It’s Thyme to…(July and August Edition)


During the long, hot days of July and August it can be tempting to take it easy, but your garden needs you now as much as ever!

Water, water, water … especially young trees! If you planted a sapling in your yard, make sure it is getting around a gallon of water per inch diameter of trunk for the first three months as it gets established (mulching will help retain moisture in the soil). Even established trees may need a little help when it is very hot and dry: give them a nice, deep drink every couple of weeks if it hasn’t rained.

Many flowers are done blooming by now: remove the seedpods from peonies, and divide iris and daylilies and cut them back to 8-inches. For climbing roses, cut old canes to allow new shoots to grow, and take cuttings to propagate before the stems harden.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on

Make sure to harvest your veggies continuously as they ripen so they will keep producing, and monitor for pests for early intervention if needed. If you planted onions or early potatoes, shriveling tops signal they are ready for harvest. Fertilize strawberries and thin if they need it.

Start planning your fall crops by planting spinach and lettuce early in July, along with kale, cucumbers, beets, turnips, peas, and members of the cabbage family.

By August, you can start pansy seeds, coreopsis, Sweet William, and daisy in pots, to be transferred to their permanent beds later in the fall. Keep your phlox deadheaded to maintain true colors.

If you need to seed grass in your lawn, you can start in late August (but be sure to keep it well-watered!). This is also the time to remove thatch that is more than half an inch thick.

And finally … start thinking about ordering bulbs to be planted this fall for spring blooms! Half the fun is dreaming about and planning next year’s garden!