August is the month to look around your perennial beds and take note of what is needing attention.
Summer sure flies by and the seasons of change seem to remind us of that in our gardens daily. By August, those of us who grow veggies are busy harvesting, canning, freezing, and planning our winter garden. This is the month that winter plants are available in the nurseries. Growing winter veggies means you will have a nice early start for spring harvesting. And, if you let some of them go to seed, you’ll have bee food in abundance! We love letting our purple kale go to seed. Those 8-foot stocks of beautiful yellow flowers attract our pollinators early in the Spring season.
August is the month to look around your perennial beds and take note of what is needing attention. I find it helpful to take notes, for example, as I research what the various plant requirements are for sun, shade, soil and so forth, so I’m prepared for a successful start next year. As each individual plant, shrub or tree has a preferred season to up root, I also research to find the best time of year plants need to be split.
Lately, I’ve had several people in the garden center concerned that their lavender plant had just died or that it hadn’t given its best show. The first thing I ask is, “How old is it?” Even though the appeal of a perennial is that they come back year after year, all life has an expiry date. With plants, they are either telling you to split and divide or dig and replace. That is not to say that cuttings are not a possibility. So for those of you who are ambitious, cuttings are a great option. Less ambitious? You can always stop by your local nursery to pick up a fresh, new plant! Perhaps it’s time to experience some different blooms in your garden next year.
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