A simple checklist of August garden chores for northern gardens to help guide your time in both flower and vegetable gardens - IF it fits your specific needs and your schedule.
Are you tired of watering yet? August usually sees me dragging garden hoses from one soaker to another and setting timers and sprinklers for most of every week. Then I take a break for a couple days before the cycle starts again. Whew.
UPDATE: Not anymore! Check out this simple pvc DIY automatic watering system we created - I'm LOVING it.
Okay, why are we doing this gardening thing again? Oh, yeah...the tomatoes... and the cucumbers, peppers, green beans, and zucchini. In fact, most of our meals in August consist of garden produce - eaten outside with bouquets of garden flowers on the table and the bees visiting the flowers in the beds.
A little watering is worth all that, isn't it?
This list a bit lighter on the garden tasks than some of the other monthly lists (thankfully, since it is often HOT). Other than harvesting and watering, most August garden chores consist of simple basic maintenance like deadheading and watching for signs of disease or bugs.
The one big thing to do in August is to plant for a fall garden if you're in an area that doesn't see it's first frost until October. Which is me - I better get busy!
Want all my best vegetable gardening tips and techniques to keep it simple and manageable? (Yes, it CAN be done!) Then grab my ebook, Vegetable Gardening The Easy Way, and you'll be on your way to growing your own food without all the backbreaking work.
Garden Chores for August
Vegetable & Fruit Garden
- Water on a regular basis (as if you needed a reminder of that...); mulch helps keep the ground moist longer. Also, remember from last month: watering deeply once every 4-7 days (more in hot weather, less in cooler) encourages deep roots and healthy plants versus light waterings daily or every other day (deep watering = 2-4 hours with a soaker hose, or until the soil is moist an inch down).
- Harvest as fruit and vegetables ripen, gathering fallen fruit to limit spread of disease and wasps.
- Pull vegetable plants that are done. Amend soil and replant if able with a quick-growing crop like spinach, mache, or lettuce.
- Depending on where you live, in addition to lettuce there may be time to direct sow seeds of kale, swiss chard, beets, bush beans and even short carrot varieties like “Thumbelina” as well as plant transplants of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.
- Dry herbs for winter; harvest in the morning to retain the most flavor.
- Lightly prune blueberries; cut any blackberry and raspberry canes that have produced fruit; clean & fertilize strawberry beds.
- Monitor shrubs and trees for mites, moths, etc. and treat organically as needed (this spray is amazing and worked on whatever was eating the basil, trumpet vine, marigolds and beans in my garden).
- Clip (deadhead) spent flowers from plants that you don’t want to reseed as much - typically aggressive sowers like rose campion, lemon balm, cleome, oregano, and Joe-Pye Weed (don’t compost these or you’ll have them coming up in your garden!).
- Continue deadheading to keep flowering plants producing for fall.
- Add plants of sunflowers, zinnias & marigolds for fall color.
- Long blooming perennials and container plants will benefit from a mid-season fertilizer boost to make it into fall.
Note: This August garden chores list is not comprehensive by any means, but meant to provide a jumping-off point to organizing your garden chores. Feel free to print the list and add any of your own specific chores to the sections.
Need more easy gardening tips?
- Organic Vegetable Gardening 101
- How to Plant a Garden the Easy Care Way
- 5 Steps to Take Now For Your Best Garden Ever (with Free Printables!)
Make This Year's Garden A Success!