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Ask an Expert: August gardening tips for late summer splendor

Pierrette Guertin
USU Extension

By: JayDee Gunnell, USU Extension horticulturist,

The heat is on, and yards and gardens are trying to survive the recent high temperatures. Consider these tips from the USU Extension Gardeners Almanac to help your garden succeed. Also included are links for further information.

  • Consider planting cover crops to provide “green manure” to the garden.
  • Collect and store seeds from your garden.
  • Learn about how and when to harvest watermelon and cantaloupe.
  • Harvest potatoes as soon as tubers begin forming.
  • Harvest garlic and onions once the tops have dried down. Allow them to dry for 2-3 weeks before storing.
  • Store potatoes, garlic, and onions in a cool/dry location (32-40°F) away from apples.
  • Plant trees and shrubs as the weather becomes cooler.
  • Go hiking in the hills to enjoyautumn colors.
  • Divide crowded, spring-blooming perennials.
  • Consider composting fall leaves.
  • Check pears for ripeness once the fruit twists off the tree easily and seeds are dark colored, then allow them to finish ripening off the tree.
  • Apply a slow-release lawn fertilizer early in September to provide long-lasting results throughout the fall.
  • Remember that as temperatures cool, turfgrass requires minimal irrigation each week. See irrigation needs in your area.
  • Plant new lawns or repair insect/diseased areas with grass seed, allowing 4-6 weeks for establishment before heavy frosts.
  • Aerate compacted sites with a hollow core aerator when turfgrass is actively growing (September to October).

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