Gardening Tips

In The Garden – July-August gardening tips

Helpful tips for gardening in the Triangle.


• Fertilize container plants every week to 10 days and keep these watered, sometimes twice a day if in full sun.

• Deadhead perennials and annuals for continued blooming.

• Refresh your annuals with new ones, cut back plants that are leggy or struggling.

• Spray roses for black spot and other fungus type diseases.

Fruits and Vegetables

• Check your vegetable garden daily for water needs. Fertilize weekly, as these plants are heavy feeders. Keep watch for disease and insects.

• Watch for blossom end rot on tomatoes. Provide plenty of water and some fertilizer. Provide light shade if blossom drop is a problem.

• Start planting the fall garden. Turnip, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower can be direct seeded into the garden in August.

• Harvest vegetables and fruits in the morning, not during the heat of the day. Place the harvest in a cool place to prevention deterioration of taste.


• Don’t fertilize your fescue lawn until fall. Fertilizing now makes fescue lawns more susceptible to disease problems. Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass may benefit from a light application of fertilizer unless you have done that recently.

• Spot treat broadleaf weeds. Apply a pre-emergent for bluegrass, henbit, chickweed, and other winter weeds.

• Keep mower blade sharp.  Smooth cuts cause less moisture loss of the blades of grass. Mowing heights for your lawn are important. Cut tall fescue at 3 inches, making sure to leave the clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil.

• Manage your lawn watering needs through the Turf Irrigation Water Management Program at NC State. The program calculates watering requirements based on current weather data. Details at

Trees and Shrubs

• Stop pruning evergreens and hedges in late August. New growth from late pruning can be harmed in winter.

• Fertilize shrubs in August and then not until spring.

• Keep young trees and newly planted shrubs watered throughout the summer.


• Japanese beetles are here. You can hand pick them off the plant or use traps, if you clean these daily.

• The single most effective means of reducing mosquito populations is to eliminate standing water.

For a complete list of garden maintenance activities, visit the NC Cooperative Extension web site at

For lawn care go to the NC State Turf Files at