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Lions ear

August Checklist

Citrus: Depending on citrus fertilizer label, apply fertilizer every six weeks or as directed. Check for citrus insects and disease. Weed as needed, keep mulch away from trunk and grass out beneath the canopy. Water once a week unless it rains.

Fruit: Apply azalea fertilizer to blueberry shrubs, at 1/2 pound per 3 feet of shrub. Weed as needed. Check irrigation to ensure it is working. Make repairs.

Flowers: Plant  asters, balsam, begonias, black-eyed Susan, blue daze, cats whiskers, coleus, cosmos, cockscombs, dianthus, forget-me-not, gaillardia, golden globe impatiens, marigolds, melampodium, moon vine, pentas, periwinkles, petunias, phlox, porterweed, portulaca, purslane, salvia, scabiosa, strawflowers, sunflowers, tithonias, torenia, verbena, and zinnias.

Roses: Repeat July procedures. Water, water, water.

Bulbs: Plant African Iris, agapanthus, amaryllis, cannas, crinums, daylilies, gladioli, gloriosa lilies, society garlic, and rain lilies (Zephyranthes).

Herbs: Bay laurel, culantro, ginger, horehound, lavender, Mexican tarragon, mint, parsley, oregano, rosemary, sesame, and thyme can be planted now.

Lawns: There is still time to install a seeded lawn but do not delay. Select good quality seed such as Argentine Bahia, common bermudagrass or centipede.  Initially the seeds to need stay moistened but once they have germinated irrigation can be reduced.  These grasses do well without heavy irrigation and high nitrogen fertilizers.  They turn brown earlier than St. Augustinegrass in the winter. Contact your local Extension service regarding a test for your soil pH.  Common bermudagrass has a wide range of of pH numbers; bahia and centipede prefer acid soils so be sure to have soil tested before investing in a new lawn.

Perennials: Start salvia, violets, ruellia, lion’s ear, gerbera daisy, butterfly weed, and blanket flower from saved seeds,. Let seeds dry on the plants. When pods open, dry seeds inside on screen or cheesecloth. Put into a plastic bag or a jar and label. Keep the seeds in the vegetable section of the refrigerator. Use within one year. Do not store in the freezer!

Trees: Cut back unwanted limbs to a branch angle or the trunk.  Do not apply paints or coverings to wounds. You can remove old seed heads from crape myrtle trees to encourage additional blooms in the fall however, not all cultivars rebloom. Remove only totally dead fronds from palms. Palm seed stalks can be removed after flowering but before fruiting.  Be careful not to nick the bud.

Vegetables: To produce fruit August plantings are especially important for corn, eggplant, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, and watermelons. Each of these crops takes about 90 days to come to fruition. Do not wait too late, or an early frost may reduce the yield. Other cold tolerant veggies to plant include snap beans, pole beans, lima beans, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, corn, cucumber, bunching onions, Southern peas, peppers, pumpkin, summer squash, tomatoes, turnips, and watermelons. One pest to be especially aware of is the cutworm.

Selected from Florida Vegetable Guide by JM Stephens, RA Dunn, G Kidder, D Short, & GW Simone, University of Florida  and Month-by-Month Gardening in Florida by Tom MacCubbin

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