The traditional ‘Dog Days of August’ are upon us, as are the continuing days of hot and sticky weather. This month is also one of the driest, with late evening ‘pop up’ thunderstorms providing only random and fleeting patches of moisture.

A time of family gatherings, picnics, festivals and fairs, with school holidays coming to a close by month’s end, gardening is reduced to a more slow and steady pace. However, here are a few reminders to keep your garden growing:

– Continue to water deeply, preferably at root level in the early morning or evening. Be creative with your sources of water: that sprinkler which cools your children down, could be set to watering at the same time!
– Stop fertilizing roses so as to allow them to harden off before late Fall and early Winter.
Place your orders for Fall plant inventories — shrubs, trees, perennials, grasses and groundcovers. While you’re at it, place your Spring ones also!
– Continue to deadhead flowers and roses. Shear any annuals which are getting leggy, or just throw out if they’re done.
– Take photos of your yard – what works and what doesn’t, so you can see what changes (if any) need to be made for the next year’s plantings.
– Mid-August through mid-September is an ideal time to establish new lawns, or reseed existing ones. Once you’ve seeded, lay down a layer of straw, spaghnum moss or topsoil, and water at least once daily. Continue watering for at least 10-15 days, past the initial germination time.