ears of corn to customers. Can’t beat that hospitality!

I hope you are all enjoying the bounty of your labors … whether it’s picking a bouquet of flowers to bring the outside indoors, or savoring your homegrown vegetables and herbs in favorite recipes.

Here’s a helpful guide of Fourteen (14) August Garden “To Do’s”:

#1: Check your flowers daily to see if they need watering (especially those in smaller pots). Most need an inch of water a week …

#2: Keep your garden looking tidy by weeding the beds regularly and deadheading (cutting off) spent flowers …

#3: Try this to add immediate interest to the garden or spruce up a container planting. Add annuals that are blooming now and will keep blooming until frost. I like foliage annuals for color like coleus. Chances are good that you can find them deeply discounted at your favorite garden center …

#4: Pick your vegetables frequently so the plants will keep producing …

#5: Take notes of where your garden could use more color now, research the plants that will do the job plus suit your growing conditions. Plan to add those this fall or early next spring …

#6: Keep fertilizing your containers. Watering & rain flushes out nutrients so fertilize at least once a month …

#7: Inspect your roses for signs of insects and use an organic spray to prevent further damage or disease. If you find Japanese beetles (the green iridescent one pictured here) it’s best to pluck them off by hand and drop them in a can of soapy water – I use an old coffee can filled halfway with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid …

#8: Stop fertilizing roses in mid-August …

#8: Share the surplus veggies and herbs with friends, neighbors, and the local food bank …

#9: Pruning of trees and shrubs is generally not advised this month, with the exception of shrubs that have just flowered. They are pruned immediately following their flowering …

#10: Mid to end of August is the best time to seed bare areas of lawn and overseed thinning grass. Cover with loose straw to prevent wind or bird damage to seeds. Keep soil moist until seed germinates …

#11: Allow certain dried flowerheads to remain standing for fall and winter interest, including astilbe, coneflower, globe thistle, and others …

#12: Certain crops can be planted now for autumn harvest including beets, snap beans, carrots, radishes, and greens …

#13: Remember that too much water is just as bad as not enough and will result in plant stress. This applies to houseplants as well as outdoor plants …

#14: Consider adding to garden beds chrysanthemums, asters, or other fall-flowering plants to further extend the flowering season …

Did you know …

Snapdragon flowers resemble a dragon, and if you squeeze the sides, the dragon’s mouth will appear to open and close …

The average strawberry has 200 seeds. It’s the only fruit that bears its seeds on the outside …

The world’s largest rosebush is located in Tombstone, Arizona. The Lady Banksia rosebush’s canopy measures 8,500 square feet, its trunk has a circumference of around 12 feet. It was planted in 1885 …

The world’s most expensive rose is a 2006 variety by famed rose breeder David Austin that was christened “Juliet”. Breeding the rose took a total of 15 years and cost 5 million dollars. Juliet is now considered the world’s most expensive rose cultivar …

Flower of the Month:

Gaillardia is commonly known as ‘blanket flower’. I’ve read two different accounts of how it received that name: 1) The way they used to blanket the prairie and 2) It refers to the resemblance to brightly patterned Native American blankets.

Regardless, Gaillardia are one of the longest blooming perennials. They thrive in poor, well-drained soil while being extremely drought and heat tolerant. Dividing them every 2 – 3 years will keep them vigorous.

The brightly colored, daisy-like flowers come in an amazing variety of colors! Pictured above is ‘Gaillardia Arizona Sun’ with its large fiery orange-red blossoms tipped by a ring of flame yellow. This showy flower blooms from June – Sept and attracts butterflies.

What’s New?


Have you seen the new “Protect Pollinators” stamps released this week by the U.S. Postal Service? They depict monarch butterflies and western honeybees on a variety of flowers native to North America. Of course, I pre-ordered and bought a sheet online!

We hope you like our updated website design! “Flower Chick” is in a new, modern format which is also mobile friendly.

Make sure to check out our special section highlighting “101 Best Gifts For Gardeners“. You’ll find something for everyone on this extensive collection of practical (and not so practical, but fun!) gift ideas …

Check out these informative, seasonal posts on Flower Chick including “Sensational Succulents for Zones 5 & 6” and “Creating a Bee Friendly Garden”. Both will help you add more interest to your garden and attract those beneficial pollinators.

Enjoy the summer weather and take time to smell the roses! I’ll check back in with you in early September …

Laura (a.k.a. Flower Chick)

P.S. Follow me on Twitter and Pinterest for more garden inspiration.

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