For cold-climate gardeners, August is the month that toggles between summer and fall. It’s the time to prepare for fall and winter vegetable gardening, harvest, craft, and enjoy time outdoors. It all flies by so fast. See some garden tasks you can get done in August.
For more, see garden task lists for each month here.
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August Garden Tasks
These are examples of tasks I like to do in my cold-climate garden (zone 6). Every garden is different, and we each adapt based on climate, growing zone and conditions, the plant species, challenges, and time and resources available. Please take the inspiration and run/grow with it.
Here in southwestern Ontario, Canada, August is our last hoorah before the fall weather sets in and the kids go back to school. As the lengths of the days shorten, there’s often a slight chill in the air (which I love).
Monthly Garden Tasks
- If you want to grow winter vegetables, start the slow-growers in August.
- Many fruits and veggies should be ready to harvest now.
- Many flowering plants will bloom a second time if you deadhead them (snip the spent blooms off).
- Remember to turn your compost pile (2x per week is ideal), to keep the microbes working.
- Grow new plants from cuttings: see what you can propagate now.
- Maintain pond pump. Avoid invasive pond plants. Use this simple tip for keeping the water sparkling clear.
- Keep bird feeders and water feeders clean and filled.
- Clean out nesting boxes between broods. But be sure you’re not disturbing an active nest.
- Also keep your hummingbird feeders clean and filled. Don’t allow them to get moldy.
- Grow salad greens and other veggies and herbs can grow indoors all year-round.
- Don’t neglect your houseplants. Do you know how to water them properly?
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- Save your back: get a potting bench.
- Order seeds for indoor sowing. Get seed starting mix and organic container mix so you’re ready to sow.
- Need more privacy in your garden? Here’s some ideas.
You may not know it by the name phenology, but you certainly know what it is. Phenology is the science of observing annual first events in nature. When flower buds open. When peepers first peep. When bees appear. When migrations arrive. When bulbs pop up. The list is endless.
Seasonal changes prompt natural responses in the plant and animal kingdoms. It is interesting to note these events and compare year over year.
Autumn Phenological Events
Here’s a few examples you might notice.
- Days are getting shorter and the weather is cooling.
- Birds and other animals start to plump up or hoard for winter.
- With a lot of pollen and nectar available, insects are collecting all they can.
- Tadpoles in ponds will start to morph into whatever they will become.