August is deep summer in San Antonio. Good xeriscape plants will make it through the month without supplemental watering; others will need conscientious watering to stay prosperous. Generally, no fertilizing or planting is done during this month.
Birds and Wildlife
- Move the hummingbird feeders to the patio.
- Change your sugar water every week. Pour the old liquid in a shallow dish for the butterflies.
Shade Trees and Shrubs
- Shade trees can reduce the heat gain in a home by 4080 percent.
- Cotton root rot is stimulated by hot soil temperatures.
- This is the second-best time to prune live oak trees.
- If you have scale problems on your shrubs, use light summer oil.
- Fall webworms may appear on pecan, mulberry, ash, persimmon, and other trees. Spray Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t).
- Windmill palm, Mexican fan palm and Sabal palm are especially well‑adapted to this area.
- Mulch, mulch, mulch.
- Remember that newly-planted trees need watering once per week for the whole first season.
- It’s time to plant mari-mums, zinnias and sunflowers this month. Lantanas, firebush, purslane, portulaca and periwinkles are prospering in the heat.
- Lantana bloom can be rejuvenated with a string trimmer.
- Bougainvillea loves the Texas summer heat; if they’re root bound in the pot, even better.
- Prune the roses back.
- Trim back petunias and impatiens to encourage new growth.
- Thin spring-blooming bulbs.
Fruits and Nuts
- Pecan trees need 1 inch of water per week over the entire root area
- Apply borer spray to the peach trees this month.
- Early apples are ready for harvest.
- Moy Grande hibiscus produces 12-inch blooms in full sun.
- Gold Star Esparanza produces fragrant yellow flowers clear up until frost.
- Stake or support larger-growing plants that have become heavy or are leaning over.
- In August, all grasses require water to stay green.
- When you see your footprints in the grass, it’s time to water.
- Grub worms eat the roots of grass plants.
- Chinch bugs do their damage in the hottest part of summer in the hottest part of the lawn
- There is still time to establish a new lawn.
- Remember when laying new sod; roll the turf to insure good soil‑root contact.
- Early August is the best time to start planting the fall garden. Use transplants for tomatoes and peppers and direct seed corn and beans later in the month.
- Plant pumpkins in early August. Get the 90-day variety.
- Other vegetable crops to plant in August are cucumber, eggplant, lima beans, black‑eye peas, peppers, and squash.
Seasonal Gardening Checklist Prepared by Tom Harris, Ph.D., Honorary BCMG