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August & September Garden Chores -


  • Garden clean-up - half the tomato disease battle in a vegetable garden is sanitation. As tomatoes end their production remove them from the garden and take them to a landfill. Many diseases will over-winter on old infected leaves and stems. (A good practice for any plants you have had disease problems with this year).
  • Make a note - sketch out where you planted various vegetables in your garden. This will come in handy next spring when you plant, so you can rotate your crops to help prevent disease.
  • Vegetables - Some planting times for more common vegetables
    • Collards - Jul. 1 - Aug. 30 o  Snap beans - Aug. 1 - 15 o  Half-runners - Aug. 1 - 15 o Lettuce - Aug. 15 – 25
    • Spinach - Sep. 15 - 30
    • Turnips - Sept 1 - 15



  • Bulbs - it's time to buy your spring-flowering bulbs, such as daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and crocus. Don't plant them yet, but wait for cooler weather. Store them in a cool place where temperatures will be 60 degrees F or lower.
  • Dividing - it's time to divide spring and summer blooming perennials.
  • Soil Test - now is the time to test the soil in your planned beds for plant nutrients.  Soil tests usually take 10 days, so test now to have the results when you plant bulbs and beds. It is important to till in the lime needed (if any) for faster soil pH adjustment. You may also sample your vegetable garden now if you do not plan to add more fertilizer for late crops.



  • Fertilizer - it's time for the second application of fertilizer for fescue and other cool-season grass lawns. Follow the recommendations on your soil test report for your lawn. DON'T fertilize warm-season grass lawns late in the fall!               If you have not soil-tested your lawn areas in the past 12 months, now is a great time!
  • Add Iron - applying iron to St. Augustine this month will provide dark green color without stimulating excessive growth.
  • Aeration - fall is a great time to aerate cool season lawns such as fescue. Warm-season lawns (centipede, zoysia, Bermuda, St. Augustine) should be aerated in the spring and summer.
  • Overseeding - many homeowners like to overseed their lawns with ryegrass for a green winter lawn. Mid- September is the best time to do this.
  • Lawn Establishment - if you plan to plant a cool-season (fescue) lawn, the best time to plant is between September 15 and October 15. Wait until next spring for warm-season grasses. Unhulled Bermuda seed can be planted now, but spring planting of hulled seed will provide a better stand.
  • Henbit - this nice little lawn weed can be a problem. Treat now to prevent its return this summer.

  • Nutsedge or "nutgrass" - nutsedge is very difficult to control. There are two main types in our area - purple and yellow. You must identify which you have before you begin treatment. Herbicides must be applied when the nutsedge is actively growing, which means decent soil moisture and warm conditions.
  • Irrigation - as this month progresses you will probably need to cut back on your irrigation amounts.

Trees and Shrubs

Leaves - leaves are beginning to fall. If you have space and a little time composting is a great option; if not, you can also till them into any fallow beds you have or the vegetable garden.

  • Plan ahead - if you plan to plant some trees or shrubs this year, begin thinking about which plants you would like now, and find retailers that carry those varieties. You have plenty of time, but you certainly do not want to miss your favorite at the last minute.
  • Pecan Weevils - pecan weevils are those little critters that make holes in your pecans. Start treating for pecan weevils the first week of August, and continue treating once per week for 6 weeks. Place 5 ounces of liquid carbaryl (Sevin, etc.) in 10 gallons or more of water and spray the entire area under the tree, from trunk out to dripline. Repeat this for each tree. You will need to do this 2 years in a row to get rid of the pesky critters (they have a 2 year lifecycle).
  • Bag worms - bag worms can kill a tree if it is heavily infested. Inspect your trees periodically - bagworms seem to like juniper, arborvitae, and pines, but they are will attack many broadleaf shrubs and trees such as rose, sycamore, maple, elm, and black locust.. Hand-picking light infestations works well; applying the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis will also take care of the problem.
  • Oakworms - these pesky little critters will strip the leaves from a 5 foot tall oak tree in two to three days. Spraying carbaryl (Sevin, etc.) will take care of them quickly. (you cannot effectively treat a large tree, but if you see them on lower branches and can safely spray them that will certainly not hurt).  Observe all label precautions on mixing and use. Do not use dusts due to the problem with application - a spray made using the liquid form of the product will work fine.
  • Webworms - fall webworms should be appearing in pecan trees in mid- to late-August. Controlling the bottom 1/3 of the tree will be quite effective, even though we cannot reach the upper areas. Carbaryl (Sevin, etc.) is a good product for this. Observe all label precautions on mixing and use. Do not use dusts due to the problem with application - a spray made using the liquid form of the product will work fine.


Excerpted from the HGIC – Clemson University